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Japanese Weather conditions and Forecasts 2009/2010

Discussion in 'Alpine & Southern' started by Donza, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Rather than it getting mixed up in all the hype and froth threads of the Travel section.
    Its always interesting to see the Japanese winter develop
    Looks like the 1st decent snowy system of the year should hit Japan this sunday.
    Looks like Hokkaido and the higher peaks around Honshu will get a little fall.

    Just a taste of winter.
     
  2. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    snow-forecast doesnt show much moisture
     
  3. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Snow forecast is crap IMHO for forecasting
     
    #3 Donza, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  4. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    They were pretty accurate 2 seasons ago in Hakuba but got it wrong often last season.
     
    #4 TJ, Sep 29, 2009
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  5. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    Actually 2 seasons ago they were conservative with their snowfall depths so we were always pleasantly surprised.
     
  6. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    IMO I have found snow-forecast fairly accurate with predicting temps just not snowfall amounts. Normally I have found snowforecast to be very conservative.
     
  7. damian

    damian A Local

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    Much the same, snow-forecast usually get major storms correct, but underestimate quantity of snow (often big time, which is fun). They get the timing of storms finishing mostly right as well. They get good weather forecasts reasonably ok. Struggle with in the middle weather – not a storm, just a bit cloudy, might be some snow = can often be plenty of snow and no blue sky at all. Agree with TJ as well, 2 seasons ago they were money, last season was seemingly very hard for them to pick at times. Or more annoying, a big storm would be forecast 4 days out then just drop off the radar 24hrs before it was due.

    15C at 1730hrs in Hakuba right now. It only has to drop another 5C tonight and it will snow on the summits if today's precip keeps up.
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can't see much around Sunday in central Japan IMO.

    One reason why Snowforecast gets the winter storms reasonably right, but not the snow on the northwesterly, is because their models don't take the Sea of Japan's "lake effect" into account.
     
  9. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    No I can't see much for sunday either for honshu, well you''ll get some rain from the low before it gets cold thats for sure.
    Re snowforecast....i mean how hard can it be to configure the models for japan.? They seem very north american centric.IMHO
    They seem to work better for Honshu than Niseko due to that "lake effect" Sandy mentioned.
    Like damien mentioned they focus on the big and obvious systems. Which maybe 2 years ago there were more?.
    I must say the yahoo weather site for Kutchan is accurate as for snowfall timing.Its just a bit hard to read.
    Bring back the "big" snowman I say
     
    #9 Donza, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  10. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG] gotta love snowmen all over the TV
     
    #10 smitty484, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  11. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, the thing is, the lake effect is not often taken into account by many global models, as far as I can tell.

    This is the effect I'm talking about:

    [​IMG]

    The cold NW winds off the Asian continent (say -30 degrees) hit the warm (+4 to +6 degrees) Sea of Japan, and within a couple of hundred km of the coast, it starts sucking up huge amounts of moisture. This moist air hits the mountains running along Japan's spine, and dumps large amounts of snow within 30-50km of the coast. Once the wind blows across the mountains, it dumps snow and it dries off, it clears on the SE side(known as a rain shadow). So whenever there's a brisk winter NW wind in Tokyo and it's clear, I usually thinking that it's snowing in the mountains!!!! [​IMG]

    You can also see the rain shadow extend out into the Pacific, until it picks up more moisture!!!!
     
    #11 Sandy, Sep 29, 2009
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  12. damian

    damian A Local

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    Here is something you may not know about. If you have an iGoogle page you can add all sorts of stuff to it. One item is the Yahoo Weather gadget called ‘pinpoint weather’. It is in English if you default language is English for iGoogle. You can customise the display and forecast location
    http://www.google.com/ig/directory?hl=en...eatherJapan.xml

    British I believe, originated forecasting for the Alps.

    Less early season snow expected here in Hakuba since the Sea of Japan is almost 2 degrees cooler than normal for this time, resulting in less ‘steam’ as my surfing buddy puts it.
     
    #12 damian, Sep 29, 2009
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  13. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Big obvious systems are sometimes BAD for snow in different parts of Japan.

    Let's have a look at one:

    The northern most pink dot is Niseko (in Hokkaido), the next pink dot is Hakuba & the one on the Pacific coast is Tokyo.
    There's the beginnings of a low pressure trough over Korea, and the 540 line crosses southern Japan. The 528 line crosses south of Hokkaido. As a rough guide, it means that the snow line is pretty much down to the sea in Hokkaido, and in Hakuba, the snow line will be around maybe 800m.
    [​IMG]

    The trough hits the Sea of Japan and picks up moisture. In the northern hemisphere, lows rotate anticlockwise. Notice because of the rotation, the low drags colder air from the north, on the west flank of the low. (the 528 line bends south)
    [​IMG]


    Now, however, on the eastern flank, it drags warmer air from the south.
    At this stage, the snow line at Niseko is around 1000m, while at Hakuba, it's around the same. Niseko has a base altitude of around 280m(up to 1200m), while Happo (Hakuba) is 760m-1831. This means that it's raining on most of Niseko, while only the bottom 1/4 of Happo is raining.
    [​IMG]


    Now that the system has moved east, it's dragging enough cold air from the north to cool the whole system. The snowline at both Niseko & Hakuba is 0m. Plenty of snow in both places!!!
    [​IMG]


    The system moves further east, and Niseko is starting to clear. However, the "Lake effect" is starting to take a hold in central Japan, and it continues to snow at Hakuba.
    [​IMG]

    The system is almost gone, but the lake effect continues.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    When there is NO SYSTEM AT ALL, if there is a brisk NW wind, it WILL snow in central Japan. Ask TJ about this. He says they sometimes get an "unexpected" dump, just on a NW wind.


    Now, if a system tracks further south, it will mean rain on most of the mountains, and if the system is further north, it may only affect Hokkiado.
     
    #13 Sandy, Sep 29, 2009
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  14. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Is normal weather then to have low pressure systems to the North with the massive Highs over Siberia? Or is it common for these low pressure systems to move in from the south?
     
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Either can happen, but in my book it's best if there's just a constant northerly wind!!!

    Generally, a low over the continent starts as a trough around maybe 1015hPa, which is hardly low at all. If it hits the Sea of Japan, it will then develop (as you could see by the example above.

    Lows from the south are just trouble and bring rain. Last year, we had quite a few lows that moved straight across Korea and onto Japan, which was bad.
     
  16. damian

    damian A Local

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    The classic winter pattern is high pressure all winter over Siberia and low pressure systems that develop in the western Pacific. This is what brings very cold arctic air down from Siberia and across the Sea of Japan for the much vaunted lake effect. The longer this pattern persists, the better the season.

    In summer, the winter Siberian high is absent and usually replaced with a low system

    As winter approaches we get excited when the Siberian high first starts to form and then pairs with a low in the Pacific for the first time.

    Check this map. As of today’s posting it is showing a low over Siberia, so the winter system has not established itself yet. What you want to look out for is a low a little east of Hokkaido and a high north of Korea.

    http://weather.unisys.com/gfsx/9panel/gfsx_850_9panel_easia.html

    This stuff is fun, and it’s good to know how things work. But I use proven forecasts to plan my safe time in the mountains. They always trump my guesswork, especially regarding windspeed, timing of snowfall commencement to the hour and rate of snowfall per hour.
     
    #16 damian, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  17. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Cheers...thats a cool little doobie...

    Whereabouts they surfing?....japan has some wack currents doesn't it? that affect sea temperature.
    I know this and the formation of the 1040 and up highs over Siberia really determine your winter.
     
    #17 Donza, Sep 30, 2009
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  18. damian

    damian A Local

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    Surfing in Hakuba is 50 minutes away in the Sea of Japan. Pretty bad wind slop most of the time. But you can surf there no probs in winter. I don’t bother except in early summer when the water is arm and still some surf. . In mid summer the water can approach 30C. October is also good with 21C water and better swell. I personally don't know much about the currents, but people are talking about the unusually cool water right now.

    Other than that, loads of great stuff on the Pacific coast, Shizouka rocks. Tropical water and cyclone swells in late summer.
     
  19. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    There was a DVD and ASL mag a couple of years ago that had surfing in Kyushu and also the "ocean dome" .
    It was pretty cool.
    Though i didn't think there would be any waves on the sea of japan coast. Slop it would be.

    Something interesting about how the cold asian landmass affects snowfall and surround temps.
    Nagano is roughly 36 degrees north, and at say 1500 metres at Nozawa, hakuba etc would get say 9-12 metres of snow a year and would have a solid base of 3 metres.
    Falls Creek is roughly 36 degrees south, and at 1500 metres would get....2.5 -3metres of snow a year and would have around a base of a metre and a little bit for the season (average)
     
  20. damian

    damian A Local

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    And the lake effect as Sandy mentioned, don’t forget that. Korea gets way less now than Japan, yet we are really close but separated by that little bit of vital sea. Though they are colder and have less humidity in winter.

    As for Sea of Japan surf - it is a bit like surfing in Bass Strait but more regular surf (slop). Here’s an odd one: the tidal change n the SoJ is so small that there basically ins't one. It is really a strange thing to experience.
     
  21. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Japan has an unusual and unique location and aspect, so it's not only one thing that brings snow. (e.g. not just cold asian landmass)

    For example, if there was a very large(Australia sized) landmass 1000km south and west of Australia, then Melbourne would be 8-10 degrees colder. However, it would be the sea where the Great Australian Bight is, that would make the difference.

    e.g.
    [​IMG]

    The large landmass would make it 8-10 degrees colder in winter, and the "Aussie Sea" would provide the moisture!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #21 Sandy, Sep 30, 2009
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  22. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sandy, you're freaking onto something. Now, we need to find a giant land mass and shove it down there.
     
  23. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

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    Sandy I checked the reports for Niseko and Hakuba for the dates of that storm you featured earlier. At 1000m looks like Niseko got around 120cm out of it and at 1500m Hakuba got around 90cm. So even in a system that should have given better results for Hakuba, Niseko wins again! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #23 Go Native, Sep 30, 2009
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  24. damian

    damian A Local

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    Out of interest, what are the dates of the storm Sandy posted?

    Doesn’t matter either way. Because Hakuba wins again [​IMG] [​IMG] :

    120cm falling on Niseko's off-piste = yawn.
    [​IMG]

    Or 90cm falling on Hakuba’s off-piste = HORN!
    [​IMG]
     
    #24 damian, Sep 30, 2009
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  25. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You need to read your numbers a bit better!!!!!

    6-10th Jan 2007

    Hakuba (830m, village)
    6th - 6cm, 7th - 24cm, 8th - 52cm, 9th - 19cm, 10th - 3cm
    Total = 104cm

    Niseko (high)
    7th - 25cm, 8th - 40cm, 9th - 25cm, 10th - 10cm
    Total = 100cm
    Niseko (village)
    7th - 5cm, 8th - 40cm, 9th - 25cm, 10th - 5cm
    Total = 75cm

    Notice how Niseko reports in increments of 5cm??

    [​IMG]
     
    #25 Sandy, Sep 30, 2009
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  26. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

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    Yeah the resorts themselves don't really report new snowfall amounts, just the depths.
    Anyway the current winter forecast from JMA isn't overly encouraging!
     
  27. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]

    Those JMA forecasts mean just about nothing!!!

    e.g.

    They give probability of below : average : above average temperatures, right?
    So it says for Hokkaido for Dec- Feb 30:30:40, so that's bad, yes??

    What it's saying is that there a 40% chance it will be above average, but only 30% average and 30% below average, so it SHOULD be warmer than average.

    BUT, it can also mean that there's a 60% chance it will be average or below average temperature!!!!! What's bad about that? [​IMG]

    Hokuriku shows 20:30:50, so there's a 50% chance it will be average or below average!!!!
     
    #27 Sandy, Oct 1, 2009
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  28. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

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    Yeah and I know this far out it's almost purely speculation. Although they did get it pretty damned right last season.
    There has been a number of studies linking the strength of the Siberian High to early season snowfalls over Siberia and I'm not overly encouraged by the extent of snow cover currently over Siberia.
    The arctic oscillation index has been mostly in the positives since mid August which is also not a great indicator that we will get a strong High over Siberia.
    I'm very hopeful but not overly optimistic at this stage that the indicators are pointing towards a cold and snowy winter.
     
  29. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looks like there could be some pretty heavy rain coming in on Mon/Tue/Wed. Ahhh if only that was to be snow...
     
  30. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's actually a Typhoon, which is definitely NOT a winter weather system. Currently it's Category 5, with winds up to 265kph
     
    #30 Sandy, Oct 2, 2009
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  31. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh really, I was only scoping out snow-forecast. Will have to take a look at some other maps.
     
  32. damian

    damian A Local

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    Sandy, what is your prefered synoptic chart source for east Asia?
     
  33. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like the US navy ones.
    Pick the "Previous 12-hr Precipitation Rate [mm/12hr] and Sea Level Pressure [hPa]" on loop. The first one is synoptic. It is very clear and shows the vertical thickness lines as well. (Looking at the forecast, and the position of the 540 line, I think the top of Niseko will be close to zero on Thursday.)

    https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/wxmap_cgi/cgi-bin/wxmap_DOD_area.cgi?area=ngp_wpac
     
    #33 Sandy, Oct 2, 2009
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  34. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    **waits for GN** [​IMG]
     
    #34 smitty484, Oct 2, 2009
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  35. damian

    damian A Local

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    #35 damian, Oct 2, 2009
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  36. damian

    damian A Local

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    #36 damian, Oct 2, 2009
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  37. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    So you're more after one that zeros in on Japan more? Or one that just shows the isobars and fronts?

    Like this Aussie one:
    [​IMG]
     
    #37 Sandy, Oct 2, 2009
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  38. damian

    damian A Local

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    Only slightly more zoomed in than yours, if at all. And I guess only isobars, yes. But isobars useful at a synoptic level, not like on weathernews.jp

    edit: yep, like that Australian one.
     
  39. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    #39 Donza, Oct 2, 2009
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  40. damian

    damian A Local

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    Them charts there be password protected.
     
  41. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    they do they do..is that what youre after though..?
     
    #41 Donza, Oct 2, 2009
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  42. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    I thought one of your mates that surf might have a password login?
    I'm sure they are from a university? maybe near Osaka?
     
  43. damian

    damian A Local

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    The guy with Aids?
     
  44. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Huh?

    Like on team america?
    (edit stay on Topic Dylan)
     
    #44 Donza, Oct 2, 2009
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  45. damian

    damian A Local

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    Sorry, it was off-topic. I was just trying to see what type of people you knew in Osaka. And poking some fun at the guy I thought you may have been talking about.
     
  46. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

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    For short term forecasts I like to use the following

    http://wxmaps.org/pix/ea.fcst.html

    I look at the 850mb temp map for where the freezing level is likely to be and the 700mb Vertical Velocity map for precipitation. I've found they produce a fairly good forecast for Japan.
    Currently looking like some cooler air moving over Hokkaido next week with freezing levels down to around 1300-1400m over central and northern parts but not much precipitation accompanying it.
     
    #46 Go Native, Oct 3, 2009
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  47. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

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    Asahidake got a dusting of snow last night

    [​IMG]
     
    #47 Go Native, Oct 4, 2009
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  48. damian

    damian A Local

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    Snow forecast down to 1800m (top of Happo) on the 8th, WHICH IS MAH BIRTHDAY!!
     
    #48 damian, Oct 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2013
  49. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Inverloch
    There was snow on Youtei this morning. Mostly melted by the end of the day but pretty exciting nonetheless!
     
  50. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Looking at snow-forecast, once this typhoon gets out of the way there seems to be a consistant W/NW airflow over Honshu which could bring some snow to the higher peaks later in the 9 day forecast. Yeww