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The coming Japanese snow season (2009/10)

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Sandy, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Sandy

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

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    The seasons in Japan are reasonably predictable so far as temprature goes. You know that January in Tokyo will be between 4-9 degrees max during the day and mostly sunny. You also know that in August it will be between 29-34 degrees, humid and a possiblity of rain 2-3 days a week.

    There is a rainy season in Japan. It starts off in the south and works its way north, reaching almost all the way to northern Honshu (but not Hokkaido) before being dissipated by northern temperate frontal systems. Summer rainy seasons are often an indication of a subtropical summer climate. Hokkaido has a temperate summer climate, so it doesn't get a sumemr rainy season.
    The rainy season is caused by a "stationary boundary" or "stationary front", that forms near the Phillipines in May. A cold front is a boundary between cool and warm air, and follows isobars in a low pressure system, clockwise in the southen hemisphere, anticlockwise in the northern. Usually, there is a lot of moisture ahead of the boundary where the air is warmer, and less moisture behind the boundary where the air is colder.

    A "stationary boundary" is still a boundary between cooler air and warmer air, but its a front that is almost stationary. It is not associated with a low pressure system. When this "stationary boundary" hits Japan, the rainy season starts. Usually in early June for southern Japan, about the 3rd week in June for Tokyo and in early July for further north.
    You can see it just south of Japan(a bit late in 2009) on 12th June also affecting Taiwan and southern China, with typical low pressure/cold frontal systems in Northern Japan:
    [​IMG]

    You can see that it's moved north by 2nd July, starting the rainy season in Japan. Of course, it also affects coastal China, where there were a series of large floods this year.
    [​IMG]

    By 9th July, it's moved up towards northern Japan, but still extends all the way across China. [​IMG]

    Around this time, it should dissipate. However, this year, there have been a number of low pressure troughs pushing off the Asian mainland, extending the duration of the rainy season in China. You can see that there is a low pressure system hooked up in the Sea of Japan on 13th July. These low pressure troughs effectively extended the rainy season in the western and northwestern parts of Japan (on the Sea Of Japan side), for an extra 3-4 weeks, well into August. However, while wetter than usual into early August, the rainy season was over by about 15th July on the Tokyo or Pacific side of Japan. Notice how the stationary boundary has hooked up with the low pressure to form a normal cold front:
    [​IMG]

    The extended rainy season has had other effects. With less sun in Japan, the crops have not grown as strongly. It has also been cooler. Instead of most days in August being in the range of 31-34 degrees max in Tokyo(and 25-26 degrees at night), it's been more like 28-31 degrees(and 22-24 at night).

    In 2007, we were getting late September temperatures still in the low 30s. This year, it's more like late September than late August.

    So what will the coming snow season bring in Japan? Who knows!!!! [​IMG]

    However, because the summer has been cooler than usual, I suspect that if we get the normal general cooling Sept-Dec, then it may end up being colder than usual in November, so it's possible that we may get some reasonable snow conditions by early/mid December(in central Japan), rather than late Dec/early Jan like last year.
     
    #1 Sandy, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  2. BoardLady

    BoardLady Hard Yards

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    This is very helpful information Sandy, thanks heaps!

    A query raced across my mind though.... given a cooler summer than usual and the possibility of earlier snow this year (early/mid December), could this mean an earlier END to the season as well? That is, February could see the softening of snow, sooner than previous years?

    What's your opinion?
     
  3. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    IMO there is no correlation between early snow/cooler temps and an early end to the ski season. Think about all those great seasons that get early snow/cooler temps and a long fruitful season [​IMG]
     
    #3 smitty484, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  4. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    P.S I am in Japan for 2 weeks next Feb and am quietly confident of multiple pow days [​IMG]
     
    #4 smitty484, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  5. Sandy

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

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    Personally, I think there is no correllation between early starts to the Japanese season and early finishes.
    However, 2007/08 was an early starting season(end of November in central Japan), and it got warm earlier than usual (particularly in Hokkaido, where they had the lowest March snow on record).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome, by the way [​IMG]
     
    #5 Sandy, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  6. Sandy

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

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    February is not late season by any account!!!
     
    #6 Sandy, Aug 27, 2009
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  7. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good news for me late Dec/early Jan [​IMG]
     
    #7 Crystal, Aug 27, 2009
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  8. Sandy

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

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    I have some friends coming late December to ski, and I was concerned about snow cover. While nothing is certain, the way the summer has shaped up, I feel a bit more confident about it now!!!
     
    #8 Sandy, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  9. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Dunno where you are going but for Niseko

    http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now-archive.php?month=02&year=2009
    http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now-archive.php?month=02&year=2008
    http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now-archive.php?month=02&year=2007
    http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now-archive.php?month=02&year=2006
    http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now-archive.php?month=02&year=2005
    http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now-archive.php?month=02&year=2004
    http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now-archive.php?month=02&year=2003

    Yep looks bad............. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    THIS IS NOT A HINT TO START DEBATING THE MERITS OF SKIING HERE VS OVERSEAS. That has been done many many times this season on here. [​IMG] Do it and I'll report every post and Crystal will delete [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I am simply providing facts to make smitty484 confident about his chance of POW POW days in Japan
     
    #9 skiflat, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  10. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    How many ski days did you get in last season in Japan Sandy ? [​IMG] ?
     
    #10 skiflat, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  11. Steeze_McQueen

    Steeze_McQueen First Runs

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    We arrive in Hakuba on the 21st of December, so fingers crossed!!
     
  12. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    [​IMG] ahh yes I love reading the snowjapan reports. I will be in Myoko and Nozawa, but I am still quietly confident [​IMG]
     
    #12 smitty484, Aug 27, 2009
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  13. Sandy

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

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    I think it was around 20.
     
    #13 Sandy, Aug 27, 2009
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  14. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    My goodness. I just read and tried to understand all those diagrams (I'm only good with pie graphs) and for what...?

    [​IMG]

    I'm still excited.
     
    #14 smackies, Aug 27, 2009
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  15. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    Haha from my limited knowledge those charts just showed the stationary boundary (which brings the wet season to Japan) migrating north. They had no bearing on the coming snow season.
     
  16. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    IMHO they barely show Japan..they need a green highlighter.

    Also watch the development of the super highs over Russia.
     
  17. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    Haha yeh those highs over Siberia can get MASSIVE. 1050+ massive.
     
  18. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great stuff Sandy. Cheers. I'm in the same position and my friends will be very happy to read this [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #18 M_G, Aug 27, 2009
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  19. Sandy

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

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    Only got to 15 degrees in Yokohama today, and 16 degrees in Tokyo.

    It's was the first day in about 5 months that I had to put something over my shirt/T-shirt !!!!! [​IMG]
     
    #19 Sandy, Oct 25, 2009
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  20. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    Looks like it could get even colder in about a week.
     
  21. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

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    Certainly some cool air expected to hit Hokkaido by next weekend. Hopefully as the the system develops it'll reach right down through Honshu during the following week.

    [​IMG]
     
    #21 Go Native, Oct 26, 2009
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  22. Sandy

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

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    Cool air, and I think maybe a reasonable dump of snow in Hokkaido Fri/Sat up high.
     
  23. Sandy

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

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    With a day and a half of solid rain, and temperatures in the mid teens, it's cooled around Tokyo (although to supposed to be warmer today)

    And Mount Fuji was visible this morning(60km away), with quite a large mantle of snow on it!!!
     
  24. rangerider

    rangerider A Local

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    Is it possible to ski Fuji?
     
  25. Sandy

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

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    I know that people hike up there in May/June to ski/snowboard down. I think it's a bit wild and wooly before then.
    If you climbed to the top, you should get a run of maybe 2000m(from 3770m to around 1700m), at probably 25-30 degrees steepness!!

    [​IMG]

    This shot was taken this time last year, but the snow is much further down today. The snow in that shot covers about the top 1000m.
     
    #25 Sandy, Oct 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  26. rangerider

    rangerider A Local

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    When I saw Fuji last Feb it looked unreal,it had a fair bit more cover than that and at the time I was thinking if anyone skied it.
    If you fell no doubt those birds would pick your bones. We saw heaps of those birds not far from zenkoji temple. What are they, Some type of eagle?
     
  27. Sandy

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

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    They're Hawks. The shot was taken by the seaside, at a place called Enoshima, about 50km from Fuji.
     
  28. rangerider

    rangerider A Local

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  29. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    On my only one and ill-fated journey up Fuji I saw a few people carrying up with the x-country skis. This was in June and I'm not sure the quality of the ski down would be worth it.
     
  30. Sandy

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

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    I think May is THE time.
     
    #30 Sandy, Oct 27, 2009
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  31. Sandy

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

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    #31 Sandy, Oct 27, 2009
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  32. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    While the views would be great on a clear day, I think the exposure to the wind would make skiing very uncomfortable.
     
  33. Sandy

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

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    I guess you'd go on a still day, and choose the other side if you were full into the wind.
     
  34. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    True, maybe the SE side would usually be the better option?
     
  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  36. Sandy

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

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    Well, the south side also gets more snow, so you'd get a longer run. I know this sounds counterintuitive, because generally in the northern hemisphere, the north side of hills/mountains hold more snow, because the sun is on the south side.
    However, Fuji is in the rainshadow of the Japan Alps, so it gets more snow fromthe south.
    When you look at Fuji in winter, the snow extends much further down the southside.
     
  37. Sandy

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

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    Wow!!!!! ain't cheap!!
     
    #37 Sandy, Oct 27, 2009
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  38. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    HOLY CRAP!!!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #38 smitty484, Oct 27, 2009
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  39. nozomi

    nozomi First Runs

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    I always get rather excited when i see the first snowman on the JMA forecasts. Hopefully some snow for Hokkaido next Tuesday, and down to 15 for Tokyo and 11 for Nagano.

    http://www.jma.go.jp/en/week/
     
    #39 nozomi, Oct 27, 2009
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  40. Sandy

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

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    Mind you, that's fairly typical Japanese hold you hand type stuff!!!!

    For example, to learn to drive a car, they (from a friend) require you to drive TWENTY hours in the driving school "course" before they'll let you out onto the road!!!! [​IMG]



    So for 4 day tour, it sounds like you only get to ski on the LAST day!!!! For $6000 USD [​IMG]
     
    #40 Sandy, Oct 27, 2009
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  41. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    Yeh snow-forecast has snow to about middle mountain for the major Honshu resorts. However this has been chopping and changing a lot lately, so I am not holding any breath. It is still exciting though and the russian landmass has definitely been getting A LOT colder over the past week and a bit.
     
  42. Sandy

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

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    Anyway, looks like snow on Monday/Tuesday in central Japan up high. Maybe even a bit down low (700m).

    And snow likley in Sapporo at the same time, so the resorts should get some all the way down!!! [​IMG]
     
    #42 Sandy, Oct 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  43. Sandy

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

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    snap!!!!

    I just had a look in snow-forecast now, and they're also expecting snow Mon/Tue.
    They reckon 30cm odd at Happo.
     
  44. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    Sandy do you know where to get maps that show how the highs are forming over Siberia?
     
  45. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    And there has been a nice little upgrade for Honshu resorts next Mon/Tue.
     
  46. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    [​IMG]
     
    #46 smitty484, Oct 27, 2009
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  47. Sandy

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

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    #47 Sandy, Oct 27, 2009
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  48. timmyhugecans

    timmyhugecans One of Us

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    QUITE A BIT MORE LAST NIGHT ON THE PEAKS!
     
  49. Sandy

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

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    Timmy, I think you'll get snow all the way down to your place on Monday night/Tuesday!!!! [​IMG]
     
    #49 Sandy, Oct 27, 2009
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  50. damian

    damian A Local

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    Yes, May is most popular for Fuji. I was invited on a trip last year but had to pass, which was a bummer as the guys skied a line into the crater.

    Winter is almost on here.
     
    #50 damian, Oct 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013