Japan The Japanese snow season 2020-2021 Weather

Zimbooo

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Thank you Ramenman for providing those numbers.

Last season, least snowiest season ever right? Shiga Kogen had the most snow in February since at least 2012, probably longer (I can only see back to 2012). Madarao, Nozawa Onsen etc, last February received much more snow than usual. April was above average and March was good, so for people living here, last year has some fond memories. Because spring is when they have the most time to ski.

Last Feb was abnormal only because of just a few big big snow days. Feb 6 and 9 alone received two meters in Myoko. But many days last February we got zero snow. Overall it wasn't the best February but it was one of the snowiest 'on paper'.

This season is very good because of the base we received early, as you mentioned. So even a below average February on a good base, will be much better than an above average February on small base.

I wonder what people prefer. 10-15cm almost every day, quite like Niseko, or no snow for 3 or 4 days, then 30cm+ for 2 days straight, more like north/central honshu.
Think you may have forgotten about 16/17 season in Shiga?
Was a big big season, January was huge, Feb still bigger than all seasons listed back to 12/13.
 

Jacksong

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Think you may have forgotten about 16/17 season in Shiga?
Was a big big season, January was huge, Feb still bigger than all seasons listed back to 12/13.

Sorry, you are right, Shiga got 20-30cm or so more in Feb that year (in the records). I stand corrected, last Feb was the second snowiest Feb in the previous 8 seasons.
 

Zimbooo

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Sorry, you are right, Shiga got 20-30cm or so more in Feb that year (in the records). I stand corrected, last Feb was the second snowiest Feb in the previous 8 seasons.
Was a huge year for Shiga, we were there that Feb, and the skiing/boarding was magic.
 

Ramenman

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Latest 48 hour snowfall forecast (between tonight and the night of 9th). Another big snowfall is coming?
202102070135_sns_img_A.jpg
 
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TJ

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Today we had the highest temperature that I have seen it snow at here in Hakuba (or anywhere actually). 10 am it was 7.8 degrees at the JMA site near the train station. I am based in Echoland which is approx. 60 meters higher. I was working in my office and noticed a few flakes falling at about 10:05 am. By 11 am the temps had dropped to 4.1 degrees and it was snowing properly by then. I always mention to people that the freezing level here is not necessarily the snow level. It almost always snows lower than the forecasted freezing level. Yahoo weather which is village level actually predicted 6 degrees and snowing which I thought was very strange last night. I wonder if the low humidity had anything to do with it. Another thing to add to observations.
Yahoo.jpg
 

Jacksong

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Today we had the highest temperature that I have seen it snow at here in Hakuba (or anywhere actually).

Sometimes there is something that falls from the sky that is definitely not rain, it looks like snow but it doesn't really accumulate. I often wonder if wind-chill has anything to do it with it. I'm sure there are many factors like humidity as you mentioned.
 

Donza

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Sometimes there is something that falls from the sky that is definitely not rain, it looks like snow but it doesn't really accumulate. I often wonder if wind-chill has anything to do it with it. I'm sure there are many factors like humidity as you mentioned.
I've seen snow fall in jindy at 11 degrees.
Just random flakes caught in some odd down draft.
Once it got a foot off the ground it just disappeared.
 

Jacksong

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I've seen snow fall in jindy at 11 degrees.
Just random flakes caught in some odd down draft.
Once it got a foot off the ground it just disappeared.

Quite often when it is raining at low elevations I often hear people say it was snowing all day at the top, but the accumulation is next to zero. So is it actually snow? is dry rain and wet snow the same thing? Anything is better than rain, which Honshu has had a fair bit of lately. Even Hokkaido had a bit this season. Lucky it is being covered up quickly.
 

Donza

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Quite often when it is raining at low elevations I often hear people say it was snowing all day at the top, but the accumulation is next to zero. So is it actually snow? is dry rain and wet snow the same thing? Anything is better than rain, which Honshu has had a fair bit of lately. Even Hokkaido had a bit this season. Lucky it is being covered up quickly.
In Australia I've found its dust particles that have formulated a large wide snowflake.
Lack of a better terminology.
Elephant snot
 

Asama

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Sometimes there is something that falls from the sky that is definitely not rain, it looks like snow but it doesn't really accumulate. I often wonder if wind-chill has anything to do it with it. I'm sure there are many factors like humidity as you mentioned.

I quite often see graupel/arare which often falls at quite warm temperatures. It sort of bounces around on the ground and disappears. I think it's caused by liquid rain refreezing on the way down?
 

Ramenman

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Yuzawa Nakazato(one of the lowest altitude ski resorts of Yuzawa) had another 40 - 50cm of snowfall over night at the bottom of the resort.
 

Ramenman

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I'm showing this season's December + January snowfall of JMA weather stations compared to average Dec + Jan and last season's Dec + Jan.

The order is "average season" - "last season" - "this season".

Yuzawa (340m asl)
619cm - 121cm - 612cm (Yuzawa had great December this season, but Dec + Jan is just average)

Nozawa Onsen (576m asl)
642cm - 282cm - 562cm (So, this season is a bit worse than average)


Shirakawa (Gifu Pref, 473m asl)
571cm - 50cm - 604cm (This season is almost average and look at how bad the last season was!)


Hijiori (Yamagata Pref, 330m asl)
822cm - 415cm - 781cm (This season is slightly worse than average season)


Yuda (Iwate Pref, 250m asl)
551cm - 303cm - 714cm (Yuda is having a very good season)


Kutchan (Niseko region, 176m asl)
543cm - 365cm - 552cm (Niseko is having a just average season)


Furano (174m asl)
337cm - 232cm - 267cm (Furano is having relatively bad season)


Last season was by far the worst season for most regions of Japan, which makes us feel "this season is good", however it's just average (mid December's mega snowfall helped us ride deep snow from the very beginning of the season, which is veeeeery good, but when it comes to the amount of snowfall of Dec + Jan, this season is just around average).

Hijiori (Yamagata Pref, 330m asl)
As I wrote above, Hijiori's average Dec + Jan is 822cm. This season was 781cm, so it's a bit smaller than average season. But at least, it was enough to make this tall snow-walls on the road to Hijiori Onsen last month (it was filmed in late January of 2021). You see the road sign of "Hijiori Onsen Ent" on the top left corner of the picture (not a picture I took)
Hiji.jpg
 
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Sandy

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I quite often see graupel/arare which often falls at quite warm temperatures. It sort of bounces around on the ground and disappears. I think it's caused by liquid rain refreezing on the way down?
Graupel is actually snow flakes that encounter supercooled water droplets that grow on the flakes as rime.
 
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Halfhour

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Thanks for the edits Sandy. Maybe grow pair instead of remaining cloaked when you edit. On other threads.
#### Moderator's note ####
Aggressive trolling and general insults to other posters
 

Ramenman

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Some local media are saying the cold wave, which might become the strongest one of this season is likely to hit Japan around 17th and snow might be accumulated even in Kyushu.
EuFrZ-wVoAIsbz2.jpg
 

Zimbooo

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Geez, no OS skiers, or Chinese New Year tourists, should be chokers. LOL
Not that it ever is....just even less.
As Monty Python would say...........you lucky lucky bastard.
 

Jacksong

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Geez, no OS skiers, or Chinese New Year tourists, should be chokers. LOL
Not that it ever is....just even less.
As Monty Python would say...........you lucky lucky bastard.

Lots of foreigners around certain ski areas. Army, expat etc. A very busy long weekend just passed. With entire ski towns booked out, even without normal amount of foreigner tourists, I feel glad Japanese were able to visit their own mountains on foundation day holiday weekend.

Looks like rain tomorrow all over Japan (freezing level around 2000m until afternoon). Hopefully new snow covers it quickly like last week.
 

Ramenman

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Mt.Bandai today. It's a National Holiday week, so ski resorts were rather nicely crowded (as COVID season). Tohoku Shinkansen and Joban Expressway are closed due to the big earthquake, but local people and skiers from other regions were not worried. Yeah, Japanese people are very used to big earthquakes:p
A.jpg
 

Sandy

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Lots of foreigners around certain ski areas. Army, expat etc. A very busy long weekend just passed. With entire ski towns booked out, even without normal amount of foreigner tourists, I feel glad Japanese were able to visit their own mountains on foundation day holiday weekend.

Looks like rain tomorrow all over Japan (freezing level around 2000m until afternoon). Hopefully new snow covers it quickly like last week.
May not be too bad at Shiga Kogen, where I am right now.... although those high freeze levels may persist until evening.

And lake/sea effect snow on Tue/Wed/Thu
 
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Jacksong

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May not be too bad at Shiga Kogen, where I am right now.... although those high freeze levels may persist until evening.

And lake/sea effect snow on Tue/Wed/Thu

It looks like a great position for the low pressure system, although winds will be quite west as low moves north?
 

Sandy

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It looks like a great position for the low pressure system, although winds will be quite west as low moves north?
Need the low pressure to move away, then the lake effect will give us the goods off a NNW wind.
When there's a westerly, go for places near the coast, like Charmant, Arai & Itoigawa Seaside.
 

Sandy

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May not be too bad at Shiga Kogen, where I am right now.... although those high freeze levels may persist until evening.

And lake/sea effect snow on Tue/Wed/Thu
Light rain/sleet/snow mix right now here at Shiga Kogen (Ichinose, 1650m).

Resort bases below that (which is pretty much all in Nagano/Niigata) will have a rough time of things this morning.
 

Sandy

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Snowing nicely now at Shiga Kogen.
Git! Slightly sleety rain melting away all the snow at mine.
Wet here in the village. 10cms up top since 730. Might have to have a little arvo session.
It's rain/snow mix at the base of Shiga Kogen Ichinose. Only 100m vertical up the slope, it's snowing, and accumulating in the trees.
But the overall experience is wet!!!
There's even slushy snow on the roads. Freeze level is probably 1900m, snow level about 1650m-1700m. And about 3cm on the slopes.
 

Sandy

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It's rain/snow mix at the base of Shiga Kogen Ichinose. Only 100m vertical up the slope, it's snowing, and accumulating in the trees.
But the overall experience is wet!!!
There's even slushy snow on the roads. Freeze level is probably 1900m, snow level about 1650m-1700m. And about 3cm on the slopes.
It's changed again..... suddenly snowing heavily and sticking on the top of cars!!!! ...last 10 min!!!
 

Ramenman

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According to JMA, quite many weather stations of JMA made new records of February precipitation today (today's heavy rain was like summer - early Autumn's heavy rain)
 

telenomore

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Thought I'd set the minds at rest of those suffering FOMO for Hokkaido snow. Your not missing anything at the moment. This is now the 4th day straight where temps here in Furano are above zero. Big melt for several days and heavy rain yesterday. Freeze level around 1500-2000m yesterday. Some cold air just coming through but still raining/sleeting with intermittent snow flurries. I have been here a long time and have never seen 4 days straight where day time temps, in mid Feb, have gotten above zero. Last night we had about 20cm of good Aussie wet slush fall on top of a melted messy wet base. Turned back to rain in the morning. Roads in town are a distaster as they have all collapsed, that is the usual solid icy base has melted to the ground level leaving a nightmare of deep ruts making driving a nightmare on pretty much any back street. Real tough one today for the snow clearing machines. One saving grace for my no 1 daughter, I couldn't get the car out this morning to get her to school on time. It'll snow from today with some good falls by the look of the forecast but.......

IMG_1297.jpeg
 

Donza

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Thought I'd set the minds at rest of those suffering FOMO for Hokkaido snow. Your not missing anything at the moment. This is now the 4th day straight where temps here in Furano are above zero. Big melt for several days and heavy rain yesterday. Freeze level around 1500-2000m yesterday. Some cold air just coming through but still raining/sleeting with intermittent snow flurries. I have been here a long time and have never seen 4 days straight where day time temps, in mid Feb, have gotten above zero. Last night we had about 20cm of good Aussie wet slush fall on top of a melted messy wet base. Turned back to rain in the morning. Roads in town are a distaster as they have all collapsed, that is the usual solid icy base has melted to the ground level leaving a nightmare of deep ruts making driving a nightmare on pretty much any back street. Real tough one today for the snow clearing machines. One saving grace for my no 1 daughter, I couldn't get the car out this morning to get her to school on time. It'll snow from today with some good falls by the look of the forecast but.......

IMG_1297.jpeg
Yuck.
That looks shocking.
 
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Asama

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Thought I'd set the minds at rest of those suffering FOMO for Hokkaido snow. Your not missing anything at the moment. This is now the 4th day straight where temps here in Furano are above zero. Big melt for several days and heavy rain yesterday. Freeze level around 1500-2000m yesterday. Some cold air just coming through but still raining/sleeting with intermittent snow flurries. I have been here a long time and have never seen 4 days straight where day time temps, in mid Feb, have gotten above zero. Last night we had about 20cm of good Aussie wet slush fall on top of a melted messy wet base. Turned back to rain in the morning. Roads in town are a distaster as they have all collapsed, that is the usual solid icy base has melted to the ground level leaving a nightmare of deep ruts making driving a nightmare on pretty much any back street. Real tough one today for the snow clearing machines. One saving grace for my no 1 daughter, I couldn't get the car out this morning to get her to school on time. It'll snow from today with some good falls by the look of the forecast but.......

IMG_1297.jpeg

Looks delightful, all primed to freeze into a solid lump.

Feb hasn't really been able to stay cold this year. Seem to be repeating a cycle of a couple of good cold days before 2-3 days of March temperatures. Early spring?
 
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telenomore

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Meanwhile, good conditions on about 25-30cm of overnight snow.
Occasionally, elevation beats latitude
Oh the resort was claiming also about 25cm up high so skiing on fresh to be had but not good conditions IMO. Windy and very low vis and I doubt it was anything resembling powder.
 

Ramenman

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It seems Hokkaido is "relatively" warm today. All 20 or even 30 coldest weather stations of JMA= weather stations in Hokkaido is not rare, but only 5 coldest weather stations of 20 are Hokkaido today and only 2 of 10 coldest weather stations today are Hokkaido (as of 2 pm)

Today's daily low rankings (as of 2pm)
1:Aomori (Sukayu)
2:Fukushima (Washikura)
3:Iwate (Yabukawa)
4:Akita (Hachimantai)
5:Iwate (Kuzakai)
6:Hokkaido (Makkari)
7:Aomori (Yasumiya)
8:Iwate (Okunakayama)
9:Iwate (Kuzumaki)
10:Hokkaido (Otaki)
 

TJ

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A great day here at Cortina. Tried for Tsugaike but couldn't get above the mid station of the gondola due to wind so switched over to Cortina in time to be first on the top lift. Their 3 cm report was obviously taken from a spot that gets blown off. Bottoming out on some turns but it was wet snow under 20 to 25 fresh so even that was fine. Did a little hike to a south facing slope and that had plenty of ice patches amongst knee deep gullies. Obviously the snow was being blown off those faces and depositing on the northsides. Back to those for the next bunch of runs. Me and a mate were the only westerners there I reckon. What I was thinking was going to be an ordinary session turned into one of the best for the season.
 

Sandy

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Oh the resort was claiming also about 25cm up high so skiing on fresh to be had but not good conditions IMO. Windy and very low vis and I doubt it was anything resembling powder.
The snow wasn't powder at Shiga Kogen, but it wasn't too far off...... There was a bit of wind crust, but it was light enough
 
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Ramenman

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Most major ski resorts have had good snowfall since yesterday. Geto Kogen say +80cm since yesterday (+60cm since last night). They say the snowfall of 2021 season has already reached 20m (2,000cm).
Feature4d.gif
 
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