Hey everyone, it’s the Snowy Hibbo. Welcome to the Japanese long term snow outlooks for the 17/18 season. I hope summer (or winter) was good, but now it’s time to start looking for the Sea effect in the Sea of Japan. As usual, I will display the EC Monthly charts for all to see and give an explanation. But this season, I am also going to delve into the climate drivers to hopefully get an outcome that way. So let’s get started.
GFS shows a major low crossing Southern Hokkaido on the 15th, which brings heavy snowfall there, and delivers a NNE fetch for Honshu, which also gets heavy snowfall on the 16th and 17th, clearing on the 18th. EPS Control shows a trough, that brings wet snow on the 16th, with the troughline, and then colder conditions on the 17th with a NNE wind for Honshu. It also delivers moderate snowfall for Hokkaido.
This system on EC Monthly shows mostly westerly winds, which aren’t very good. It favours Northern Honshu for moderate snowfall from the 19th to the 21st. CFS shows NNE winds for the 18th and 19th, bringing moderate-heavy snowfall for Central Honshu.
Early Christmas present from the EC Monthly! A seriously juicy system is progged on EC Monthly, with perfect winds for Honshu for some serious accumulation of snowfall. Hokkaido will also benefit with some moderate-heavy snowfall, particularly to the north and in the later stages of the system. CFS shows a low on the 23rd crossing Honshu, bringing rain. On the 24th, a NNE wind develops bringing moderate snowfall for Honshu and Hokkaido. This wind continues to develop snowfall for the Japanese Alps, until the 28th.
An abysmal system from EC Monthly coming over Honshu, with a whole lot of rain. CFS shows a NNE wind, as described in the previous paragraph, over the 27th and 28th, bringing moderate snowfall.
30 Dec-1 Jan
EC Monthly shows a low going across the Sea of Japan, and delivering heavy snowfall to Hokkaido on the 30th and 31st. The back end of the low brings a nice NNW fetch for Honshu, which gets moderate-heavy snowfall from later on the 30th through to the first day of the New Year. CFS shows a disturbance coming over Honshu, that brings rain on the 29th. The NNE wind over Honshu doesn’t look too bad on the 30th and 31st for moderate snowfall, but the winds on the 1st look too weak for much snowfall.
The Arctic Oscillation is currently looking Negative on GEFS and EPS. CFS paints a similar picture.
CFS shows a -AO until around mid January. This correlates with colder temperatures in the East Asia region, and more snowfall for the Japanese Alps.
The Siberian High is forecast by GFS to remain in a fairly strong trend, which helps Japanese snowfall. It doesn’t look great on EC, but the positioning is pretty close to Japan, which provides a better opportunity to create that NNE wind off Siberia.
Finally the MJO…
The MJO looks like it will follow a Phase 4-5-6-7 pattern, according to the EC Monthly(above)and many other models. Phase 7 of the MJO is correlated with strong snowfall in the Japanese Alps. So the MJO pattern looks good for Japan, if the forecast sticks.
Overall the climate drivers look pretty good for Japan, and with some good options on the sub-seasonal models, we could see a pretty good December IMO.
Thanks so much for reading. I hoped you enjoyed it….
Disclaimer: There is low skill asssociated with using long range model forecasts to find snow systems. All systems you see here will change, as the date gets closer and may not eventuate all together. I don’t give much accuracy to these forecasts, but you can give these a bit of your time and your dreams might come true 😉 I find the chase of these long range snow systems awesome, so come and join me! The climate driver forecasts tend to have a bit more skill than the model forecasts, but certainly don’t put all your money on them. However, climate drivers are an awesome tool to explain the weather around us.
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