Welcome to the fifth and final Japanese Snow Season on the long term update. As the season comes to a close, I start to wish I made more forecasts here. Japan is such an interesting place to forecast, given it’s unique geography. And this is amazing for powder lovers, who go back there every year. I think the changes I made this year adding climate driver outlooks to the blogs were relatively well received(if you have constructive criticism, feel free to post a comment… I am always looking to improve myself and this blog). Next year, it is certain that the tools of the trade will change, and I will adapt to these new tools, and use them to provide the best forecast I can for this range. Without further ranting, let’s look into the latter half of March and into April.
EC Monthly shows a low over Hokkaido, that brings moderate snowfall from the 26th evening, into the next day for Niseko and surrounds, as well as Northern Honshu. The snowfall fades in the evening of the 27th.
A deep low passes over Southern Honshu on EC Monthly, and brings rainfall for all but the peaks late afternoon on the 28th. The low passes and by the early morning of the 29th, All of the Japanese Alps on Honshu is receiving moderate-heavy snowfall from a NW flow. This continues through to the morning of the 31st, with a slow weakening of snowfall over time. Only light-moderate snowfall will reach Hokkaido on the 29th and 30th.
Another low on EC Monthly passes over Honshu, and brings rainfall to Honshu resorts around lunchtime on the 1st. Later that evening, the rain turns to moderate-heavy snowfall for Honshu resorts, and this continues over into the 2nd, before weakening that evening.
Early on the 4th, a big burst of rainfall hits Central Honshu on EC Monthly, with mostly light snowfall for Northern Honshu and Hokkaido. This clears by the early hours of the 5th.
A system on EC Monthly crosses Honshu in the late hours of the 7th. Hokkaido gets moderate-heavy snowfall into the day of the 8th, while Honshu gets heavy rain. The system moves into the Pacific later on the 8th.
We are currently in MJO Phase 3, EPS(above)and GEFS forecast the MJO to go into weakness this week. MJO Phase 7 provides the most favourability for Japan.
The Stratosphere Polar Vortex currently is relatively weak, which invokes a -AO pattern, which favours snowfall for Japan. The 10 day EC forecast(above) slightly strengthens the polar vortex, which allows the AO to start to return to neutral.
The models reflect this, with EC46 showing the AO returning to neutral.
CFS agrees with this, with a neutral AO profile from the latter half of March into April.
Overall the climate driver outlook will become poorer over the next couple of weeks, worsened by the march into the warmer months. Just the way it is, and that would lead us to the end of this forecast, and my season of forecasting. I came into this season, stating it would be a somewhat above average snow season. From the limited amount of stats I have seen, it looks like this came to fruitation. I would love to know you opinion on my forecasts this year? Any features that you don’t like? Ideas or(Constructive) Criticism? I’d appreciate help on improving the blog for Japanese forecasts.
Thanks so much for reading. I hoped you enjoyed reading 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.
Thanks again for reading this Japanese long range snow forecast, follow me on Twitter @longrangesnow and subscribe to my email list by clicking on the tab on the main header above. It’s been a pleasure making these forecasts for all those who read these musings. Thank you so much for reading and see you next year!