Winter Storm to bring Flooding and Heavy Snowfall across Japan including Tokyo

Another southern coast low is rolling its way across the country of Japan today bringing its usual mixed bag of unfavorable weather to residents from Okinawa to Hokkaido. 

In Okinawa we have been getting comments on our facebook page this morning of heavy rainfall persistant for the past 2 days. This is the leading edge of the storm that is moving north east and even though it is ushering in warm temperatures which could push record breaking Friday it will also be accompanied by continued rainfall.  The current record high in January for Okinawa is 26C, we are looking at a high of 25 possibly 26 on Friday.

Visible Satellite

Further north east in Kyushu and Western Honshu up to 100-120mm is expected to fall Friday evening. The problem here of course is short time heavy rain but also rapid snow melt from the storm earlier this week to hit this region. That means flash flooding and river level rising is possible through Saturday. At the very least have a umbrella ready but be aware of flood prone areas with this storm.


Despite this storm bringing in warm air it does look like things will be just cold enough across central Japan to change that rain over to snowfall. Wet heavy snow that will accumalate fast on roadways across the region.

In Tokyo up to 5-10cm is likely according to JMA. While people may think that is not a lot in Tokyo it is enough to shut the city down. Power will stay on and people will not run out of food, but travel will be restricted due to the impossible nature of removing snowfall in the city.

This is common with southern coast lows in January and February. The track below shows you the general path these storms tend to take.

For the skiers and snowboarders (check out this link if you want to hit up the mountains of Japan) it looks like plenty of snowfall in the Japanese alps this weekend.  It will start off with rain here on Friday in lower elevations but quickly change over to snowfall as cold air is dragged in across the sea of Japan.

According to JMA in Nagano we could see up to 40cm of snowfall while higher elevations will be looking at even more of deep (but heavy) snowfall through Saturday morning.

Snowfall Friday Night

Snowfall Friday Night

For those who want to get out and cut up some lines Saturday its going to be one of the better days of the season thus far to do so.

The snow will last through Saturday before tapering off in to the afternoon hours in Central Japan. Depending on how much falls in the Tokyo area expect travel delays to last anywhere from Saturday night through Sunday.

Please watch me on NHKWORLD Monday – Friday in the morning hours Japan time for global and Japan forecast.



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