This week Japan will see a classic winter weather setup for the country and for people who enjoy the snow the reason why Japan is so famous for how much comes down during the winter months.


Overall some places this week from Hokkaido to Hokoriku could see well over a meter of snowfall. In fact in Aomori prefecture the snow depth at one location topped 200cm being the first now in all of Japan to hit the 2 century mark.


What can we thank for all this fun fluffiness? Well of course Japans famous sea effect snowfall. (Video below)


A look at the Surface Analysis for North East Asia shows the winter weather setup dominating Japan. But typically this only lingers for 1-2 days at a time, and rarely longer and as not as potent as we are seeing this week.

Winter Weather Setup

This is thanks to a blocking high north of a low pressure area near Kamchatka. This is holding that low in place which in return forces it to continue to interact with the high pressure over China setting up a tight pressure gradient across the sea of Japan.  (WEATHER 101: the tighter the pressure gradient the higher the winds) Typhoon strength wind gust up to 126kph are to be expected along the sea of Japan coastline including Akita, Niigata and Gifu prefectures through the work week. Other areas further north could see up to 108kph along with the additional snowfall in the forecast.

Through the next 24hrs;

Hokoriku 70CM

Tohoko and Northern Kanto 50CM

Tokai 30CM


Of course one can expect travel delays along with the threat of Avalanche with this weather setup. For those excited maybe about hitting the slopes do keep in mind there is a high threat of avalanches for central Japan and also in to Hokkaido.  I personally would not be venturing down any steep back country slopes over the next several days. Today is a storm day, a good day to stay in the trees and have fun.

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