An absurd amount of snowfall continues to dominate Japan today bringing brilliant snow conditions for those hitting the slopes this coming weekend but also dangerous travel weather and an increased risk of Avalanche.

First lets discuss what is bringing all of this snowfall.  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. 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.



Over the next 24hrs up to 90cm of snowfall is still possible in Hokoriku with another meter on top of that through Saturday and Sunday. On another note those in Tokyo there is a slight risk of snow Saturday afternoon through Evening, I wouldn’t say its 100% though since it might be to dry at the surface creating virga snow over the city, but the chance is still there.

For starters snowboarders and skiers (if you’re a blader you will drown, that is all) will have lots of powder to have fun with this weekend. Do note white out conditions and chilly temperatures really are going to dominate. But if you can get over that on piste conditions even will be superb over the coming days.  The snow should come down heavy enough that lines will be reset over the course of minutes throughout Saturday and Sunday.

I say on piste though, if you leave the ski resorts you run the risk of a extreme threat of Avalanche. When warnings like the one are posted below even the most skilled skiers sit back and go nope. Mother nature is no match, just stay at the resort and have fun kicking up the smooth powder stashes.  Avalanche report here. 

TRAVEL: The Japan Department of Infrastructure, Land and Transport has put out a advisory telling people to stay indoors or try not to travel this coming weekend unless during a emergency.  White out conditions will make roadways across Hokoriku very slick and dangerous especially mountain roads which already are challenging especially for people visiting the area.


The storm should start to calm on Monday but scattered snow showers will continue in to Tuesday before a break finally arrives mid-week.

Follow James Reynolds on Twitter, he is in Niigata this week documenting this storm.

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