Japan on the long term 10th Feb

Hello everybody, It’s the Snowy Hibbo coming in for a second last update to the long range forecast for the season. This time we are going to give a forecast for the Late Feb/Early March period, using models and climate drivers to explain the forecast. Let’s get started….

27-28 Feb

EC Monthly shows a low passing over the Southern Half of Japan, with the northern flank of the low, bringing moderate-heavy snowfall to Central Honshu over the 27th and 28th. On the 28th, light snowfall occurs in North Honshu and Hokkaido. CFS and GFS hint at lows coming from the South twice over these two days, bringing moderate-heavy snowfall up high in Central Honshu, plus a few odd snow showers in Hokkaido.

1-2 Mar

A fast moving disturbance across Honshu on EC Monthly, brings moderate-heavy snowfall for Central & Northern Honshu on the 1st and 2nd morning, with light snowfall in Hokkaido. CFS shows a low to the South on the 1st, bringing moderate-heavy snowfall to Central Honshu up high, on that day.

3-5 Mar

A massive low crosses Honshu on the 3rd on EC Monthly, bringing heavy rain/sleet mix at first, but then heavy snowfall that evening and into the 4th over Honshu’s resorts. Heavy snowfall in Hokkaido starts on the 3rd evening, into the 4th, with snowfall easing on both islands over the 4th evening and the 5th. CFS shows a disturbance passing over Northern Honshu on the 5th, causing moderate snowfall to that region.

7-8 Mar

On EC Monthly, a front passes over Honshu and Hokkaido on the evening of the 7th, bringing moderate-heavy snowfall overnight, easing during the day on the 8th. CFS shows moderate snowfall for Honshu developing later on the 8th.

10-11 Mar

EC Monthly shows a disturbance crossing Honshu on the 10th, with moderate-heavy snowfall developing during the day over Honshu and the Niseko part of Hokkaido. It persists overnight, but weakens on the 11th. CFS shows a bit of light snowfall early in the 11th in Central Honshu, but mostly snowfree, until the 12th with a low from the South.

Climate Drivers

The MJO is currently in Phase 7, the Phase that produces the most snowfall for Japan through manipulation of the jetstream and rossby waves. GEFS forecasts the MJO to stay in Phase 7, until at least the 23rd. EPS forecasts to move out of Phase 7 next weekend, weakening through Phase 8, into the circle of weakness. It will be interesting to see which model progresses, but the next week should show positive impact on Japan from the MJO, and the MJO should be fully or nearly weakened by the end of the month.



The Stratospheric Polar Vortex is in the process of a proper Sudden Stratospheric Warming, crippling the polar vortex, and allowing a proper -AO pattern to take place. Here is the 10 day forecast from EPS.

The Arctic Oscillation is forecast by EC46(below) to go negative in the Late Feb/Early March period. CFS also shows the same, extending the negative AO period to mid/late March.

So the Stratopshere Polar Vortex is weakening, bringing a -AO, that brings more snowfall options for Japan. The MJO should provide good oppurtunity in the medium term, so all considered, it’s looking pretty good as we enter Spring.

As said before, this will be my second last update. Next Japanese update will be in two-three weeks time, that will include the regular forecast for Mid-Late March. But it will also include a review of the season as a whole, showing how all the climate drivers work towards making the season as we saw it.

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.

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