Japan Snow Forecast, January 28 – Back in the Red Zone This Week With Two Major Snow Storms

January 28th, 2021
The clear weather made for some great views this week but the powder is back in Niseko. Photo: Sea and Summit Media


Mountainwatch – The Grasshopper

 Valid Thursday, January 18– Thursday, February 4

A brief spring-like interlude to the Japanese winter last week brought warmer temps, rain and little snowfall. Thankfully, this week our ten-day snow accumulation chart is back in the red for most of Japan’s major ski areas, and although the exact figures on our chart can’t always be trusted, they nonetheless indicate a big week of powder lies ahead.


ECMWF 10-day snow accumulations. Source: windy.com

A ridge lying over Honshu drifts over Hokkaido today, clearing any light snow showers and settling those blustery NW winds. Hot on the heels of the ridge, the Pacific Side of Honshu will cop a mix of snow and rain later today and into early Friday as a low skirts the east coast.

Meanwhile, a rapidly deepening low bowls up the Sea of Japan, spreading freezing westerly winds up Honshu during Friday, while also sucking cold easterlies over Hokkaido, which will turn to the NW on Saturday. It will absolutely puke snow over the country Friday through the weekend, eventually clearing Honshu during Sunday and Hokkaido on Monday. All up we’re looking at 40-80cm for many resorts, with some possibly receiving a little more up high.

We barely get a breather before the next low rolls into the Sea of Japan, spreading a heavy rain band over the country during the second half of Monday into early Tuesday with dastardly warm SW winds.

As usual, however, cold air is never far behind, and it’ll plunge down over the country during the second half of Tuesday, bringing snow to the country through into next weekend! Snowfall will come and go over Honshu, especially over central areas, interspersed with heavy falls with each onset. Hokkaido, meanwhile, will simply receive consistent light-moderate falls of high quality powder.

That’s all from me this week guys, have a great week and see you next Thursday!