The Grasshopper – The Latest Snow Forecast

The Grasshopper – The Latest Snow Forecast

Japan Forecast – Powder day for Honshu & Sunshine for Hokkaido before Mayhem Monday hits.


Thursday 7th March (Japan time)


Ten-day snow accumulations are tantalisingly sizeable. Source::


Now that we’re in the thick of spring, we’ll see it all this week. Rain on Honshu will turn to snow tonight, with Friday set to offer up some good powder and what could be the best conditions of the week for resorts there. Hokkaido will offer fantastic feel-good weather along with a predawn dusting on Sunday to top it all off. Things take a turn on Mayhem Monday however, as an angry low rampages over Japan with super strong winds, heavy rain and snowfalls eventually abating on Tuesday.


Ten-day snow accumulations are tantalisingly sizeable, but the bulk of this will pile up on mid-upper slopes with wetter slushier stuff lower down. Adding to that, some models show a rip-snorter of a snowstorm next weekend that may or may not come to fruition. It would certainly be a fairytale end to what is my last forecast for the season. That’s right folks, this is indeed my last and it has been a blast, but there are still plenty or turns to be made this season before hanging up the skis. See you all again when the southern hemisphere turn on.


Thursday 7 Mar:

A low sitting off the Pacific Coast of Honshu is currently dumping snow onto mid & upper slopes, but rain lower down. Temps will steadily drop from later this afternoon as strong northerly winds hit, with snowfalls lowering to base levels. It’s a lovely day on Hokkaido with plenty of sunshine and winds out of the N-NE.


Friday 8 Mar:

Snowfalls will gradually peter out on Honshu as northerly winds turn to the west. Accumulations from this event will mostly be within the 15-25cm range, so make the most of this fresh bonanza while you can. Hokkaido should have a beautiful sunrise and sunset, with cloud and maybe a snowflake or two in between.


Saturday 9 Mar:

A high passes over southern Honshu in the early hours, turning the winds over Japan to the SW and causing temps to steadily rise to a balmy day with a mix of sun and cloud.


Sunday 10 Mar:

There’ll be a predawn dusting on Hokkaido, with central parts receiving the most, eventually clearing to a beaut day as winds ease. On Honshu, high cloud will thicken during the afternoon as a low approaches from the East China Sea, spreading rain up to central Honshu at night.


Monday 11 Mar:

The low will rampage up Japan with strong winds and warm temps adding to the mayhem caused by rain. There’ll be really heavy falls, especially on the Pacific side of Japan, which will turn to snow about the tops of Honshu at night. Snow will fall to low levels on Hokkaido at first, then gradually lift to upper slopes at night.


Tuesday 12 Mar:

The angry low will track away to the north while rain and snowfalls gradually peter out, but there may be more showers later, which will fall as snow on upper slopes. Winds will blow a gale over northern Honshu and Hokkaido.


Wednesday 13 Mar:

Snow showers and flurries will blow in on a westerly wind, which will be quite strong. The snowfalls will be a bit wet and heavy at low levels.

Friday 4 October – Nice today and Saturday, windy Sunday, then 5cm of white gold


Synoptic Outlook

Here we are guys and gals, the last forecast of the season. Resorts will shut up shop this weekend, except Perisher will keep the dream alive for another week. The snow depth chart at Spencer’s Creek is taking its usual rapid dive, after what has been a great season marked by one big dump per month.

Today and tomorrow will be the nicest days left of the official season, even though a weak front will throw up a bit of cloud.

Hairdryer NW winds will go absolutely nuts on Sunday, as a low coming hot off Western Australia barges over Tassie, with severe gales likely.

After a bit of wet stuff later on Monday, cold W-SW winds on the backside of the low will surge over the Aussie Alps turning water to white gold. Snow showers should continue into Tuesday and we could see accumulations around the 5cm mark; time to head backcountry I reckon.


Image of The Day


Not bad today and Saturday but windy on Sunday as a low barges over Tassie. Cold W-SW winds on the backside of the low will drop around 5cm Monday night and Tuesday. Source: NZ Metservice (vandalised by the Grasshopper)


Friday 4 October

A fine start, but it’ll cloud over Victoria later this morning and NSW this afternoon as westerly winds change SW. A spot of rain or drizzle tonight.


Saturday 5 October

A bit of cloud at the start and end of the day, with sunshine in between. SW winds die away, then a light northerly develops. Another spot of drizzle at night.


Sunday 6 October

Warm hairdryer NW winds will go nuts, reaching severe gale in exposed spots, although it’ll be fine with some high cloud.


Monday 7 October

Becoming cloudy with patchy drizzle. Turning to rain in the evening with snow gradually lowering to base levels overnight as strong NW winds turn to a cold westerly.


Extended Outlook

After snow showers peter out on Tuesday, cold southerlies will die away on Wednesday.

Easterlies are likely to develop on Thursday and persist through next weekend, while a low spins up in the Tasman Sea. During this time, we should see a fair amount of cloud and possibly some rain and drizzle.

That’s all from the Grasshopper this season folks. Keep and eye out for my forecasts for North America and Japan, starting mid December. If you have a question or feedback for me, hit me up on facebook.

Friday 27 September – A mild, windy weekend, followed by a wintry, snowy few days



Synoptic Outlook

The strong, chilly SW flow over New Zealand will pump another 10-20cm of snow onto Ruapehu today, where reports say 24-47cm has already fallen in recent days. This of course comes with blizzard conditions, but  will add another nice layer to the 1-3m deep snowpack.

Mild NW winds will blow a gale over the South Island this weekend, sending a scattering of rain over from the Main Divide, while a low system approaches from the Tasman Sea.

After the low passes over centre of NZ during the early hours of Monday, another surge of cold air from the SW will spread snow up the country. There is a fair amount of uncertainty regarding how much snow will fall – if the winds are tilted more to the south we’ll get a lot, more to the west and Canterbury may miss out.


Image of The Day


More southwesterlies today, and another 10-20cm more snow for Ruapehu. Source: NZ Metservice (vandalised by the Grasshopper)


Friday 27 September

A cloudy start for the Southern Lakes, but cloud will pop out more and more through the day, as chilly SW winds turn to the west.

Canterbury will be nice and sheltered again with mostly clear skies. Light SW winds turn to the west.

Snowing throughout the day on Ruapehu. Gale SW winds with blizzard conditions will gradually abate somewhat.


Saturday 28 September

Gale NW winds over the South Island will blow high cloud over Canterbury and scattered showers over the Southern Lakes, where snow levels will lift above 1700m.

Fairly cloudy up Ruapehu with a possible rain/snow shower or two. Westerly winds, strong at first.


Sunday 29 September

Strong to gale NW winds continue to blow scattered rain over the South Island, but it should clear up over the Southern Lakes for most of the afternoon.

Rain and drizzle at times on Ruapehu as NW winds strengthen.


Monday 30 September

Snow falling over the Southern Lakes, most likely spreading to Canterbury during the afternoon as gale northwesterlies turn to the SW.

A rainy ol day up Ruapehu, with heavy falls and W-NW gales. Snow levels lowering to about 1700m at times


Extended Outlook

Strong, cold and snowy southwesterlies continue to blow over the country during Tuesday and Wednesday. The Southern Lakes and Ruapehu will do well, but sheltering in Canterbury will see little snow falling there.

A high in the Tasman will make its presence felt during Thursday and next Friday, but doesn’t actually make landfall before the next storm hits next weekend.

That’s all from me for the New Zealand Season; it’s been awesome. Some ski fields have already shut up shop, while others will keep cranking till mid-late October. I’ll keep the Aussie forecasts going through the first week of October, then look out for Japan and North America forecasts from December. Join my weekly email list by filling in the box below. If you have a question or feedback for me, hit me up on facebook.



North American Forecast – Spring Snowfalls Continue


Wednesday 6th March (Pacific time)


Yet another awesome ten-day snow accumulation chart. This one however, shows good snowfalls more evenly spread throughout North America. Source::


The second week of spring looks set to be a doozy with good snowfalls more evenly spread throughout North America compared to previous weeks. This is all thanks to a broad and complex low-pressure system, which drifts over western North America during the next few days, followed a cold airmass pushing south later in the week. With this being the last forecast of the season, there couldn’t be better way to sign out of one of the best seasons in living memory – this one will go down in the books for sure. Happy spring skiing to you all, I’m heading into the back country and will reappear once the leaves are falling in the Southern Hemisphere.


Thursday 7 Mar:

A broad and complex area of low pressure covers almost the entire western half of North America providing scattered light-moderate snowfalls for all-and-sundry, with pockets of heavier falls along the Rockies during the first half of the day as well as the Sierras during the second half. It may be a bit wet and heavy on lower slopes of many resorts due to fairly warm temps.


Friday 8 Mar:

Scattered snowfalls throughout western North America will gradually clear late in the day or at night as all of that low pressure migrates east. The mountains of Wyoming, Utah and Colorado look to gain the most with some heavier (moderate) falls, but again it might be a bit wet and slushy on lower slopes, as temps remain warm there. Temps should be cold enough elsewhere.


Saturday 9 Mar:

High pressure will see a mix of sun and cloud, with just a smattering of leftover flurries over the American Rockies during the morning and isolated snow showers in the Sierras.


Sunday 10 Mar:

Weak low pressure develops over the southern states to provide isolated snow showers for the southern Cascades and Sierras, which eventually spreads inland to Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico at night with decent, moderate-ish falls on the cards. Plenty of sunshine for resorts farther north.


Monday 11 Mar:

After what feels like an eternity, Canada will finally see a good dump of powder courtesy of a cold front rolling in from the Gulf of Alaska. There’ll be moderate-to-heavy snowfalls along the Coast Mountains and light-to-moderate falls further inland. The front will also roll over the Cascades later in the day with moderate-to-heavy falls.

Snowfalls farther south over Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico may actually be heavy at times, especially over the lower two states, with possible thunderstorms to boot.


Tuesday 12 Mar:

The front from the previous day continues to spread light-to-moderate snowfalls south and east from Canada and the Cascades all the way to the Sierras and Utah. Meanwhile, moderate-heavy snowfalls over Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico will ease and become few and far between.


Wednesday 13 Mar:

Scattered light snowfalls throughout the Rockies, but as the cold airmass continues pushing south, there’ll be some slightly heavier, moderate-ish falls over Arizona and New Mexico. Any leftover flurries along the Pacific crest will clear early.

Latest Outlooks

Who is The Grasshopper ?

The Grasshopper. Some say he hatched one summer on a Himalayan plateau. As cold Autumn winds set in, he stumbled upon a scrap of goretex shed by some unfortunate climber and turned it into the smallest snowsuit ever. Then he strapped himself into a nearby leaf and carved his way down the mountains, hitching a ride with some hikers back to civilisation.

Now Mountainwatch’s resident meteorology sensei, this season we can expect a lot from the little critter. His beloved monthly outlooks across Australia and New Zealand over the southern hemisphere winter are being replaced with outlooks for both Japan and North America over November and December leading into the northern hemisphere winter. From there, the little critter will go into overdrive producing weekly forecasts for Japan and North America from December through to March. No doubt he’ll be run off his feet, so it’s a good thing he has six.