The Grasshopper – The Latest Snow Forecast

The Grasshopper – The Latest Snow Forecast

Weekly Japanese Forecast – A mixed week with some big snowfalls


Valid Thursday 12th March to Thursday 19th March


Well, here we are folks, the last forecast of the season. It’s been an interesting season to say the least, and this week’s forecast will stick with the trend.


First up, we have freshies out there today, then Hokkaido and Northern Honshu cop a nice dump of 10-20cm+ during Friday. The cold front that brings this dump will stall just north of central Honshu, and when a low swings past there during Saturday there’ll be heavy rain down low, but something like 15-25cm of new snow up higher.


We barely bat an eyelid before a second low brings us more snow from later on Sunday, through Monday and into early Tuesday. Wednesday and next Thursday is likely to bring another large mix of rain and snow.


Thursday – Friday

After a nice top-up last night to repair some of the damage from earlier in the week, we’re left with the tail end of the cold W-NW winds and snow showers. That should all clear up this morning as winds turn to the SW and temps start to rise.


Those warm SW winds will strengthen overnight. Fortunately, a rather vigorous cold front passes over Hokkaido and northern Honshu during Friday morning and afternoon, briefly dumping a heavy load of wetter-than-usual snow, followed by light n’ fluffy snow showers and cold westerlies.


Some of those snow showers should also reach parts of Central Honshu later Friday afternoon, but temps won’t be as cold, so it’ll fall as the wet stuff on low-mid slopes.


Saturday – Tuesday

With the cold air parked just north of Central Honshu, a low swings past on the Pacific Side. There’ll be heavy precipitation over central Honshu and moderate falls over the southern half of Northern Honshu, but due to the placement of that cold air, the former will see rain on lower slopes while the latter should receive snow to low levels.


Northerlies in the wake of the low will pull the cold air down over all of Honshu with a few snow showers about the place early Sunday.


With barely a breath in-between, a second low will bear down from the north, starting snowfalls off over Central Honshu Sunday afternoon and continuing through Monday as the low passes overhead.


As the low tracks away to the east during the latter half of Monday, even colder NW winds will sweep over Japan, also bringing snow showers to northern Honshu and Hokkaido.


Remaining snow showers clear Tuesday as warm SW winds kick-up again.


Wednesday – next Thursday

A system from the west is likely to bring heavy precipitation to Honshu on Wednesday and possibly into early next Thursday. Temps don’t look crazy warm at this stage, so snow should fall on low slopes, but maybe not quite to base levels at least until slightly colder NW winds hit.


Hokkiado may also receive a hefty dump from cold westerlies later next Thursday – it’s a big MAYBE at this stage


ECMWF 10-day snow accumulations. Source:


That’s all from me for Japan this season. I won’t be putting my feet up for long however, because the southern Hemisphere is starting to chill off, and you know what that means!

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.



Weekly North America Forecast – Deep blower pow for most, but patient Sierras to reap the biggest reward


Valid Thursday 12th March to Thursday 19th March


This is it folks, my last forecast for the North American season. And what a way to sign off from an exceptional season; there is so much snow falling this week it was a real challenge putting it into words.


Significant low pressure stewing over the states will see an icy airmass descend southwards, providing deep blower powder for most. The big news, however, is the 60-120cm+ that is expected to fall in the Sierras. They say that a quiet winter will bring a busy spring, and that certainly looks to be the case this season.


Snow accumulations of 25-50cm+ can be found throughout the Rockies and Cascades, while the Coast Mountains of Canada will take a well-deserved breather with just a sprinkling of a few centimetres.


Thursday – Sunday

Low pressure boils up over states during the next few days. This drags a cold arctic airmass from the icy interior down over Canada, and into Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Super fluffy, feather-like snow will follow suit.


Skies will mostly clear over these northern areas this weekend, giving you that amazing crispy winter feeling with powder to shred, but the snow will keep coming down over southern Idaho, Montana and Wyoming during Sunday and into Monday as this area marks the boundary between the icy easterly airstream, and warm moist southerlies to the south.


Sucked in by the low pressure, these warm, moist southerlies will dump snow over the southern Rockies during Friday night into Saturday. Snow accumulations will be around 15-30cm+, so a fairly decent dump indeed, although not as light and fluffy as we’re used to.


Meanwhile, a sneaky low will tip-toe down the west coast, wrapping itself in that same icy airmass from the Arctic. High quality snow will spread down the Cascades and into the Sierras during Friday. Heavy snowfalls will shift from the Cascades to the Sierras during Saturday as the low continues south, and will continue through Sunday.


Monday – next Thursday

As skies clear up in most other places during Monday, it’ll continue to dump in the Sierras. The eastern ranges of the Colorado will however, see some more snow late Monday.


The sneaky low will snoop farther inland from Tuesday onwards. Snow will become less widespread and button off in the Sierras, although not clear completely, while spreading inland to the Rockies south of Southern Idaho-Montana with some moderate-heavy falls expected.


ECMWF model 10-day snow accumulations. Source:



That’s all from me for North America this season. I won’t be putting my feet up for long however, because the Southern Hemisphere is starting to chill off, and you know what that means!

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