One of Japan’s most northerly ski areas reported its earliest ever snowfall on the morning of August 17th. Mount Kurodake in the town of Kamikawa in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido observed the earliest snowfall since records began. The ski island of Hokkaido is home to many ski resorts and has a reputation for deep powder in winter, including the world-famous Niseko.
The snow fell at the top of the 6,509-foot high mountain six weeks earlier than last year’s. The previous earliest snowfall date on record was Aug. 21, 2002. The average date is Sept. 18.
The snow was reported by Rinyu Kanko Co., a Sapporo-based firm that operates a ropeway on the mountain. According to the company, the manager of an evacuation cabin about 2,300-feet from the peak noticed the falling snow at around 1 am on Aug. 17, and surrounding areas had a slight dusting the following morning.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Sapporo Regional Headquarters, a mass of cold air swept over Hokkaido following the passage of a low-pressure system. The lowest temperature in Sapporo in the early hours of Aug. 17 was 56F, 10-degrees lower than the average for this time of year, and about the same as the mid-September average.