This season Japan has experienced a record amount of snowfall. Both the Central and Northern regions of the country are prone to major storms with epic accumulation each season because of their geography. Featuring tall mountains right next to the open ocean, it’s the perfect combination for massive snowstorms to dump. Moisture is sucked up from the ocean into the atmosphere and dumped on the massive peaks right next door.
Because of this, locals to the area are used to large amounts of accumulation of snow from November to February. However, this year’s totals have even shocked areas used to lots of snow. The island has experienced a record-breaking year with a big storm starting the season off after 30in accumulated over 24 hours in November.
Storms over this last week of February brought totals of snow up to 15ft in some areas. A majority of the accumulation came from the most recent storm, a bomb cyclone, which brought 12ft. A combination of low and high pressure from the northeast and southeast conjoined, pushing moisture-filled air over the Japanese Alps and then dumping massive amounts of heavy snow onto the region.
Tsunan, Niigata broke the all-time record of 13.6ft, set in 2006, after 13.7ft of snow fell. On the Island of Hokkaido, multiple towns reported receiving between three and six feet of snow. Even parts of western Japan, where massive totals aren’t normally expected, received record amounts of snow.
This past bomb cyclone brought chaos to many of the major cities. Traffic jams resulting from accidents as well as train delays and closures put a damper on getting around the city. With February coming to a close, locals are looking forward to springtime. While the weather slowly begins to warm up eventually breaking down this snowmaking machine it won’t let up quite yet. The region is to expect a few more storms.