What Does La Nina Mean For Japan? | Last La Nina Japan Saw 914″ of Snow…

D’Arcy McLeish | | WeatherWeather
Miles Clark in the Hakuba, Japan backcountry. photo: zach paley
Miles Clark in the Hakuba, Japan backcountry. photo: zach paley

In short, La Nina means GO TO JAPAN. A lot of this weather stuff gets a little confusing. La Nina, El Nino, ocean temperatures, blobs, atmospheric rivers.

The bottom line for skiers is this: is it going to puke this winter or not? According to various sources, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), this is going to be a La Nina year. Which means Japan might just be the best place to shred this winter.

The coming La Nina will most likely be a weak La Nina and the last time we had a weak La Nina, 2011/12, Japan got blasted with above average snow and below average temperatures.  The Niigata prefecture (Myoko ski resort) official snow records for 2011/12 show that they got 914″ of snow that season.

914 inches of snow!

evo.com is taking skiers and riders to Japan this January and February (which just happens to be the best time to go…)evo’s got all the details worked out for you so all you have to do is show up, ski deep pow, eat great food, poke monkeys in hot springs with sticks, rip sick terrain, and get blown away by amazing culture.

La Nina's effects on temperature and weather in the Pacific.
La Nina’s effects on temperature and weather in the Pacific.

La Nina comes around about every two to seven years. Put simply, a La Nina event is when the surface temperature of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean is cooler than normal. In Japan, this means that the typical snow producing weather pattern of moist air getting pushed higher and into the prevailing winds, which then cools as it reaches Japan, will be magnified and strengthened in a La Nina year.

Literally chest deep in Japan, 2015. photo: miles clark/snowbrains
Literally chest deep in Japan, 2015. photo: miles clark/snowbrains

As of this month, both the NOAA and the JMA are predicting a 70% likelihood of a La Nina event through the fall and winter. For Japan, this is good news, maybe the best news, maybe even the most epic news ever. La Nina years have seen some of the biggest snowfall years in recorded weather history in Japan. The last two, 2005-06 and 2011-12 were off the hook, with massive snowfalls and a limitless supply of powder days.

Japan gets more snow than anywhere on Earth.

There are places in this ancient island kingdom that see 1,200-1,500 inches of snow in a single season! Yep. Over a hundred feet. And that’s not that uncommon. Hakuba, Japan, averages about 300 inches of snow in January alone and once had a spell of 600 inches over ten weeks.

The mountains of Hakuba, Japan are for real. photo: miles clark/snowbrains
The mountains of Hakuba, Japan are for real. photo: miles clark/snowbrains

So as of now, you should be calling your boss to tell them you’re taking time off to ski in Japan this winter. When is the best time to go? January and February.

But believe us when we tell you that motoring off to Japan with a couple of buddies, no contacts and no guidance is the wrong thing to do. It is so much better to book an organized trip. There is a lot of choice in Japan; lots of different places to shred, from ski resorts to small, local hills to backcountry areas and it is an absolute maze if you don’t know where you’re going or understand the ins and outs of local ski culture.

All you have to do is show up, ski your face off, eat good food and enjoy one of the most magical places on earth. 

Oh great, a tobogan ride. Weeeee!!!
The deep. Miles Clark in Japan. photo: zach paley

Fortunately for you, evo.com is running trips this Jan/Feb. We know these trips, ‘cause we’ve been on them. Offering a plug and play ski experience, evo.com is one of the better ways to ski Hakuba, Japan. Basically, all you have to do is show up, ski your face off, eat really good food and enjoy one of the most magical places on earth. No brainer. So get your kit ready and drop evo.com a line. Drop us a line, too, ‘cause we’ll be in Japan in January, reporting the goods and skiing our arses off.

Be safe, ski hard.

If you book with evo.com by November 15th, you will receive a $400 discount. The following trips are happening this year in Hakuba and Myoko:

These evo Japan trips are hot, they’re sexy, and they will sell out.  

  • Trip 1: January 29 – February 5, 2017, Hakuba, Japan
  • Trip 2: February 5 – February 12, 2017, Hakuba, Japan
  • Trip 3: January 29 – February 5, 2017, Myoko, Japan
  • Trip 4: February 5 – February 12, 2017, Myoko, Japan 

More information here:  Evo Japan Trips 2016


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