Japan Meteorological Agency says there's an 80% chance of normal or below average snowfall in winter 2019/20


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The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued its seasonal forecast for winter 2019/20, which covers December 2019 through to February 2020. It is a forecast that we wait for with bated breath each year, while also insisting that our readers take the findings with a grain of salt (there are many variables at play).

In years past there have been bold snowfall predictions and speculation about the influence of weather events like La Niña and El Niño. (For the weather junkies amongst you, ENSO neutral conditions are likely to continue through to March 2020 – see below.) This year is perhaps a little less interesting, and somewhat less certain.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has said that there is an 40% chance of below average snowfall, a 40% chance of average snowfall and a 20% chance of above average levels. Temperature predictions follow a similar trend, showing the likelihood of warmer than average, average and cooler than average temperatures at 40%, 40% and 20% respectively.

In short, there’s a better chance that we’ll see less favourable conditions (less snowfall and warmer temperatures) than the alternative, but there’s certainly no reason to panic.

As we say on a regular basis, Japan’s ski resorts are famous world-wide for the enormous quantities of snow that fall each season, and a bad year in a resort like Niseko would be a good one in most ski resorts around the world. Now bring on winter!

Japan 2019/20 winter forecast – snowfall

Japan Meteorological Agency’s snowfall forecast for winter 2019/20

Japan 2019/20 winter forecast – temperature

Japan Meteorological Agency’s temperature forecast for winter 2019/20

Japan 2019/20 winter forecast – sunshine

Japan Meteorological Agency’s sunshine forecast for winter 2019/20

ENSO Neatral

ENSO neutral conditions are likely (60%) to continue through to March 2020


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