Despite yesterday’s above-freezing foray, it seems we’ve entered “real winter” with temperatures this weekend set to drop. Here at the Hokkaido Explorer Operations Center, we’re ready to call an official neyuki (根雪), translated poetically as lingering snow.
Oh, how it shall linger. If you commute by JR or car, you may take a special interest in just how wintery a given day will be. Here’s a refresher on the best sources of weather news for Hokkaido. If you don’t read Japanese, we’ve added some brief notes to help navigate each page.
Follow the above link for the Sapporo forecast page. It offers self-explanatory temperature forecasts plus the chance of precipitation under each time block. Look out for severe weather information just above the weekly forecast area. At the moment Sapporo’s region is under a snow storm and high wave advisory（chuiho, 注意報) , not as urgent as a warning (keiho, 警報). To find a local forecast outside of Sapporo, type the city or town name in the search box (romaji or Japanese both work).
The Japan Meteorological Agency (English home page)
The JMA’s English website is another great source of detailed info, but getting a simple daily forecast takes a few extra clicks. The JMA’s strength lies in extreme weather info — use this to check out storm warnings, current radar images, or info on typhoons and even tornadoes. (Let’s not forget earthquakes while we’re at it.) If you’ve got some free time, why not check out the latest Oceanic Carbon Cycle report?
The Japanese website/app weathernews is favored by many for user-generated reports and fairly accurate forecasts. They also offer narrative reports on the day’s weather, though they can be a bit dull (“be sure to dress warmly when you go out“). From the main page you can zoom in on Hokkaido and see what users have reported. To get a proper forecast, find the channel section and click on the weather report (tenkiyohou, 天気予報) channel. From the map, keep zooming in to your desired town and you’ll find the detailed page.
Surely there are other good options out there. What’s your favored source of weather info? Let us know in the comments or by email, and we’ll share any responses in an updated post. Contact us any time by writing to editor (at) hokkaidoexplorer.com .