Japan Struck by Record-Breaking Winter Snowfall

This includes snow 12 to 15 feet deep

Frost-covered conifers, called Snow Monsters, Juhyo in Japanese, decorate the snowy landscape of Mount Zao.
David Mareuil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

If you’re based in or around New York City this winter, you’ve likely noticed that the weather has frequently been warmer than in previous years. A few days this season have even seen record high temperatures. Venture to the other side of the world, though, and you might well notice something different — namely, snow. Lots and lots of snow. This winter has seen records set for the amount of snow fallen in Japan — and winter isn’t over yet.

A report from The Washington Post has more details on this unexpected weather. As the Post points out, the island of Honshu’s location and geography makes it especially prone to deep snowfall. Even with that in mind, this season’s snowfall has been epic — the article cites one recent storm in which 12 feet of snow fell over the course of a few days. Some of the snow on Honshu has ended up 15 feet deep at times, which is venturing into record territory.

As a Weather Underground report from a few years ago pointed out, Honshu is home to several resorts and hot springs that take advantage of the climate and frequent snowfall. But there’s also a difference between a region that gets a lot of snow and a region where there’s too much snow for daily activities to take place — or where bomb cyclones make driving hazardous.

Historically, the heaviest snow tends to end for this part of the world in late February. Could this year be the exception? Keep an eye on your meteorological site of choice and find out.

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