Duration of snow cover in Hokkaido

I had a conversation with Eric Watkins about the WinterTurf project. We discussed Hokkaido in northern Japan, where there is snow cover every winter.

From past visits, I knew that snow cover usually starts in November, sometimes as late as December, and that it lasts until March or April. But I didn’t know exactly what was normal.

Now I have a better idea, after looking at the JMA daily weather records since 1961. In Sapporo the median days with snow cover was 127—that’s 4.2 months.

In Asahikawa, the second largest population center of Hokkaido, the median days with snow cover was 145 days—4.75 months.

That makes for good winter sports. In fact, Benjamin Warren and I talked a bit about the best lift-access snow globally. Ben says for sure that snow is in Hokkaido.

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