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Unseasonable temperatures hit Sapporo Snow Festival preparations

30 Comments

Unseasonably high temperatures in Hokkaido this week are affecting preparations for the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, which will be held from Feb 5-11.

This week, the daytime temperature has been around 4.7 degrees on average in Sapporo, which is normal for late March, TBS reported Wednesday. Furthermore, the higher-than-normal temperatures have resulted in more rainy days.

The rain has forced workers to cover half-made sculptures with vinyl sheets.

“We are a little overwhelmed by the March-like weather," said Eiji Oshinomi, a member of the Sapporo Snow Sculptors Association.

The snow festival usually draws about 2 million visitors.

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30 Comments
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OMG OMG we're boiling like frogs ...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Change destination..arrange in Osaka where temp are unusually low :)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Interesting.... hope things get back to normal for them. But its makes me wonder how many times this Snow Festival has had problems with high temps?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, it seems climate change is real! Last year was the hottest year on record globally. Who knows? Maybe in twenty years or so Sapporo could become famous for its banana and mango festival.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I'm not sure if "unreasonable" is the correct term to use for the weather in this case. "Unpredictable" or "unfortunate" would be better.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm not sure if "unreasonable" is the correct term to use for the weather in this case.

That's likely why they didn't use it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's always an upside - think sakura, in March, instead of May! Ooooh!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They Said " unseasonable not unreasonable ...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Read it and weep. Maybe another decade and Sapporo will not be counted on to have temperatures that stay consistently low enough for the festival.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/a/g/Japan.pdf

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Already old news--Sapporo's forecast is back to frigid normal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Unseasonable"? First time I come across that word. I like it. Will use it frequently from now on...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Disillusioned

So, it seems climate change is real! Last year was the hottest year on record globally. Who knows? Maybe in twenty years or so Sapporo could become famous for its banana and mango festival.

Yes, it is not so far-fetched an idea as during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum period millions of years ago, there were palm trees and crocodiles around the arctic sea when temperatures were 5-7 degrees warmer than they are now.

And if we stabilize at the current 400 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. Then temperatures could very well be 17-20 degrees warmer, according to Dr. Thomas J. Goreau, who has degrees from MIT, Cal Tech and a Phd in biogeochemistry from Harvard. This would be between 100-200 years from now. During the Emian period, temperatures were this high and there was only 280 ppm CO2. At this temperature, human life will have ended.

So let's just keep calling all these weather events "unseasonal" or "unusual" and carry on as if they are not part of a pattern of human induced climate change driven by an unsustainable political-economic model.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

well, you can still go to Harbin China if the Sapporo one does not fare well. Hopefully it will get back to normal, (like below freezing temperatures). http://www.harbinice.com

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@JT: famous Sapporo Snow Festival, which will be held from Feb 5-8

Am I or you guys are missing something. Isn't the festival date is Feb 5-11? Don't give me heart attack.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, you are correct.

It is pretty hypocritical to say that unseasonably cold weather is NOT evidence AGAINST global warming but that unseasonably warm weather is evidence IN FAVOR of it. I think that the biggest victim of the climate change debate is science. "A majority of scientists agree that..." Scientific facts should not be decided by a majority vote. That's not science. Yet it seems like every English textbook I see in Japan has at least a lesson or two about how man-caused climate change is a fact. It's no wonder that people see global warming around every corner when they have been raised to believe it and believe whatever they are told by authority figures.

I'm not saying that climate change isn't happening or that if it is mankind isn't causing it. I just want to point out (some of) the hypocrisy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I just want to point out (some of) the hypocrisy.

Scientists would never point to single weather events such as the blizzard in New England or the warmth in Hokkaido as evidence of anything. Climatological anomalies are sufficiently vast to negate meaning from any particular event.

Scientists do note from a vast number of measurements over a very long period of time that average temperatures of the planet are rising and have been rising since humans began dumping carbon into the atmosphere. They conduct studies which are rigorously peer-reviewed both to the phenomenon itself and to its probable causes. They hypothesize attendant effects such as increased ocean acidification then measure actual conditions to confirm whether their hypotheses are correct. That is their job, and, as holders of advanced degrees, they are most underpaid for doing it. There is no hypocrisy involved. What is hypocritical is ignoring information gleaned by thousands of professionals who have given their lives to understand this phenomenon simply because it's snowy in New England or warm in Hokkaido at the moment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's not unusual for Sapporo to have a petite thaw or two midwinter. In past years, there've even been times when snow had to be trucked in from elsewhere. Every year we seem to figure it out.

As for global warming, it's not possible to extrapolate long-term trends from a few days in a single January. Global warming is undeniable. But whether it accounts for this thaw is unprovable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This seems to be something that is happening every year. When the festival started many years ago, you could be assured of a great supply of snow. In more recent years, as the sculptors have become more gradiose, the JSDF have been pulled on board to transport snow into the city. However, at 4 or 5 degrees with rain, they might be fighting a loosing battle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When the festival started many years ago, you could be assured of a great supply of snow.

Over the course of the last 20 years, there have been quite a few years where they needed to cart in snow. The city always gets enough snow, but sometimes it's not quite early enough.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'd like to hear from anyone who has actually lived in Sapporo for the last 30 years as an adult about whether there have been other warm-ish spells in January.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This week, the daytime temperature has been around 4.7 degrees on average in Sapporo, which is normal for late March, TBS reported Wednesday.

Three years ago, 17 January 2012, the lede was "Record snow arrived as the annual Sapporo Snow Festival got underway in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.": http://www.bbc.com/weather/feeds/16599168

RECORD SNOW.

Maximum highs this week, and record highs, for Sapporo, per day in January.

http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/RJCO/2015/1/26/DailyHistory.html

Thu Jan 22: -1 °C, record 1 °C (2002)

Fri Jan 23: 0 °C, record 5 °C (2009)

Sat Jan 24: N/S, record 1 °C (1999)

Sun Jan 25: N/S, record 5 °C (1999)

Mon Jan 26: 2 °C, record 5 °C (1998)

Tue Jan 27: 3 °C, record 2 °C (2015)

Wed Jan 28: -4 °C, record 5 °C (2003)

Jan. 26: 2 °C 5 °C (1998)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'd like to hear from anyone who has actually lived in Sapporo for the last 30 years as an adult about whether there have been other warm-ish spells in January.

They can have warmish spells for several days anywhere in Hokkaido, often with rain, during any of the winter months, and January is no exception.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Climate change doesn't affect everyone equally. As the earth warms up the warm streams in the ocean will change and thus no longer provide bentlery climatsy go frzncey, Britain, etc.

Also the weather is cyclic in a 50yr pattern.

Still don't explain my home-country has had the warmest year on record since 1735.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is pretty hypocritical to say that unseasonably cold weather is NOT evidence AGAINST global warming but that unseasonably warm weather is evidence IN FAVOR of it.

It's only the grossly uninformed that take the weather at a particular location and make claims about global weather based on what they're observing. GLOBAL warming cannot be evaluated based on what's happening outside your window at this moment. GLOBAL warming can only be evaluated by comparing the average temperatures across the globe for the current year with the average temperatures across the globe for previous years. Scientists predict that as the average temperatures rise, storms in both the Summer and in the Winter will become more extreme as the atmosphere exhibits more energy. So not only are there going to be epic thunderstorms, but epic blizzards as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It"S MEJAN. 29, 2015 - 07:02PM JST Climate change doesn't affect everyone equally.

True, as the Northern Hemisphere, where most of the pollution is generated, has seen the greatest changes with the polar ice cap being seasonal now and the permafrost melting.

Also the weather is cyclic in a 50yr pattern.

Never heard that before. Perhaps prior to the 20th Century.

Still don't explain my home-country has had the warmest year on record since 1735.

Last year was the warmest ever world wide.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's ME: Still don't explain my home-country has had the warmest year on record since 1735.

Still don't explain my hometown had the first snowfall in a 100 YEARS within the last 10 years. SnowFALL, not a dusting that didn't hit the ground! The fields were white!

As far as 'last year hottest ever':

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/27/uk-met-office-says-2014-was-not-the-hottest-year-ever-due-to-uncertainty-ranges-of-the-data/

UK Met Office says 2014 was NOT the hottest year ever due to ‘uncertainty ranges’ of the data

... (UK Met Office): "Nominally this ranks 2014 as the joint warmest year in the record, tied with 2010, but the uncertainty ranges mean it’s not possible to definitively say which of several recent years was the warmest.”" ...

Quoting the temperature to one hundredth of a degree and the error on that measurement to a tenth of a degree is not normal scientific practice. It is against normal scientific practice to have an error of the measurement larger than the precision of that measurement. This means that most scientists would have rounded the data so that it was 0.6 +/- 0.1 °C. If this is done to the HadCRUT4 dataset it is even more obvious that there has been a warming “pause” for the past 18 years. ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd like to hear from anyone who has actually lived in Sapporo for the last 30 years as an adult about whether there have been other warm-ish spells in January.

20 years for me, and I've posted my experiences above, both of which got downvotes. To reiterate: Warm spells are not unusual in mid-winter in Sapporo. That said, this does not address question of long-term trends in global climate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

jcapanJAN. 29, 2015 - 10:02AM JST Already old news--Sapporo's forecast is back to frigid normal.

Sapporo is never frigid. It's not even that cold. Moscow's frigid. Minneapolis-St. Paul is frigid. Winnipeg is frigid. Etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

jcapanJAN. 29, 2015 - 10:02AM JST Already old news--Sapporo's forecast is back to frigid normal.

Sapporo is never frigid. It's not even that cold. Moscow's frigid. Minneapolis-St. Paul is frigid. Winnipeg is frigid. Etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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