March madness remains in full swing, delivering over 45cm of snowy goodness in the last 48 hours – but you may be surprised to hear that this is not a new phenomenon in this town!
Twice a year (once in March, and once again in September,) the sun crosses the celestial equator. As the days and nights grow progressively longer and shorter throughout the year (which in turn depends on what season and part of the world you’re in); these equinoxes mark the moments where the duration of day and night are approximately equal all over the world.
This may seem like something that would only be helpful to know in a pub quiz – And you’re probably right. But what is mildly useful to know is that the Spring Equinox marks the meteorological moment when winter officially ends.
This means that the Spring Equinox can often be a scary thing for skiers and snowboarders. One moment you are swimming in powder and wading through winter-snowstorms without a care in the world, and the next thing you know, burning rays of sunshine and downpours of liquid water rain down, turning all around you into mush and slush. Quite the apocalyptic vision, eh?
Fortunately for us, Hokkaido does well in terms of its annual snow sports longevity despite most of the ski resorts being located at heights lower than is typical throughout the world, with seasons lasting long into the spring thanks to its amazing annual snow production.
Even with slightly lighter snowfall than last year, Niseko still remains one of the most popular, most snow-sure resorts in the world. Historically (or at least, in the last 5 – 10 years), Niseko is usually treated to at least two big dumps of snow during March, when the snow-gods finally decide to yield to powder-lovers’ relentless screams of “ENCORE”.
With over 45cm of snow in two days, it kind of feels like they’re aiming for that sweet 75-100cm mark. Put those shorts and skirts away for now…Winter’s not over yet.