Map from Google - Sapporo
In Sapporo, the main town on the island of Hokkaido, the climate is semi-continental
, with freezing and snowy winters, and warm and quite rainy summers.
In winter the Siberian currents
prevail, which pick up moisture when passing over the Sea of Japan, which is why the temperatures are almost permanently below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) and it snows every day or almost every day (during the mildest days, more frequent in the first half of December or in March, it can rain). The large amount of snow available allows to organize in February (usually within the first ten days) the Sapporo Snow Festival, which attracts millions of visitors to admire statues and sculptures made of ice. During the most intense cold spells, the temperature can drop to -15 °C (5 °F), or even below (the absolute record since 1872, recorded in periods when the climate was colder, is -28.5 °C or 19.5 °F).
In spring and autumn, disturbances are quite frequent; in summer comes the monsoon
, but with less force than in south-central Japan, however, there may be periods of bad weather. Summer temperatures are generally pleasant, but we can not exclude a few hot and humid days, with maximum temperatures of 30 °C (86 °F) or above.
Here, the average temperature of the meteorological observatory of the city.
Average temperatures - Sapporo
In the southern outskirts of the city (therefore outside the city but also farther away from the sea), temperatures are lower, especially in winter and at night, as can be seen from the averages of the Hokkaido Agricultural Research Center, located in Toyohira.
Average temperatures - Toyohira
In Sapporo, 1,100 millimetres (43 inches) of rain or snow per year fall; precipitation is particularly frequent in the cold half of the year, while the driest period is spring, before the summer monsoon. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Sapporo
Sapporo may also be affected by typhoons
, the tropical cyclones, which mostly affect the southern part of Japan, between summer and early autumn (and especially in August and September), and here in the north they come more rarely and generally weakened. The fact remains that they can bring abundant rain and wind.
The cherry blossom
(Sakura) in Sapporo occurs around the 5th of May, with some variability depending on the year (the earliest in the last 10 years has occured on April the 25th, the latest on May the 17th).
The amount of sunshine
in Sapporo is never very good: there are on average 3 hours of sunshine per day in December and January, a maximum of 6 hours and a half in May, which as we've seen is the driest season, before decreasing again to about 5 hours and a half in summer, in July and August, due to the monsoon.
in Sapporo is very cold in winter (but on the northeastern coast of Hokkaido, where a cold current flows, pushing the ice to the coast, it is even colder, and remains cool in summer, even though it reaches 21 °C (70 °F) in August.
Sea temperature - Sapporo