when and where to see fall foliage (Japanese version only):

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yellow dust and cherry blossom forecasts

Tokyo reached 25 degrees Celsius on March 10th.  A blizzard hit Hokkaido and the northeastern Tohoku region on the same day.  In Hokkaido, nine people were killed in the blizzard last weekend. High temperatures was 11 degrees on the 11th in Tokyo.

Yellow dust(黄砂, kousa) was observed in western Japan on the 9th. The dust is carried to Japan by subtropical westerlies from deserts on the Chinese continent.  In recent years, a large amount of yellow sand often reaches Japan from March to May.  As a result of desertification, sand storms are growing in scale in North East Asia.

Industrial pollutants are also brought to Japan from the Chinese continent. So-called PM2.5 air pollution is a big problem even in Japan. The haze enveloped Tokyo on the 10th, but it was not due to yellow dust. Powerful winds restricted train services on the 13th.
Unfortunately, hay fever season is also at its peak.

Ume blossoms are in full bloom now.
On March 13th, the Fukuoka District Meteorological Observatory declared that cherry blossoms(Yoshino cherry) had opened in Fukuoka and Miyazaki.
The Japan Weather Association and Weather Map Corporation issued their cherry blossom forecasts several times.
Japan Weather Association(issued on March 13): (Japanese version only)
Weather Map Corporation(issued on March 12): (Japanese version only)

They have predicted the trees will start blooming on March 16(18) in Kochi, on the 16th(20) in Kumamoto, on the 17th(22)in Tokyo, on the 19th(22)in Yokohama, on April 24(24) in Aomori, and on May 17(14) in Kushiro, Hokkaido.
(Forecast by Weather Map are shown in parentheses.)

Cherry blossoms will be in full bloom from the end of this month to the beginning of April in many areas.
The following sites(Japanese version only) offer cherry-blossom viewing spots and blooming status.


  1. Hi Ichinen, so hay fever season is started in Japan? I hope you are well with your medication? Fortunately here in The Netherlands it is very cold, which is quite extreme for this time of the year. Till so far I don't have any complains of hay fever, but it will come that is for sure ;)!
    I'll wait and see your pictures of the cherry blossom?
    Greetings, Ilona

    1. I heard eastern Europe has been hit by a severe cold snap. I hope the cold snap goes away soon.
      The weather has suddenly become warm in my area. This year's cedar pollen count is predicted to be seven times as high as last year. So I get terrible hay fever.

  2. European cold snap! How timely. We suggest a bit of research might become informative. Virus do less well in cooler climate. Is this nature lending a hand?