The effects of El Niño on the Myoko region
Historically the Myoko region, El Niño brings a 50/50
chance of a big dump
chance of a big dump
Between 1954 and 2014, JMA recorded an average annual snowfall in the Niigata region of 169cm. During the 12 El Niño cycles listed below, 6 years had snow fall below the average and 6 years had snow fall above the average, indicating that an El Niño cycle in the Niigata region is historically a wash. It's a 50/50 bet according to history! But when you win in Niigata, you really win big according to that huge spike in 1983!
The blue line in the chart below denotes how much snow fall was recorded by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) for the time span of 1953 to 2014 (years located on the X-axis). The intersecting orange bars indicate El Niño years recorded by JMA for Japan.
Unlike in Nagano, on the west side of Japan, you can really see that the effects of El Niño are stark. El Niño cycles such as 1964, 1974, and 1983 saw huge spikes in snowfall during the cycle while 1958, 1988, and 1992 saw huge drops in the mount of snow fall.
How does the Myoko region compare to other regions in Japan?
Some other technical mumbo-jumbo:
The chart above shows historical snow fall data for the city of Niigata, 2 hours from the main Myoko Plateau. The elevation of Niigata is basically sea level, compared to Akakura Kanko ski area in Myoko which is located at 700m. While the difference in elevation is big, Niigata and Myoko can be generally compared as they're both on the west coast and among the first areas to get hit by the snow storms which predominantly come off the Sea of Japan.
The first thing you should note about this chart is that the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) doesn't have a weather station closer to Myoko than Niigata (from what this investigator could figure out). While Niigata is relatively close, it does get significantly less snow than the higher elevation plateau that Myoko is located on. However, given that they're in the same region and prone to the same general weather influences on the West coast of Japan the data for Niigata should reflect the overall conditions of Myoko, Madarao, Akakura Kanko, and Akakura Onsen, among the other resorts in that region.
NIIGATA WMO Station ID:47604 Lat 37o53.6'N Lon 139o01.1'E