Other language of this page

Climate & Weather in Sapporo

Post: 04-21-17

For foreign expats moving to Sapporo from overseas countries as well as ones moving to Sapporo from other areas in Japan, we here provide the guidance on Sapporo weather. It will make us happy if it can help you to prepare for your seasonal clothing and more for your life in Japan.

Sapporo, like most of the rest of the world, has a fair amount of seasonal variation in its weather patterns. Sapporo summer is brisk and its winter is characterized by snow and chilliness. The spring season begins slightly late in Sapporo. It has many fine days with lush and fresh greenery from April to June and from later June frequent hot and humid days without influence of the rainy season. In July and August the temperature rises above 20℃ and it goes into the midsummer, but the weather is relatively comfortable. In September as it starts to have the influence of the autumnal rain front and is rarely affected by the typhoons, the rainfall increases so much. The autumn footprint is early in Sapporo. When the minimum temperature falls to nearly 0℃ in October and meets the season of colored leaves, the first snow of the year is seen in late October. A cold wave comes and temperature decreases in November, and as snowfall increases, it becomes continuous snow cover in December.

Climate in Sapporo

Rainfall Level & Average Temperature in Sapporo (1981-2010)

The below is the Rainfall Level and Average Temperature in Sapporo. The precipitation increases from August through January, during which includes the autumnal rainy season and Typhoon peak season in August-September and the beginning of winter with strong northwest seasonal wind and heavy snowfall towards January.

  Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Rainfall Level(mm) 113.6 94 77.8 56.8 53.1 46.8 81 123.8 135.2 108.7 104.1 111.7
Max.Temp( °C) -0.6 0.1 4 11.5 17.3 21.5 24.9 26.4 22.4 16.2 8.5 2.1
Ave.Temp( °C) -3.6 -3.1 0.6 7.1 12.4 16.7 20.5 22.3 18.1 11.8 4.9 -0.9
Min.Temp( °C) -7 -6.6 -2.9 3.2 8.3 12.9 17.3 19.1 14.2 7.5 1.3 -4.1

image

Average Temperature & Humidity in Sapporo (1981-2010)

  Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Ave.Temp( °C) -3.6 -3.1 0.6 7.1 12.4 16.7 20.5 22.3 18.1 11.8 4.9 -0.9
Ave.Temp( °F) 25.52 26.42 33.08 44.78 54.32 62.06 68.9 72.14 64.58 53.24 40.82 30.38
Humidity(%) 70 69 66 62 66 72 76 75 71 67 67 69

It has been really unlike the average data for these past several years that the days of intense heat and higher temperatures are recorded in the summer due to global warming and heat island effects; so the use of an electric fan and the air-conditioner is desirable during the daytime in a room on the high-rise apartment floors and a room with an electronic equipment.

Seasonal Clothing (for Sapporo & Vicinity)

Spring (Mar. - May.): Down jacket, wool coat, warm sweater, scarf, gloves

Summer (Jun. - Aug.): Light clothing, short or long sleeves

Autumn (Sep. - Nov.):Topcoat, jacket, sweater

Winter (Dec. - Feb.): Down jacket, wool coat, warm sweater, scarf, gloves

The best times to visit are April-May, for the well-known blooming of cherry blossoms with pleasant climate, and June-July for the weather with a lot of fine days and comfortable climate receiving little influence of the rainy season. The midsummer from July-August brings seldom days over 25℃ resulting in more comfortable days than in Tokyo. The beginning of winter is one month faster than in Tokyo and the winter clothing is required earlier as well. From November snowfall starts to be snow cover and the temperature often drops below 0℃. It is helpful for you to see Seasonal Clothing idea above.

The Weather in Sapporo and Advice for Every Season

Sapporo is a big city and most people get around using public transit, bikes, or their feet. Here are a few tips & tricks to make surviving close encounters with Mother Nature a little easier:

Precipitation

Always check the forecast before you leave for the day and pack an umbrella if rain is predicted. It's no fun being caught in a downpour and waiting under the corner of a ramen shop's roof waiting for the rain to pass.

o Pro tip: If weather forecasts aren't to your liking, stick your head outside before you leave for the day and see if others are carrying umbrellas and follow their lead. If you do get stuck in the wet, you can always duck into the nearest convenience store for a cheap umbrella—they're everywhere!

Snowfall

About how to choose shoes and tips about how to walk on snow-covered roads, ask colleagues in your workplace or gather information by visiting to local information website or at stores selling shoes with a non-skid sole or related equipment.

o Pro tip: Various snow boots and snow shoes with a non-skid sole are sold in the city. Tip about how to walk on snow-covered road is to walk slowly by pressing your whole feet on the ground with small step sizes.

Heat

It can get quite hot in Sapporo so dress accordingly. Sapporo is a concrete jungle that displays the "heat island" effect common in big metropolitan areas.

o Pro tip: If you're going to work, check and see if your office follows a "cool biz" dress code which is a set of comparatively relaxed dress guidelines encouraged by the Japanese government to help make life more comfortable for office-workers in summer.

Cold

It can get quite freezing in Sapporo winter so dress accordingly such as a layered wearing. There are so many days with the temperature below 0℃ during the winter time.

o Pro tip: If you're going to work, check and see if your office follows a "warm biz" dress code which is a set of recommended guidelines encouraged by the Japanese government to help make life more comfortable for office-workers in winter. 

Related Posts

Posted category: Living Guide - Sapporo

Categories

Relocation Services

Living support assistance for foreigners relocating to Japan. Flexible service fit for each customer.

Relocation Services

Sapporo Destination Guide

Overview of Sapporo with pictures and information of expat-related facilities.

Destination Guide of Sapporo

Expat Living Guide


Information covering expat friendly bilingual facilities, international schools and useful living information, etc. 

Living in Japan: A Guide for Expats