Winter Snow on Japan’s Main Islands – April 8th, 201039.4N 140.6E
Snow covers the northern and western areas of Honshu, Japan’s main island. The smaller island of Shikoku, snow-free, is visible in the lower left hand quadrant, and the island of Hokkaido can be seen, snow-covered, at the top upon opening the full image.
Japan belongs to the temperate zone with four distinct seasons, but its climate varies from cool temperate in the north to subtropical in the south. Northern Japan has warm summers but long, cold winters with heavy snow. Central Japan has hot, humid summers and short winters, and southwestern Japan has long, hot, humid summers and mild winters.
A greyish haze sweeps across the upper part of the image. This may be ash from neighboring volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula that were being active simultaneously in mid-February 2010, around the time this image was taken. It was reported that Klyuchevskaya Volcano in the north and Bezymianny Volcano in the south both sent plumes of ash high into the sky which were then carried elsewhere by the winds.