MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Good news for Misawa’s outdoor enthusiasts: snow is finally starting to stick, and the first two buses of the year will hit a local ski resort on Saturday.

Many resort owners in northern Japan have delayed the opening day for skiers and snowboarders because of a lack of snow.

But Ron Stark, lead program coordinator for Misawa’s Outdoor Recreation department, said the Appi resort was getting socked with snow Wednesday and would be ready for the weekend. Instead of sending one tour group to Appi and one to Naqau Shirakami, as planned, both buses of Misawa residents would visit Appi, he said.

During a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Stark said he was watching a Web camera showing the resort.

“They’re getting a ton of snow,” he said.

Stark, who’s been at Misawa for 15 years, said each season is different and the Outdoor Recreation department has to track the snowfall while planning the first few trips each year.

The total amount of snow recorded for November was only 1.2 inches, down drastically from the average 15.7 inches, according to officials with the Aomori Meteorological Observatory.

Weather officials blame a high pressure front that’s kept the cold air off the island, with plenty of sunny days toward the end of November.

Yasuo Kato, the manager of the Naqau Shirakami ski resort, said Wednesday that he wasn’t sure whether his resort would open this weekend. He said he was hoping for six to nine more inches of snow.

Kato said the light snowfall has resort operators worried about fewer customers.

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Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.

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