Photo/IllutrationA Shinto ceremony begging for snow is performed at the Kannabe Kogen area of Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture, on Jan. 21 after a scant dusting this season that caused many skiers to stay away. (Takaharu Yagi)

Unseasonably warm weather that left ski slopes bare at many resorts will continue through February with the region facing the Sea of Japan experiencing a record low level of snow since December, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The agency said Jan. 24 that compared with an average year, the amount of the snowfall on the Japan Sea coast in December was 47 percent in northern Japan, 3 percent in eastern Japan and zero percent in western Japan.

Since the beginning of this month, the figure through Jan. 23 was 36 percent in northern Japan and zero percent in eastern and western Japan.

Winter temperatures rose as prevailing westerlies snake their way to north, blocking a cold air mass from moving south near Japan’s main island of Honshu, according to the agency.