Hakuba Now daily snow and weather - Sunday 21st January 2007

Hakuba Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Hakuba (Nagano), Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 9:11am on Sunday 21st January 2007
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Light out of the west
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Sunday 21st January 2007, 9:11am
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Archive report: Posted at 9:11am on Sunday 21st January 2007
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Good morning. The dawn came in clear but the clouds on the eastern horizon greyed the light-show along the corniced ridges of Goryu Dake. Yesterday the clear sky precluded any new precipitation. The ski-instructors of my aquaintance report that yesterday at about the 1,200 m a.s.l. level and below the snow on the piste had gone through a melt-freeze cycle. Above that, on the slopes not directly affected by high incident angle of the sun's rays, the snow is still merely hard packed to packed powder.

Today the forecast is calling for a clear sky, valley bottom temperatures to 5C, light west to north-west wind, and no precipitation. Precipitation is forecast starting late on the 22nd.


The Hira Kawa Snow Study Plot (830m a.s.l.) the 0700 hr. reading is:

Sky: Clear
Temperature: Present: -7.0 C
Maximum: 2 C
Minimum: -9.5 C
Wind: Very light from the west
Precipitation: Nil
Barometer and trend: 928 hPa and falling slowly
Height of new snow in 24 hours (HN24): 0 cm
Total depth of snowpack (HS): 66 cm
Foot penetration: 14 cm
Surface: facets, size 3 mm
Density of surface snow: 140 kilograms per cubic meter

Above Tree Line: Moderate

At Tree Line: Moderate

Below Tree Line: Low

N.B. The hazard may increase with daytime warming.

Travel Advisory:
Yesterday a crew of professional snow observers climbed to 2,320 m a.s.l. on the Happo One ridge above the lift accessible terrain and descended north to the Kara Matsu Zawa (from 1,800 m a.s.l. down via the Garagara Sawa). A test profile at 2,300 m a.s.l., north-east exposure, HS 230 cm, slope anlgle of 33 degrees (air temperature: -5 C, snow surface temperature: -6 C, snow temperature down 10 cm: -8 C) was done. A single compression test had the results of "moderate" down 15 cm. The shear was a "resistant planar" on decomposed crystals, size 2 mm. Another hard shear was observed down 35 cm at the interface of a "one finger" and a "pencil" layer. The skiing quality was generally good. The terrain was getting heavily tracked out in the lower half. A major hazard concern was parties of fellow back-country travellers above. One group had 15 or more members.

The same crew on in the Cortina Lift Company area observed/experienced surprisingly good powder snow skiing to about 800 m a.s.l. on a due north aspect.

Once again, the surface snow this morning in the Hira Kawa Station Snow Study Plot was definitely recrystallized but generally settling well. Note the daily increase in the density {two days ago: 80 kg/cubic metre (m3), yesterday: 110 kg/m3, today: 140 kg/m3}.

There was a minor amount of snow transport observed at ridge crest.

Yesterday the uphill ski penetration was 20 the northerly aspect.

Daytime warming will probably raise the level of the hazard.

Archive report: Posted at 9:11am on Sunday 21st January 2007
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Hakuba Now ski lift operation notes:

Most lifts at all ski areas are operating. Minegata is now running.\r\n\r\n

Saturday 20th January 2007
This report
Sunday 21st January 2007
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