From sometime in the night until about 0800 hrs. it was raining in the valley (10 mm of water in the rain gauge). The report from the Tsuga Ike Lift company at 0830 hrs. is that it snowed 10 to 15 cm overnight with a present temperature of 0.5 C at the top of the gondola (1,570 m a.s.l.). Yesterday the skiing quality on the upper mountain was quite acceptable although waxing for warm, wet snow would be an advantage. The visibility right now above 1,200 m a.s.l. is poor but the clouds are forecast to clear somewhat toward the mid-afternoon. Tomorrow the afternoon precipitation is forecast to resume. The forecast for the valley floor is that the temperature will reach 13 C, the wind will be at the high end of "light" ("light" wind = 1 km/hr. to 25 km/hr.) and swinging from the west, through the north-west, back to west and then from the south-west as the present low pressure cell moves off and the next one comes in.
Of note is that the lower Sakka Lifts at the Happo One Lift Company are closed. Yesterday we skied down the Sakka cat-track (also referred to as the "Kurobishi Rindo") from 1,200 m a.s.l. (bottom of the Skyline 2 chair lift) to the lower Panorama Course with no problems, i.e. good snow coverage.
The Hira Kawa Snow Study Plot (830m a.s.l.) 0730 hr. reading is:
Temperature: Present: 3.5 C
Maximum: 8.0 C
Minimum: 3.5 C
Wind at surface: Calm
Winds aloft: Light from the west
Barometer and trend: 913 hPa and steady
Height of new snow in 24 hours (HN24): 0 cm
Total depth of snowpack (HS): 36 cm
Water: 10 mm
Foot penetration: 5 cm
Surface: melt freeze crystals , 6 mm crystals
Density of surface snow: not observed
Crust: no crust
Cloud ceiling: 1,200 m a.s.l.
Above tree line: Considerable
Tree line: Considerable
Below tree line: Moderate
N.B.: The hazard has increased do to new snow and wind transport. The forecast is for more precipitation tomorrow afternoon
Yesterday at mid-day at the top of the Happo One Lift Company terrain (1,850 m a.s.l.) the sky was overcast (with a ceiling at about 1,980 m a.s.l.), temperature was 1.0 C, the wind was gusting to moderate sometimes from the south and even from the north (variable), and it was snowing in flurries. With the reports of 10 to 15 cm of new snow at 1,600 m a.s.l. over-night (at the Tsuga Ike Lift Company gondola top station) there is reason to believe that slabs will have been forming in the tree line and above terrain.
Today's high temperature is forecast to be higher than yesterday's. Even as I write this (0900 hrs.) the sun is breaking through the cloud cover. This will make the hazard increase as the snow becomes affected by the direct sun's rays and the general warming of the air. See previous entrees for notes on cornices, isothermal snow pack and other matters.