Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Monday 13th January 2014, 7:30am
After a warm blue sky day yesterday, last night the snow rolled back in. 25cm of fresh snow at the valley level with the snow continuing to fall through to midday in upper Minakami, so a great day to get out and enjoy the pow! There may be some strong gusts of wind around midday at the upper resorts but it should not last for too long.
Tomorrow more snow forecast for early morning followed by a mainly cloudy day with light winds. The next storm is scheduled to hit Friday, just in time to fill up the pow for next weekend!
Thick fog means I can't see much outside the window this morning. I can see the 10cm or so on the top of the car though outside.
It's not snowing now but clouds remain over the mountain. Stronger winds were forecast for today but for now there's only a light wind and lifts are operating as normal. Perhaps that will change later on in the day.
Official snow depths (13th January 14): Utopia: 220cm Chuo: 170cm Paradise: 210cm Uwanodai: 135cm
On the mountain yesterday there was considerably more than the amount we had noted down here in the village area, and it just kept on coming with heavy snow conditions.
This morning there's yet another 30cm or so here, so let's presume that there was once again more up on the mountain. Let's forget about the fine details of numbers though... it's simply very deep out there at the moment.
We're at that point when some of people are wishing for the snow to stop and for the sun to come out - these kinds of conditions every day are not for everyone.
It's also extremely cold this morning. A moderate wind doesn't seem to be affecting lifts too much, with just a few running at reduced speed as I write this report. Limited visibility as you might expect.
So it's full on winter conditions - so go out prepared. Read the Avalance Report and stay safe. Most of all, enjoy it!
We might see a slight let up tomorrow but generally we still have snow forecast every day into the weekend.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -12C, 20cm of broken crystal snow in the past 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: -13C, strong NW wind with snowdrift development, bad visibility. Annupuri 1150m: -16C, considerable development of cornice and snowdrifts. Peak 1308m: NW14.1m/s, -18.1℃. Wind forecast at noon: NW18m/s. Hirafu 1000m: 80cm snowfall in 12 hours with development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape NNW13m/s, Kamui cape NNW10m/s, 1.5m waves, 1014hPa.
Snowclouds are still widely present over the Sea of Japan and stormy condition continues. According to snowfall transition and data evaluation, the overall avalanche risk is high. Refrain from stimulating knolls and open steep slopes. An avalanche occurred in Higashi-One no.3 gully yesterday, ripping the skis off a skier. The cornices are still very unstable & heavy, and can easily burry a person if falling with it. Snow is deep in the trees as well, boarders should consider carrying snowshoes.
Gates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 will be closed. Keep in mind that accidents often happen during poor weather conditions. Be prudent. The conditions will turn better soon. Better not push it too hard today, go for a quick ride and better go chill out in an onsen.
Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:
A very good morning to you from Hakuba and I have good news with some nice amounts of snow to report overnight.
By dark it was snowing and seems to have been busy though the night. The largest number coming from Goryu and 47 who are reporting up to 40cm on their upper slopes, more like 10cm at base and that's about what we have in the village. Other resorts are on average around 20-30cm.
Snow conditions this morning should be excellent.
This morning it's snowing still, heavily on places on the mountain, just light here earlier on but around town there are some signs that we might see some brighter conditions and it does look like if anything it might clear up some.
Clearer weather conditions forecast from tomorrow for a few days.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 13th January 2014):
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 10cm of new snowfall at Iimori, 15cm at Toomi and 40cm on upper areas. Upper - 300cm Toomi - 175cm Iimori - 130cm
Hakuba 47: Reporting 15-20cm of new snowfall at base and 30-40cm on upper slopes. Upper - 280cm Lower - 130cm
Happo-one: Reporting 30cm of new snowfall at Riesen. Usagidaira - 260cm Nakiyama - 90cm Sakka - 110cm
After seeing the sun and a calm day yesterday during the daytime, snow has been delivered for this morning.
20-30cm of fresh snowfall is being reported from the different areas of the mountain this morning and I am happy to have to get out with a shovel once I have posted this report to move the 25cm or so outside. It's near on whiteout conditions on the upper areas at the moment as the snow continues to fall.
-4C at the moment and it's unlikely to warm up today at all, even if the snow eases off as is forecast.
Today is the last day of the long weekend of course, and things seem slightly less busy this morning. Expect many more people to be moving on out around lunchtime.
From tomorrow we are probably going to have clearer skies over the region, at least not much in terms of snow. Even so, it does look like it will be keeping cold, which is what we want.
So decent weather conditions likely for the upcoming 'Dosojin' Fire Festival, the main event which is on Wednesday evening, the 15th. Preparations are underway for this popular annual event in Nozawa. And of course there will be people arriving in Nozawa again to experience it.
To sum up the festival... 42 year olds climb atop a wooden shrine protected by the 25 year olds, as the rest of the villagers carry out fire attacks trying to burn down the shrine. Or something like that, but much more. It is ranked in the top three fire festivals in Japan and is always be a great spectacle. Wrap up well and enjoy the festivities in the village.
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Monday 13th January 2014, 9:56am
50cm. That's what Kagura are reporting this morning. A cool half m.
30cm at Naeba.
40cm on the top of my car here down in town.
Maiko Snow Resort (under?) reporting 15-20cm.
Whatever, bottom line is that we have had a lot of snow overnight, and it's still snowing quite heavily this morning.
Go back to yesterday and for most of the day until mid afternoon we enjoyed blue skies over the region. Some cloud but the sun was out for most of the time. By mid afternoon though the clouds had moved in and by evening it was snowing. Result, the new snow this morning.
Visibility generally poor this morning and a moderate wind. Not the kindest of conditions, but the snow will be great.
Snowfall should ease off later today, though we might see clouds delivering their thing through into tomorrow morning. After that, clearer on Wednesday and Thursday looking at the latest local forecast.
If you look at the official numbers below, you'd think we hadn't had any snow in the last week or so. Once again, best to ignore the official snow depth numbers as they seem intent on not updating or under-reporting for some bizarre reason.
There sure was snow outside my place this morning though and I can say with about 100% certainty that there was on all of the resort areas of Shiga Kogen as well. Why they choose to not report it is beyond me. There, I'll try not to mention that again! ;)
Anyway after the sun that we got yesterday, it's back to snow overnight and snowing now. Forecast to ease off later on.
Official snow depth data, as of Monday 13th January 2014, 9am):
After some sun yesterday, this morning it's snow. 20-30cm of it according to the resort, 20-25cm on the cars outside to move. And it's another of those very cold mornings. Snow conditions are excellent.
The snowfall probably won't last the day today though and then we are on for a few days of clearer skies according to the forecast. It's going to keep cold and so the snow conditions should keep through until the next snow.
Less busy this morning but still more people than on a normal Monday. Tomorrow is a 'normal Tuesday' so we should be back to weekday mode.
Number 1 Number 2 Number 3A Number 2 quad Number 5 Super quad Number 11 Number 12 Number 13 Number 15 Moving walkway Kids Park
Well, the wind did shift at the end of the day yesterday, with some pretty heavy snow falling through the night and into the morning. Strong wind during the night meant a lot of drifting snow as well. It's hard to tell how much snow fell, to be honest. It was enough to bury my snowthrower (but that was because it was in a big drift), while the official reports are ridiculously low, except Seki Onsen's 50cm report, and Akakura Onsen's 40. In fact, we never received an official report from the town, and its Japanese-language website has never been fully updated (two areas are still blank!).
My rant for the morning: come on guys!
In the backcountry, some good snow and winds means a little higher danger level, as cornices build up and snow gets deposited on lee slopes. Keep a good eye on conditions, check out the snowpack and be careful (and have fun!).