Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 12th December 2017
Wednesday 16th January 2008, 7:04am
skies clearing, brief morning snowfall, chance for perfect deep blue bird day. take your cameras out today.
Heavy snow began early afternoon yesterday and has brought 25cm to Furano for today. Skies are clear this morning, and the sunrise is bright, so take your cameras out today to get some bluebird powder shots!
Winds have died off, so the snow is falling in silence at the moment which is a very special way to experience snowfall.
This powder day looks like being the last one for a few days, as we can expect some sunshine and clear sky days coming up over the next few days.
The Kami Furano Seld Defence force are often out on the mountain. They are the guys dressed in army colours and riding the old tellemark skis with leather bindings. If you see them out there, give them a wave and encourage them in their skiing as most of them are beginners and provide excellent entertainment from the Gondola time and time again.
Yesterday was a very fine day out on the slopes of the region. The sun was out from early on and did it's thing all day. Looking around the resorts did not seem busy at all but the people out there will have enjoyed the weather and the good snow conditions. It remained fairly cold throughout the day.
This morning it is still under zero (currently around -1) and 1-2cm of new snow on the ground in Yuzawa. It is snowing as I write this, but only very lightly. Snow is however forecast for the rest of the day and according to the forecast the cold front should be strengthening into tomorrow with snow forecast for throughout the day and cold temperatures once again.
Well, it has been snowing for most of the day, but it has been very light and there is hardly anything to show for it down at town level - there was 0cm on top of the car this evening after a day outside. Right now it seems we are seeing snow to the north on the plains again ("satoyuki") rather than in the mountains, with a fair bit of snow falling in Niigata city.
A bit disappointing, but the good news is that we have 20-40cm forecast for the mountain regions tonight and so everyone is expecting some good news tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is still set to be a cold day and we can expect snow throughout the day. Fingers crossed!
Temperatures remained well below zero yesterday, but quite a bit of sun as well. Last night Akakura and Suginohara both had -8C and Togakushi had -12. Temps should fall again as the day progresses. There were light snows last night, so look for diamond dust in areas like Togakushi, Seki Onsen or the top of Suginohara. Those'd be the picks for today.
The snow is lightly falling at the valley level, although the sun is still shining in lower Minakami. This means that Tenjin should receive a decent dump but many of the other fields will only get a sprinkling. It now looks like the snow will hit harder from midnight and continue throughout tomorrow.
The outlook for the weekend remains the same, with snow expected on Saturday and a sunny fine day on Sunday.
Backcountry The strong winds of recently have been moving large amounts of snow and also creating wind slab layers. Compression tests yesterday revealed an easy (CT2 SC) layer at 15cm (N 1950m). Listen carefully for the "wooomf" sound when accessing the bc, this is the sound of the layer collapsing under feet, and a good sign to turn around. The new snow forecast in the next few days on top of this weak layer is likely to cause slides, natural or human triggered. Caution is advised!
Yesterday was almost like four seasons in a day. The morning began with patchy blue sky and sunlight filtering through thin cloud, but quickly changed to heavy cloud and snow. By mid morning there were high wind gusts around the upper slopes creating dense clouds of wind blown snow that completely obscured vision. Lower down in the forrests there was some relief from the wind but not enough to make the visibility acceptable. However, by early afternoon the sun was back out and there was even a vague sense of warmth from time to time.
Today looks somewhat more subdued and the snow has been falling for several hours.
The official Hirafu numbers dont don't show any change at the base but the avalanche report notes 15cm of fresh snow at the base. Perhaps yesterday's sunshine and winds settled the surface cover to some degree, but it seems unlikely that the offcial numbers are accurate. There is a serious risk of slides in the backbowl and tree riding is recommended for those seeking out of resort adventure. A storm is expected to pick up in the afternoon so get in and out of the bowls before mid afternoon. This is reflected in the weather charts which are showing the lip of a low pressure system moving south over the top us and squeezing a the boundary of a high pressure system to our west. Read more ...
Wednesday 16th January 2008, 9:35am
Cloud, light snow
Yesterday was a beautiful day with bright blue skies and only a bit of cloud - temperatures stayed low throughout the day and snow conditions were good.
Overnight we have just had a sprinkling of snow, with Kagura reporting just 2-3cm of new snowfall. While snow is on the forecast for the day, right now it is holding off and just very light snow falling intermittently. The bottom half of the mountain is visible and it is fairly bright. However, the cold front does look set to strengthen so expect lower temperatures later in the day as well as (hopefully) heavier snow.
Good morning from Nozawa where it is snowing light and dry flakes quite steadily. It is very very cold today aswell. By the 5 cm that has built up on the doorstep I would estimate it has been snowing since 5 or 6 this morning. The condition of the snow from the last dump is still great, so all that we need is enough snow to fill in tracks and it will be outstanding skiing and boarding again today. This front is meant to snow on us until tomorrow night and then it will be fine for a few days.
The Nagano prefectural ski champs are in town from the seventeenth and the town is slightly busier than normal. Competition will take place on the specialty downhill course, the cross country course, and the ski jump, so normal operation of the hill will not be affected.
The fire festival went off without a hitch last night, there were some good fights and then the shrine got burnt down. The Nozawa Onsen Resort webmaster could be suffering from too much sake (or third degree burns), as snow depth figures have not been updated for today. I will post todays figures later in the day. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 16th January 2008, 9:59am
What a great day yesterday was. Sunny blue skies all around, good snow. What more could we want?
This morning it is more winter like and the snow has returned, starting to fall earlier on. There's a few cm around since early morning but it looks like we can expect some decent snowfall over the next few days. Very slight wind only and so while visibility is not at it's best, they are decent conditions to be out in.
In resort operations news, it seems that the Number 1 high speed, Number 3 and 4 Romance lifts at Shiga Kogen will be closed. The smaller Kidoike resort area (just the one lift) will be closed today as will Kasadake (also one lift).
Night operations today at the following resort areas, with Kumanoyu once again opening on a weekday evening:
Light snow started early this morning and will continue through the day. Temperatures are cool again today and will stay cold today with overcast skies and light to moderate winds from the North - North West. The runs will be hard packed with some icy patches, there will be a light covering of snow over the top. Conditions are good for cruisers with rooster tail. Watch out for slippery parking lots and also varying visibility.
Backcountry Travel Advisory as per January 15th:
There has been a lot happening in the mountains lately. We had rain to 2400 meters through the night on January 11th that turned to snow on the morning of January 12th. That snow fell hard in the AM and tappered off in the afternoon. Cool temperatures through the night of the 12th made everything crisp and turned the rain layer into a hard ice crust. The morning of the 13th brought strong cold winds and more snowfall out of the North West that scoured the Northern slopes and deposited large amounts of wind affected snow on the Soutern slopes. This wind deposited snow rested over the rain crust of the day previous and although bonding faily well at low elevation below tree line the wind deposited snow has not been as quick to bond at tree line and in the Alpine areas of the Hakuba Mountains.
Use extreme caution when moving on or under South and South East aspects at tree line and in the alpine as unstable wind slab is present on these slopes. Be aware of solar radiation on these slopes today and temperature increases.
The wind slabs that were created on the 13th remain unstable and are not bonding to the ice crust below them. One large Size 3 avalanche from the peak of Hakuba Norikura Dake was observed and investigated by students on a recent Advanced Avalanche Awareness Course. The crown fracture was an average of 70 cms over a width of 200 meters and ran close to a kilometer to it's run out on the flats of the Tsugaike shizen. There were massive blocks of high density wind slab and debris that was piled 5 meters deep in places. The avalanche is presumed to have happened in the early hours of January 14th.
Snow profiles showed that the wind slab found on the South Eastern aspects of the Tsugaike area are over-riding a lower density layer of new snow composed of needles and decomposing snow that has started to facet right above the ice crust of Jan. 12th. Moderate; sudden colapse, compression test results were found as well as a Reusch Block 4 on the same Ice crust / new snow interface that reconfirmed the instability of the newly created wind slab.
Clear skies and cool temperatures overnight will have only continued to decrease stability with increased faceting at the ice crust new snow interface.
Be increasingly careful as new snow that is forcasted this week acumulates on north facing wind scoured slopes, that may have a layer of surface hoar on the crust after last nights clear skies, will not be stable and should not be ventured on to with out reasing there stability.
Wind-slabbed south slopes with increased weight of new snow may produce large destructive avalanches and large alpine bowls and non-supported slopes should be avoided.