Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 18th January 2018
Saturday 16th January 2016, 7:44am
Lots of cloud over Yuzawa, some blue sky
An early morning report today as we start a new weekend.
No new snowfall cm to report to you from here in town - even though at times yesterday it was snowing, but again not with much conviction for the most part - and the day has started with some grey cloud and blue sky. With the sun trying to break through especially just to the north of Yuzawa, it feels like it could be one of those days where it clears up and ends up being a fine day.
There will have been a dusting or slightly more of fresh snow on higher resort areas yesterday, though it was no doubt sliced up by keen skiers and snowboarders at the time.
I was looking through some photos of this time last year. Last year there was close to 3cm of snow around the back of my house and on the rice fields. Today, there's just a bit of snow on the ground. It's such a drastic comparison with last year which is the biggest shocker. For those of you less well up on the region, while we did get a particularly large amount of snow in the early season last year it's this season that is by far the furthest from the norm.
The storm that people are hoping will turn things round is still due early in the week. We might get some rain before it kicks in sometime on Monday, but from then onwards into at least mid-week snowfall is expected. And very hopefully we will get the sustained heavy snowfall that we are usually so used to around these parts.
For this weekend we can probably expect those cloud and possible clearer skies, though it shouldn't be warming up too much which is good.
More and better snow conditions can be found in higher resort areas.
Have a good weekend.
Resort official snow depths (Saturday 16th January 2016) and any specific news:
All resorts in the area are now generally open for the season, though please note that some areas and courses are not yet open. Generally some steeper slopes that need more snow are still closed and some lower slopes are patchy (to varying degrees).
There may be a few more hangovers than normal this morning after the events of last night so a good morning to get early lifts up. Would be better if there were 30cm of fresh up there but we're going to have to do with the 2cm reported by the resort.
It's the weekend so all lifts at the resort are moving this morning, apart from the Kandahar pair and the Karasawa pair. Courses that are open remain the same... for those to open it's all about snow.
Early to mid week is still looking extremely promising for Nozawa-like heavy snowfall. If the weather co-operates and the forecasts are right, we might get rained on around Monday but then the storm arrives bringing with it heavy snow. Look to that for around Tuesday-Thursday. Come onnnnn!
For the moment there's still plenty of fun to be had of course - just not quite what we expect... head to the higher slopes for more snow and the better conditions.
Until tomorrow... have a good Saturday.
Official info at time of writing on Saturday 16th January 2016 (subject to change):
The sun was out in the morning and there were lovely clear blue skies. It was good and cold. There were excellent deep snow conditions (I usually try to avoid that word, but I really could not think of another that fit better!)
And then later on in the day the snow clouds came back and started to give us yet another refresh.
So this morning my measure of the new snow is 17cm. I see that the Avalanche Report below is showing 20-30cm as well which is great to hear.
Once again it's top quality stuff as well, dry and light, just how we like it. See if you can make a snowball out of it!
This morning it has been snowing (again) though it is actually quite bright as I write this and I can see some blue skies over to the east and Mt Yotei. The sun seems to be breaking through in places too.
I have observed 197cm of fresh snowfall here since the beginning of January, and over 504cm of snowfall since the season began. With the forecast still showing lots of snow over the coming week, it looks like we are very likely going to be easily 'beating' the snowfall I observed last January (which was 257cm). Perhaps we might even start to catch up on the total for the season even with our late start.
Those of you who picked to come to Niseko around now... Congratulations! I hope it continues so that all of you folk coming soon can also experience these conditions.
Have a great weekend wherever you may be.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing - subject to change during the day:
Niseko base 6am: -8℃, 30cm of crystal snow and calm morning. Moiwa 800m: -12℃, mild wind, 20cm of new snow and no development of snowdrifts. Mikaeri 740m: -10.8℃, Southerly0.8m/s, 30cm snowfall. Annupuri 1150m: -13℃, NW8m/s, 20cm snowfall. Hirafu 1000m: -12℃, 15cm snowfall, no development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW14m/s, Kamui cape W10m/s, 1015hPa, 1.1m waves.
The isobars are spaced out and the weather is calm. A NW wind is predicted to pick up in higher elevation. The overall snowdrift development is minimal and the mountain is blanketed with 20-30cm of fresh snow. Jan 15th layer would become a notable layer in the future snowpack. Layer observations and snowdrifts development are key features for avalanche prediction. Avalanches in Niseko are typically triggered by collapse of developing snowdrifts, and become an incident when people are caught in it. Peak gates are scheduled to open. Ask the patrol’s feedback before stepping out. Gate 7 (A-sawa) & 9 (Waterfall) are also scheduled to open today. Beware not to fall into creeks.
This information is released for the sake of all ski resort user’s safety in the out of bounds area. Carrying avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, probe) may not be compulsory, but is strongly recommended to do so. Have a nice day.
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 16th January 2016:
Just 1cm of snow to report to you since my last report and a cloudy start to the day with I hear light snow falling on upper areas of the mountain early on and poor visibility due to early morning fog and cloud.
Late tomorrow into Monday is looking like it might be exciting. Heavy snowfall ahoy! Fingers crossed everyone.
It should be another busy January weekend here - all of the lifts are moving. All we need now really to complete the picture is that snow.
Information as of Saturday 16th January 2016 (subject to change)
All of the lifts at Zao Onsen are operating today. All areas of Zao Onsen are open. Note that there is still less snow than usual and it is thin on the ground especially on lower course areas of the resort.
Morning from Hakuba and again this morning resorts reporting 1-5cm of snow on their slopes. Over the last week or so we have seen a bit of snow on most days, even though the numbers have been fairly low.
It felt cold up there on the slopes yesterday with a bit of a strong wind at times. Light snow was falling when I was up at Hakuba 47 and it was pretty decent.
This morning there's lots of cloud around and while it was snowing earlier on, it has eased now and the sun is shining down through my window as I type this. Feels like it is going to clear up.
Everyone remains very excited and expectant about the heavy snow that lies ahead according to the forecasts. It's still looking good to happen - heavy snow is due Monday through Wednesday along with some very cold temperatures. Proper mid-winter conditions. Please!
A few more courses have been opening up at Hakuba Iwatake resort - at last they have part of the Village Side open, though it is still very limited.
If the forecasts are right though, things will have changed considerably by the middle of the coming week. Let's just hope we don't get disappointed!
Can you guess just how much I want to wipe off all of the lift operation details from this report and be able to tell you that 'everywhere is open as normal'. A lot! I bet everyone reading this wants exactly that too. I still can't quite believe I'm having to go through all that checking every morning, here in the middle of January...
Resort news as of 8:30am on Saturday 16th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 2cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 5cm on upper areas. All courses are now officially open. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth Upper: 155cm Base: 30cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall at Iimori and 3cm on upper areas. Panorama, Grand Prix, Super Course, Champion Dynamic and Woody Courses in upper area; the main Toomi course and the Soft Cream and Merry Land courses in the Iimori area are planned to be open. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Alps Number 2/4 pair lift Toomi Sky Four lift Toomi Number 1 pair lift Toomi Number 2 pair lift Milky Four lift Iimori Number 1 high speed pair Official snow depth Alps: 155cm Toomi: 50cm Iimori: 45cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 5cm of new snowfall. Grat (part), Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline, Kita One Number 3 and Riesen Slalom areas are open with lower course areas still closed. Take one of the Gondola, Kokusai Number 1 pair, Sakka Kita-one quad or Nakiyama Number 3 triple lifts to get back down to base. Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Grat quad lift Alpen quad lift Usagidaira pair lift Happo Riesen quad Nakiyama Number 3 triple Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kurobishi Number 3 pair lift Skyline Number 2 pair lift Kokusai Number 1 lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Kita One quad lift Kita One Number 3 pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 110cm Nakiyama: 35cm Sakka: 15cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina reporting 1cm of fresh snowfall. The courses at Cortina that remain closed are: Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2 and 3, Itadaria Ridge and Giant. All other courses are now open. Planned lifts: All lifts apart from Number 7 pair lift now operating Official snow depth Top: 135cm Base: 75cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now at least part open. Planned lifts: Almost all of the lifts at Tsugaike Kogen are now operating. Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 139cm Maruyama: 40cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting up to 5cm of fresh snowfall. The View C, View D, North and East courses on Mountain Side are currently open; also now part of Sunny and Gezan. Limited parts of the Village Side are also opening up (part of Sunny Valley, Paradise and by1). Planned lifts: Noah Gondola View 2 3Sen Line North 4Sen Line East Line Lift Official snow depth Upper: 80cm Lower: 20cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Official snow depth 50cm All lifts apart from Number 8 lift are operating and 8 of the 12 courses are open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen.
Hakuba Sanosaka: Official snow depth 25cm Part open with the Number 1 triple lift, Number 2 quad and Number 5 pair lifts operating. Read more ...
Saturday 16th January 2016, 8:40am
Light snow once again overnight and the usually reliable weather forecasts have been off the mark for a few days now. Yesterday was clear throughout and right through till the early hours of this morning.
Snow showers forecast for today and its overcast and windy but really no telling what this weather does today. Still forecasting some decent snow Sunday night and then onwards through Wednesday. Most of the lines from 1500m look ride-able, just the run outs that need filling in and I wager this storm gets that done.
Okutone is now part open and Hodaigi remains open as well, but other resorts remain closed... we all wait for the snow!
All snow resorts in Minakami were at least part open, but with the recent weather some are now closed waiting for more snowfall:
Good morning from Grandeco where there has been another 6cm of fresh at base.
All of the lifts are now moving and the courses open. Ah, it feels like things are as they should be. Though, we would always like more snow as there is of course still less than usual.
From later tomorrow, the start of some heavy snowfall looks very likely. The first half of the week (at least) is going to be very snowy and possibly very windy at times as well as we get what will probably be the strongest sample of winter yet this season. If you are planning on being here, come prepared for mid-winter and possible blizzard like conditions.
Things are looking good, fingers crossed it all happens.
Lots of gas-like cloud earlier on this morning but in the last hour or so they clouds have been dispersing and there's some lovely blue skies over Madarao. Still some clouds around but the sun casting big shadows in places... it all looks very dramatic.
Hopefully, dramatic is what the weather will be like come Monday and through at least the first bit of next week. We are promised decent snowfall, hopefully the kind that we think of as 'normal' here (but has been lacking so far this season). Can't wait.
Mixed weather yesterday with a bit of snow but clearing up in the afternoon.
Light snow is falling here now and just a few cm of fresh on the ground. It is nice and cold this morning again so conditions that we have are keeping... though what I really want to write about is thick new layers of snow. Might I be able to write about that on Monday? I might just! Forecasts are all still pointing towards a proper dump of snow to be delivered hopefully starting late tomorrow and going through into next week. Prolonged moderate to heavy snowfall - that sounds just about perfect.
Before then it might be a mixed bag of cloud, light snow at times and clearer skies. Weather seems very confused, but hopefully will have made up it's mind to be full on winter in just a few days time.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Saturday 16th January 2016):
Well yesterday was an absolute cracker of a day with cloud lifting early in the morning to reveal a beautiful bluebird day with views right across the Furano valley through to the Tokachidake range. As people on the mountain were saying...a picture perfect day. There hasn't been too many of those days recently as it is always snowing!
Today we are back to snowy weather and there is 3cm of new snow as I write this. In the last hour, snowfall has gone from light to moderate, but while a little more snow will accumulate on the slopes the snow is forecast to be very light by afternoon. The skies are full cloud cover so we cant expect to get any sun today.
No precipitation is forecast for Sunday and Monday but the balancing factor is that the sun should appear. The main thing to watch for will be the winds which are forecast to be very strong on Monday evening and then reducing by Tuesday midday.
The longest run on the mountain is now open! The Yamabato run opened this morning giving those skiers who just want to relax on the 5.5km groomed run something to look forward to. That, coupled with the 6cm of new snow that fell overnight, should make for a fairly decent weekend here.
Right now its cloudy with some light snow falling which should intensify a little during the day again. Temperatures at the base should remain steady at around -7 to -8. The winds today are unfortunately scheduled to pick up this afternoon again in typical Appi fashion but lets hope it doesn’t ruin the day too much.
Yesterday was a 50/50 mix of sun and clouds but the wind raised it’s ugly head again in the afternoon numbing most extremities if you didn’t have adequate protection/warm clothing on. I managed to try all the runs yesterday and was pleasantly surprised at the condition of them. I’m sure they’ll get a little more wear and tear today as the weekend masses descend on the mountain but hopefully with the Yamabato run opening it should at least spread the wear around a little more.
The next few days are forecast to bring more snow with most scheduled for night-time on Monday through Tuesday morning. In fact a LOT of snow is forecast so lets pray it arrives safely.
Enjoy the weekend skiing.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 2 lift B - Number 3 lift B - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad - Sailer connecting Read more ...
Saturday 16th January 2016, 9:32am
Today is mostly cloudy with occasional breaks in the cloud
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Well today's weather is off to a different start to most days this last week. Although the day started off fairly cold temperatures are expected to rise potentially above 0 today.
Whilst we did again get snow through most of the day yesterday it again failed to really pile up anywhere. As a result whilst riding conditions are OK today there's definitely still none of the famous Japan powder around.
Despite this we have some better news with the weather report still predicting heavy snow early the week. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and let's hope this one comes through.
Pretty bright still, with blue skies visible to the south towards Nagano City
No need for an early report today, as I'm enjoying watching the snow start up again from home (but going out for a slide in the snow later!).
And in the last 30 minutes, some pretty nice snow has started to fall. It's not what we've known in the past, but as long as it keeps coming down we're happy.
My backyard is a pretty good gauge of the backcountry; the brush is slowly starting to disappear, but there's still a lot of stuff left to be buried to really make things good. "One good dump," the locals are all saying: if we get one meter of good, solid snow, things are going to change a lot (we just need enough weight, and settled snow, to push those trees down).
The forecast remains good for heavy snow early week.
Pretty bright still, with blue skies visible to the south towards Nagano City
No need for an early report today, as I'm enjoying watching the snow start up again from home (but going out for a slide in the snow later!). And in the last 30 minutes, some pretty nice snow has started to fall. It's not what we've known in the past, but as long as it keeps coming down we're happy. My backyard is a pretty good gauge of the backcountry; the brush is slowly starting to disappear, but there's still a lot of stuff left to be buried to really make things good. "One good dump," the locals are all saying: if we get one meter of good, solid snow, things are going to change a lot (we just need enough weight, and settled snow, to push those trees down).