Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Monday 18th January 2016, 7:15am
The wind that has been predicted has arrived and looking out the window the trees are moving around which is unusual for Furano in winter. Light in the village at the moment expect moderate gusts on the mountain this morning. Winds forecast to increase significantly by afternoon and be severe this evening. It would be wise to get out and have a ski earlier rather than later today I think.
There hasn't been any fresh snow since the report was posted yesterday morning and the next expected snow is a light dusting on Tuesday and Thursday. The skies are cloud today, but it is quite thin and you can see the brightness of the sun behind it.
I am about to wax up before heading out for the first lift of the day...wrap up warmly as it sure feels cold. Read more ...
Monday 18th January 2016, 8:10am
After 24 straight days of snow, where 450cm fell at the base of Kiroro. The snowfall has let up for a day and we have no new snow to report at Kiroro. This break in the weather signals the start of a period of unsettled stormy conditions. Winds are already strong and are expected to rise so be sure to check the Kiroro website for the latest updates. Read more ...
Monday 18th January 2016, 8:24am
I wanted to get the report out as early as possible this morning to let you know about the fresh snow we have.
Resorts reporting 20-30cm on the mountain and a good layer down in the village as well.
Also, strong winds are affecting Happo-one, Tsugaike and Cortina resorts this morning. It looks like Hakuba 47 and Goryu are open at the time of writing but it's best to keep an eye on that. Or perhaps have a day in the onsen and watch the snow fall while hatching cunning plans on how to enjoy it...
It's great news about the snow, not so about the wind, but this is probably just what we need... hopefully the snowfall will continue falling like the forecast says it will do for the coming week.
This may well be turning point in the season. Expect lots of things to change over the next few days once the wind allows.
I'll bring you more news from around the resorts tomorrow.
Resort news as of 8:15am on Monday 18th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 30cm of fresh snowfall. All courses are now officially open. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth Upper: 165cm Base: 50cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 15cm of fresh snowfall at lower Toomi and Iimori areas and 30cm on upper areas. All upper and Toomi areas are now open. Soft Cream, Merry Land and Powder Snow courses in the Iimori area are open. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 3 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 Iimori Number 6 pair lift Official snow depth Alps: 150cm Toomi: 50cm Iimori: 70cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Closed apart from the Nakiyama Number 3 triple lift at time of writing due to the gale conditions. Planned lifts: - Official snow depth Usagidaira: 115cm Nakiyama: 35cm Sakka: 15cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina reporting 20-30cm of fresh snowfall. At 8am this morning all lifts at Cortina are closed due to the strong wind conditions. Planned lifts: All closed early morning. Official snow depth Top: 132cm Base: 80cm
Tsugaike Kogen: At 8am this morning all lifts at Cortina are closed due to the strong wind conditions. Planned lifts: All closed early morning. Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 150cm Maruyama: 40cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 50cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting up to 10-20cm of fresh snowfall. No updates on operations yet for the morning. Planned lifts: - Official snow depth Upper: 100cm Lower: 30cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Official snow depth 50cm As of yesterday all lifts apart from Number 8 lift are operating and 8 of the 12 courses are open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen. No further updates as yet this morning.
Hakuba Sanosaka: Official snow depth 20cm Part open with the Number 1 triple lift, Number 2 quad and Number 5 pair lifts operating. Read more ...
Monday 18th January 2016, 8:28am
Generally grey clouds
Good morning from Niseko.
Yesterday was a truly excellent day out there on the mountain with good weather conditions and all of that fresh snow to play in. The biggest problem of the way was probably 'where to go' or in my case having to stop for lunch and the energy boost.
There is just a dusting of new snowfall this morning here at base - not enough for me to award the '1cm' status and unfortunately breaking that fabulous run of new cm of snow every day since January 1st. But there you go, those be the rules!
It is a calm morning here but remaining very cold and with grey clouds all around. After no new cm of snowfall overnight, it is not snowing at the moment either. How can things go so wrong so quickly?
I'm just kidding. There's lots more snow on the way and it should be starting sometime around lunchtime today and likely continue for most of the coming week. Lots of Japan is probably going to be experiencing snowy and windy conditions over the next few days. Lots of snow all round please.
The Niseko Grand Hirafu resort has installed a beacon checker at the G3 gate which lets you know it's working good before you make your way into the snow. As they say on their official website it is not compulsory to carry a beacon for backcountry - but strongly recommended.
Take care out there.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing - subject to change during the day:
Calm morning before the storm, no notable snowfall or snowclouds can be observed. The surface has transformed into a hoar layer under the radiative-cooling and will form a notable Jan 18th layer in the future snowpack. The wind is predicted to drastically pick up as the next low-pressure system approaches. Beware of sudden weather changes. Peak gates are scheduled to open. Old tracks aren’t filled in, tricky condition, be careful. Listen to the patrol’s instructions.
A small experiment set up by the Avalanche Institute and Nagoya University is being prepared in the Mikaeri cat track area. The gate will stay open, but please be careful. It is a fact that avalanches are likely to occur in unstable snowdrift during and just after storms. Researches are being done to scientifically back up this theory. More than 1000 people step out of the gates everyday, but accidents hardly occur. It is a surprising fact and we very much appreciate that people seem to acknowledge and respect the Niseko Rules.
Official resort snow depths as of Monday 18th January 2016:
The conditions are preventing Madarao Kogen from opening at the moment but the strong winds are expected to possibly ease off a bit later on today so there is a chance that they will start up again. Connecting Tangram Ski Circus is looking like it is able to open.
Hopefully there'll be a good haul of snow to report tomorrow as well. It's raining down in the valley but snow due for the next few days and particularly heavy later on tomorrow into Wednesday.
Light snowfall this morning with the resort reporting 5cm across the mountain since yesterday.
What about this storm, I hear you ask. Well, snow is forecast for the day today as well as tomorrow and indeed actually through until at least the weekend. So we should be getting regular fresh snowfall. How much? I'll just let you know each day as the various forecasts just don't seem to be particularly reliable at the moment and often say different things. It does look most likely that we will see the heaviest snowfall here in Nozawa around tomorrow night and into Wednesday. It's still tagged as 'heavy snow', so fingers crossed. I'm saving my thoughts until we see what happens over the next few days!
I'll update you tomorrow morning with the latest.
Official info at time of writing on Monday 18th January 2016 (subject to change):
Strong winds mean that there's less/more in different places but a few measurements in places round the back of my place tell me 26cm is a fair representation of what has fallen since my last report. That's more like it, isn't it?
It is a cold, windy and snowy morning here in Zao but having to shovel snow is not stopping people from smiling as this kind of snow is exactly what we need. A few days of it and things should be full on. Today does look like it might bring the most snow during this storm but snow clouds are due over the mountain for at least the next few days. It might remain windy as well.
At the time of writing all of the Ropeways are stopped and all of the lifts - except it would appear the Onsen Number 1, 2 and 3 lifts.
Whiteout conditions out there. Time for a good soak in an onsen I think.
More... more... more... please!
Information as of Monday 18th January 2016 (subject to change)
All lifts apart from three Onsen lifts are closed as of 9am.
Well the snow has finally arrived here at Appi and from the forecast the snow gods are going to allow 40+ cm of snow to fall on our mountain today. Thats the great news!
Yes there’s a catch as always….the winds this afternoon are going to get a little strong. In fact we’re bracing for 20 M/S winds later this afternoon. That coupled with the heavy snow fall expected is going to make for nearly white out conditions on most of the mountain. Lets hope I’m wrong. The strong winds will also hamper the main gondola operation too so I’d suggest getting on the slopes early before the wind picks up.
Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with relatively light winds most of the day. All runs were actually quite busy with the weekend crowds arriving but they stayed in good shape for most of the day.
Today we’re expecting snow...ALL DAY. Temperatures have warmed up somewhat and will give us a steady -4 most of the day at the base but the wind-chill will kick in this afternoon with the forecast windy conditions. Tomorrow brings much of the same but the winds should decrease somewhat making sure the snow that falls stays where it belongs and that's on the ski slopes.
Have a great snowy day.
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 Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 18th January 2016, 9:14am
Real storm conditions this morning here in Shiga Kogen.
28cm outside my base here in the place where I always take my measurements. It's windy out there and the wind is blowing the snow around and so there's more in some places and less in others.
Lifts are definitely going to be affected this morning - in fact it looks like at the moment pretty much all lifts are on hold - but with these conditions I can't imagine actually wanting to be out there in them myself! I think I will wait until the storm passes to enjoy the new snow.
The official snow depths have for the most part hardly budged so just ignore them for the moment and think of that lovely new fresh snow that has fallen - and is continuing to fall.
The snow and wind is expected to continue over the next few days though perhaps some easing off from time to time allowing some places to part open.
By the end of the week though if this all continues as per forecast, we're going to be enjoying some great conditions and be fully open - at last!
Here's to lots of snowfall.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Monday 18th January 2016):
I'm waiting for the official report here; 9:30 and it still isn't out which is terrible on a completely bizarre weather day like today.
Luckily the Akakura Kanko sends out its own report, so I can tell you that only the No. 1 and 2 lifts are running. Everything else is closed due to the crazy strong winds coming in from the west at base level.
Also weird because the Coast Guard report shows winds offshore coming in strong from the east, which would make sense with the massive cycle bringing snow to the Pacific side. Right here, now, at this moment, the word in Myoko is driving rain - but don't panic, as the freezing line should come down later today from nearly 1500 meters to sea level. This means much colder temperatures, and very possibly some good snow (but I hate to even risk jinxing it by saying anything).
I'll try and get as much information as I can from all the different area websites - a bit of a pain, to be honest, but part of that outstanding SnowJapan service (I'm not being sarcastic; we take this seriously!)
Excellent news today as the forecasted snow has arrived in style.
Since 23:00 last night we've received over 20cm of snow and it's still falling hard.
Although temperatures my appear quite mild today there is a very strong wind about so it is in reality much colder than the temperature suggests.
Due to this strong wind the top half of the mountain is closed today although this is subject to change if the wind drops later on today.
The weather forecast has only one worrying aspect to it today which is that it is predicting rain for this morning and afternoon. This has currently not materialized and let's hope that it doesn't. The rest of the week however though is promising large amounts of snow so get those skis and boards waxed!
Nature really isn't making these reports easy this season, that's for sure!
Yesterday ended up looking quite moody really with thin almost hazy like clouds and the sun sort of visible behind them for lots of the day. Then there was even a few times when some very light snow was falling in places.
Come late night and... it was raining down in town. Snow in Tokyo and rain in Yuzawa? That just isn't right!
Anyway, come this morning and high up at Kagura they are reporting 10-15cm of new snowfall up there this morning and Maiko Snow Resort are reporting 5-15cm. So it looks like higher areas have had a fairly decent new layer of snow.
Just earlier it was still raining/wet sleet/wet snow in town but things seem to be picking up and just as I started writing this it started to snow quite heavily. But hold on, as I am about to post the report it has stopped and it's more like sleet again.
The reason I have waited until 10am today is so that I can bring you the latest forecast for Niigata prefecture that they issue (at 10am) telling us how much snow to expect. For Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma area they are saying just 2-3cm from now until 4pm today, so it doesn't look like they are expecting this snow to continue like it is just now. Hopefully they are wrong - they have been quite a lot this season so far!
It is quite mild though this morning with a high of around 5C forecast for the middle of the day.
Heavy and consistent snowfall is still expected to be on the way this week with Wednesday being the day that we should get the most.
Strong winds are preventing the Kagura and Tashiro areas of the Kagura resort from opening this morning - it's just the Mitsumata area open for the moment, though they may open up part of Kagura if the conditions improve. Tashiro is closed for the day.
It looks like it's windy up at GALA Yuzawa as well and while they are open they are operating lifts at a slower than usual speed this morning.
Resort official snow depths (Monday 18th 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.