Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 15th December 2017
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 1st February 2013, 10:12am
February already. How time flies.
And it's another stunner in Nozawa Onsen this morning.
Brilliant atmosphere clarity is delivering spectacular views with a totally cloudless blue sky. Highly recommended to make the effort bringing the cameras up the mountain this morning.
The groomed runs will be fast early with the cold overnight temperatures, probably grading to fun and slushy later. Off piste conditions should be quite variable; depending on sun exposure. We are expecting quite warm temperatures well into the positives, even at the top, so a classic spring like day is expected. Clear conditions will persist for the morning at least before bands of high cloud move over during the afternoon.
Yesterday was one of the clearest days of the season so far. The Sea of Japan was easily visible with even Sado Island spotted offshore from the summit of Nozawa. It's not too often that we experience such visibility.
Riding yesterday was also fun. Down low became heavy going and slushy during the afternoon thanks to warm temperatures. Up high the snow had a chalky consistency, excellent for throwing some spray. Off piste had nice snow in the shaded gullies but sun exposed areas became difficult and highly variable as the day wore on. Crowds were not an issue.
The forecast looking ahead has slightly improved since yesterday, though still not great however. From late tonight and tomorrow morning we should see rain. Weather models predict a strong high pressure system sitting SE of Japan will interact with a developing low to draw up warm SSW airflow from the tropics. Tonight temperatures will continue to increase till 3am and then remain at about 2000-2400m until mid morning tomorrow. We should then see a gradual cooling trending with rain turning to snow around Saturday evening.
Snow is possible on Sunday before a fast moving but less intense warm front passes through of Monday. Following that we should expect cool temperatures and possible snow.
Lifts operating: All lifts operating except Yunomine pair Mizunashi triple Challenge pair Utopia pair Higake Number 2 pair B line
Courses open: All courses open except Kandahar East
The good news is that it is snowing lightly at the moment. At the moment it is not heavy enough to start accumulating on the ground, but fingers crossed it develops into something more substantial. It should be a good morning on the mountain, overcast, but a little bit of freshness on the pistes. Read more ...
Friday 1st February 2013, 12:23pm
Another blue bird day in Miankami with temperatures expected to reach a high of 5 deg at the valley level.
Tomorrow sees even higher temperatures as a low front moves over bringing some light easterly and southerly winds and remaining cloudy for most of the day. Temperatures drop again on Sunday and light snow should start to fall in the afternoon. Read more ...
Friday 1st February 2013, 12:54pm
No new snowfall to report again in Niseko today. Very mild as well. 0C earlier on and around +3 now. It has been cloudy today so far.
Getting straight to the point --- there's a chance of rain tomorrow. Freezing point is set to whizz up as high as 1000m and it's going to be another mild day.
The good news is that later on in the day it should get colder and it should be snowing by Sunday. Possibly heavy snow. Yes please. There might be stronger winds as well though over the weekend so we'll have to keep an eye out for that. If it all goes to plan we should be back to very nice conditions on Monday.
I'll fill you in on the final snow fall numbers for Kutchan for January 2013 sometime over the weekend.
Sorry about the late report today. Behind the scenes of SnowJapan a lot of changes are happening and upcoming. This morning we weren't able to make the update due to some technical issues. In the near future you'll all be able to see what the site has planned to take it forward into the coming years. I was lucky to get a sneak preview and I can say that I'm really excited to see what's in store. The guys have have been working really hard on the new version of SnowJapan for over a year and a half now, and so it's a major transformation that is in store. Otanoshi-mi-ni!
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono Top - 390cm Bottom - 175cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 330cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Village Top - 370cm Bottom - 210cm
Niseko base 6am: -3C, no snowfall. Moiwa 800m: -5C, misty/humid snowfall, mild wind and no development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: SSW14m/s (Kamui cape), SE3m/s (Benkei cape), 0.8m waves and 1028hPa. Annupuri peak: WSW4.7m/s, -6.7C.
Calm morning as the isobar spacing is currently wide until the next low-pressure system approaches. Southwesterly wind is forecasted to pick up in higher altitude from noon. Gate 2 & 3 are scheduled to open at 10am, however may be closed depending on the weather conditions. A storm will pick up from later today and the avalanche risk will rise drastically. Be flexible with your plans.
Nitonupuri, Chisenupuri, Mekunnai and other peak of the Niseko range are pure mountainous areas. Thorough preparation, experience, skills and cautious thinking are necessary in these areas. There might be no glaciers here, but crevasses can form due to heavy snowfall and wind-drifts. Be extra careful when visibility is low. The weather comes in earlier in those areas, as they are located further west than the resort area. Winter mountaineering always requires extra prudence.
Snow surface is difficult to see today, beware of hitting trees and falling into cracks. Maneuver you skis/board in controllable speed. The snow is still in good condition. Read more ...
Friday 1st February 2013, 13:05pm
It has been a stunner of a day so far here in Zao. Lovely clear blue skies all around. Amazing contrast with the white of the snow. A lot of tourists up top today too! More than a few of them will be finding themselves rather burnt this evening I think. Protection required!
It was a cold start and about -5C but warming up as we enter the afternoon. Into positive numbers.
We might get a spot or two of rain overnight but other than that clear conditions forecast for both tomorrow and Sunday. Possibly strong winds too.
Remember that festival that I mentioned a few days back.... tomorrow night!
Stunner of a day here in Yuzawa again. Blue skies all round and it's calm. No wind. Amazing views all round.
It's warm out there too.... 8C at the moment!
Seems calm to me here now but apparently stronger winds are due fairly soon, as Gala Yuzawa are closing from 2pm today. From what I can tell people with tickets for Gala Yuzawa this afternoon will be able to use them at Yuzawa Kogen, Ishiuchi Maruyama or NASPA Ski Garden.
Clouds are due to come in later on though and we might get some rain overnight and tomorrow as it's probably going to be about as warm tomorrow as well. Would be good if the rain kept to a minimum of course and some local forecasts do give us a chance of a bit of sun as well, so we'll just have to see how it turns out. Most forecasts do seem to agree though that Sunday will be better than Saturday.
Have a fun weekend. Remember to keep the fingers crossed to prevent that rain!
Another day of amazing weather up here in Madarao. Clear blue skies. Wow. Stunning stuff. Though it does seem to have been getting less clear/vivid as we enter the afternoon. Unfortunately we are still down for some rain later today and into tomorrow and the mild temperatures that we have today likely to be repeated. Both today and tomorrow a high of around +5, so not what we are used to in early February.
Can you believe it's February already? Slow down please, time!
By the way tomorrow night after nighta there'll be a cool fireworks display near the resort hotel and entrance to the slopes. Hopefully the weather will co-operate.
Lifts planned to be operating: Number 1 Number 2 Number 3 Super quad Number 5 Number 11 Number 12 Number 15 Kids Park --- FreeRide Park Powder Wave I Powder Wave II Usagi Riverline Powder Theater Adventure Read more ...
Friday 1st February 2013, 13:56pm
I had a bit of a shock when I looked at the Kagura webcam just now -- no people! Looks like it is stuck on 6:40am though as there will most definitely be lots of people up there on this lovely clear and sunny day. The snow may not be in perfect shape as we wait for more - always want more fresh, of course - but the weather conditions are fantastic.
Not a lot to report this morning really as it is basically just... sunny. No new snow. A bit of a wind but nothing major.
Oh actually yes there is something big to report. Or report again. Yes, today sees the very early opening of that top lift at Kagura. Until this year it has always been a 'spring ski' thing and opening in March but this season they have gone and started it moving 1st February. Must be popular. Highly recommended.
Anyway clouding over is expected later on then... rain. Yes, we likely won't escape rain tomorrow. With the freezing level forecast to be right up above 2000m, getting high up may not be enough to escape it. Though obviously increase the chances of getting lucky. Just hope it is short lived. One local forecast I have just seen gives us snow instead of rain. We'll just have to see how it warms up tomorrow.
Official resort snow depth: Naeba - 260cm Kagura - 370cm
1st February 2013. I can hardly believe it is already February. The time seems to go so fast in winter and while resort skiing and boarding goes on until May in Hakuba, the thought of being in peak season is just mad.
We might be in 'peak season' now, but the current snow conditions aren't quite up there living up to that name. For the moment anyway without the fresh these last few days.
A beautiful day yesterday and a beautiful day today as well. No new snowfall to report from around the resorts.
This morning we had clear blue skies once again. Since late morning thin clouds have been forming, taking away most of the blue contrast giving us a more overcast feel to the afternoon. The sun is still shining through this new layer.
Right now it is approaching +9C at village level. Warm! It's closing in on +5C even up at Usagidaira on Happo-one, so it's feeling warm out on the mountain today as well.
Tomorrow... well, tomorrow is it going to rain. It's going to be as warm as today but there seems almost no chance of us avoiding the rain I'm afraid to say. It might even start as late as this evening. We're hoping it might get to be snow higher up, especially as we approach tomorrow evening, but it's going to be 'girigiri' borderline at best.
Sunday would seem to be the pick of the weekend though for those visiting.
It is recommended that people stay out of the backcountry at the moment especially with the probable rain and snow at elevation adding load to the already somewhat unstable snowpack.
Avalanche Hazard Rating: Alpine: High Tree Line: Considerable (trending to High) Below Tree Line: Considerable (trending to High)
Have a good, safe weekend.
Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 1st February 2013:
Hakuba Goryu: No snow reported up top from Hakuba Goryu this morning. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 315cm; Toomi - 165cm; Iimori - 130cm
Hakuba 47: No new snowfall reported by Hakuba 47 this morning. Official snow depth: Upper - 228cm Lower - 187cm