Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 20th February 2016, 7:50am
Morning from Nozawa.
It was another fine day yesterday in the region though warming up quite a bit as well - felt rather spring-like once again with snow unfortunately melting again.
One thing about this is strange and abnormal season (in terms of weather and snowfall) is how even when we do get some decent snowfall, it seems to be quickly followed up with warmer conditions that aren't the kindest to the snow conditions.
As things are and after the warmth of the last few days, as you might expect the better snow conditions are to be found on higher areas of the mountain.
This morning there's lots of cloud around and it's just over +1C here in the village. Temperatures are due to rise to about +6C later on with the freezing level rising to nearly 2500m. Unfortunately, we're very probably going to get rained on later...
The good news is that it should be turning into snow overnight with snow forecast for the day tomorrow along with colder conditions. Then we have regular snow on the forecast through lots of next week with potentially quite a lot again later on Tuesday.
Let's hope that is right. Fingers crossed! For the sake of the length of the season, we need as much base as possible.
There is currently an issue with the 'Yu Road' which means that for the time being it will be open going towards the resort from 8am to 2pm and then coming back down towards the village from 2pm until 5:10pm.
Official info at time of writing on Saturday 20th February 2016 (subject to change):
It was another sunny day yesterday with temperatures rising again to close on double digits. Lovely weather, though making things feel very spring-like once again out there on the slopes with better snow conditions being found in higher resorts/areas.
It's going to be warm again today. The day started off generally grey and cloudy but it's quite bright and there are now a few breaks in the cloud developing with a bit of sunshine appearing too.
Unfortunately, rain is forecast from this afternoon. Hey clouds, how about tracking to the north of our valley and missing us again, like you have done quite a lot this season? That would be great of course, but I think we need to expect it to be raining with the clouds are coming in from the south west. Even the higher Kagura resort might not escape rain, alas, as the freezing level rises to around 2800m. :(
Anyway, damage limitation later on today would be good and then a quick change into snowfall overnight - hopefully by this time tomorrow it will be snowing again with snow forecast for the day tomorrow.
After that, Tuesday night through Wednesday is looking to be the most promising for the next decent snowfall.
In the meantime I hope you can enjoy the weekend wherever you may be.
Todays photos (below) were taken on Thursday 18th February at NASPA Ski Garden.
Resort official snow depths (Saturday 20th February 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm. The charge is 500 yen for everyone.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
NASPA Ski Garden Extended opening until 6pm (Number 1 lift) on Saturdays until 27th February. There is no special ticket available just for the extended time.
Yuzawa Nakazato Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March). Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Welcome to Saturday, and it looks like a good day out there. Temperatures remained warm last night and it was still +2c in the village at 10pm. It has however frozen overnight but temperatures are already at 0c at base and look set to push through into positive territory.
There has been 6cm of new snow accumulation since the early hours of the morning. There is a mix of cloud and blue sky sitting over the resort and no wind at all. From this evening we are expecting a very significant snow front to come through. Fingers crossed for this one, and Sunday morning could be pretty amazing. Read more ...
Saturday 20th February 2016, 8:10am
High cloud becoming cloudy
While the warm temperatures yesterday brought firmer snow at low elevations, the freezing level stayed low and there was no rain at Kiroro. The temperature has dropped to between -7°C and -10°C today, with 8cm of fresh snow at resort level. Peak winds have also dropped to 43km/h, making it much more pleasant at high elevations.
It is currently a mix of high cloud and sunshine, however clouds and snowfall are expected to arrive later in the day. There is a significant snowfall forecast tonight, with the potential for one of the deepest days yet tomorrow. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Saturday 20th February 2016, 8:18am
Well it’s the weekend here at Appi Kogen and we’re eagerly awaiting the masses to descend on the mountain as the Giant Slalom competition begins in earnest. Even if you’re not skiing this weekend it’s going to be a lot of fun so come and see these young hopefuls ski like crazy people. Be sure to get here early to get a good view.
As far as the weather goes it's currently cloudy, base temperature of -3 with steady light North Westerly winds. The temperature should creep up a little today to the zero zone and we may see a few centimetres of sporadic snowfall.
Yesterday was a strange day bringing snow, fog and windy conditions late in the afternoon. The fresh snow brought smiles to many faces but there was still the undercoat of ice from last weekend which could be felt after the wind picked up.
The next few days are going to get a little worse unfortunately with the wind picking up considerably tomorrow to the 16m/s range or 60kmh. Temperatures should be moderate but expect a nice wind-chill at the summit.
Come and see us and cheer for your favourite skier, they all deserve the applause.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Sailer Number 2 - Vista quad
I have 4cm of fresh snow to report to you this morning from my base here in Hirafu.
I was out of town yesterday but it sounds like fog and limited visibility were the headline of the day.
Relatively mild again this morning, just slightly colder than this time yesterday here at base. The light westerly wind this morning isn't an issue and it seems that all of the lifts on the mountain should be open and operating as planned from the start of the day.
It's a fine morning actually with some thin hazy cloud around and the sun shining through them at the moment.
Things are set to change though soon with a drop in temperatures and heavy snowfall due tonight and into tomorrow, followed by regular snow through the coming week. That sounds good to me! I look forward to bringing you good snowy news tomorrow morning.
In the meantime hope you have a fine Saturday.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
A calm morning as the Low passed and the isobars spaced out. The wind peaked around 9pm last night, generated development of wet snowdrifts around 800m elevation, however have stabilized since then. Possibilities of avalanches from Feb 20th Low pressure snowfall layer is still to be considered around cornices, knolls and steep terrain above 900m elevation. Be alert. Peak gates will open from the morning, however may close anytime depending on the weather condition. Please respect the patrol’s decisions. The snow condition is better than it looks, slightly heavy & dense, typical Niseko snow. We strongly hope a safe day for all, please be mindful of your routes and always stay prudent in the mountains. Have a nice day.
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 20th February 2016:
A fine day again yesterday weather-wise, just getting warm and toasty once again leaving us with fairly wet and heavy snow conditions on lower areas in particular.
It is a cloudy start to this Saturday morning here in Hakuba and a temperature of +2C at 8:30am. I would expect fairly icy snow conditions early on but things should loosen up fairly quick as the temperatures rise further.
Today we are expecting a high of around 6 degrees in the village and rain/sleet to move in from the south. Different forecasts have different details but let's hope that we can avoid the 'heavy rain' that some of them threaten. Thankfully even that shouldn't be too prolonged though with snow due overnight, so hopefully I'll have good snow news in my report tomorrow morning.
The forecast over the coming week is fairly promising with a return to mid-winter like temperatures and heavy snow due around Tuesday into Wednesday.
It's the 46th Fire Festival at Happo-one tonight, starting at 7:30pm over at the Nakiyama area of the resort. Weather: please be friendly!
I have mentioned this before, but if you are new to our reports and indeed new to Hakuba, please do take a bit of time to look back at previous season reports to get a good idea of how a season usually goes.
Not just in Hakuba but in many regions of Japan, this winter season is proving to be very 'not normal' in terms of weather, temperatures and snowfall.
Anyway, you can find all the previous archive Hakuba Now reports at the bottom of this page.
Resort news as of 8:30am on Saturday 20th February 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses are open. The Osaru (lower) area of the Tree Riding Zone open (Gate 3). There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 210cm Base: 115cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses except Snow Diving and Adventure are open. The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 245cm Toomi: 125cm Iimori: 125cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All open - including Kurobishi Off Piste Area. Happo Banks Snow Park is also now open. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 205cm Nakiyama: 70cm Sakka: 50cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All lifts open. All courses open except Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2, Mt Hieda 3, Itadaira Ridge and Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 9pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 180cm Base: 110cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas are open apart from Uma-no-se and part of Rinkan course. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 20th February and 5th/12th/19th March. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 215cm Maruyama: 80cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 80cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All of the Village Side is open but parts of the Mountain Side not open (Sonezawa, Dangan, Kamo 4, Five Side, View A, View B). Winter Triathlon Festa today and tomorrow, so the cross country area is currently closed to general public. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 120cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses apart from Expert Course are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 140cm
It ended up being another fine day in Zao yesterday.
This morning we start the day with cloud but we still have that mix of rain and snow on the forecast(s). We're just going to have to sit tight and see what happens. Or better still, get out and enjoy the morning before precipitation (whatever it may be) starts. It is keeping quite mild though and expected to be another fairly warm day. Even if it does rain though hopefully it'll be snowing soon enough and I'll be bringing news of snowfall in my report tomorrow morning.
Good chance of strong winds later today and tomorrow as well.
After that the next snow forecast is from Tuesday onwards.
All the best for the weekend.
The 'Juhyo Lightup' evening ropeway service is currently open... with just over one more week to go.
All being well it should remain open every day until next Sunday (28th February) from 5pm until 9pm (last ropeway going up at 7:50pm).
Information as of Saturday 20th February 2016 (subject to change)
All planned lifts are operating this morning. The Karamatsu pair lift does not operate on weekdays.
Morning from Madarao where it's just cloudy early on.
No new snow to report and it's going to be another of the milder days today.
Unfortunately, it is probably going to rain later on, but it will be turning into snow hopefully by the end of the day today and I might be able to report new cm of snow on the ground in my report tomorrow.
Looking at the forecast it seems we can expect snowfall most days through the coming week with the best chance of decent snowfall being around Tuesday-Wednesday. Before and after that it might just be light snow that doesn't really give us much in terms of cm.
Fireworks scheduled for tonight after nighta at Madarao Kogen.
Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts plan to be open today
Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
Well here we are. Will it rain or snow later today? We're off to a warm start here today in Naeba with already positive temperatures in the base are from 08:00 this morning so unfortunately my money is for rain at least at first. By the time night time rolls around though we should see a change to snow.
Looking onward the weather forecast is predicting snow for most of the week from Sunday forwards.
The temperatures are all positive (but not our attitudes because of that). It's not raining - yet, thankfully. But it's really spring out there, with water channels running down the snowfields around the ski areas. Lot of muddy boots as well. Yes, welcome to early April, now in Myoko.
Hopefully the drop in the freezing line later today/tonight will bring the promised snow. It may not be a lot, but it is going to keep going, which would be great.
The usual caution should be taken if by luck we do get any heavy snowfall on top of this wet old stuff, but that really doesn't seem likely. I'm heading out, though; time to get that creaky old knee in motion and have some fun, even if it is sloppy spring snow. Better than ice (which is only for cocktails).