It is currently snowing and the snow is expected to fall throughout most of the day. Temperatures felt quite chilly compared to yesterdays tropical blip. It is currently -7deg at the base with a light wind which is adding to the chilly feel. The runs have been exstensively groomed overnight. Visibility is okay, but expect some flat light. Conditions will be hard underfoot with a nice sprinkling of fresh powder on top. Have a great day - or sharpen your edges and have an even better day. Read more ...
Thursday 21st January 2010, 9:35am
The higher temperatures continue today with the sun currently hidden behind a layer of cloud but doing its best to fight its way through. Yesterday's sun has melted a lot of the snow down at valley level.
Their are rumours of the wrong sort of precipitation today - the clear kind beginning with "r" that we don't like to mention - but so far things aren't looking too bad for the rest of today.
Snow up in the resort is still good with plenty of base, though yesterday's warmer temperatures have made some of the snow off-trail quite a bit heavier.
I'm a bit put out with the official report saying "snow" this morning because it is raining, lightly, as I write this. At +4 degrees, it seems unlikely that we can expect much in the way of snow though of course it may be at the top of the mountain - but it will be wet snow. It is the warmest day of the year so far though the good news is that the temperatures should drop as the day progresses and hopefully it will be snowing by the end of the day and into tomorrow as a colder stretch of days approaches.
So not the best of days to be out there but after the run we have had a blip is acceptable - as long as the fresh snow comes soon!
Yesterday remained mild for most of the day with occasional light rain and drizzle. All the fresh snow from the previous week compacted down to a pretty hard base. From around 6pm the rain started turning to wet snow and by 8pm the temperature had dropped back below freezing and the snow was settling and covering the roads once again in white. The snowfalls eased just after midnight but this morning they have intensified again and the cold air is well and truly with us with temps at village level now around -7. Total snowfall till now has been between 5-10cm, starting out very wet and this morning nice and dry powder once more. This has fallen on top of a hard, icy base. Certainly no bottomless turns out there today. Snowfalls are expected to continue throughout the day and conditions will hopefully improve quickly with further snowfalls continuing into the weekend.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 240 Bottom - 130
Niseko Village: Top - 290 Bottom - 160
Annupuri: Top - 275 Bottom - 190
Niseko Avalanche Info No.37
Moiwa base 6am: -7℃, 5cm of wet/broken crystal snow and still falling this morning. Coastal data: NW12m/s at Benkei cape, W8m/s, 2.3m waves and 1005hp at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: NW17.6m/s, predicted to remain around NW20m/s at noon. The snow at the surface has transformed into “wet facets” (Jan 20th layer) then re-freezing due to the passing Low pressure. Some cracks are forming in SE facing slopes due to the contractions and possibilities of full depth avalanche is rising. 30cm surface slab avalanche is also to be considered this morning in knolls and 40°steep slopes, as snowdrifts are developing in leeward gullies above1000m. Depth hoar is forming underneath today’s snowdrifts and the bonding between Jan 20th layer is relatively weak. Hirafu patrol has reported NW20m/s wind, difficult to walk along the peak ridge. Niseko Village report: -13℃, westerly wind blowing within 15m/s. Gates 2 (Annupuri peak), 3 (Hirafu peak) and 4 (Fujiwara) will be closed. Other gates are yet to be decided. Pretty bad mountain conditions. Respect the ski patrol’s instructions.
Cloud & Rain (turning to snow later in the afternoon)
Sadly we woke up to heavy rain fall this morning, which started late last night and continued through to this morning. The good news is that the temperature is due to drop throughout the day, turning to light snow fall later in the day.
This snow fall will be on top of the rain causing a mixture of slushy and icy conditions. On piste the runs will be very rain affected, causing varying conditions, as the temperature drops later in the day it will cause very icy conditions, so please be careful not only on resort but also around town.
After a few beautifully warm couple of days the weather is set to change once again throughout the week. With a mixture of light snow fall, light winds and temperatures going up and down throughout the week.
It's not good news this morning I'm afraid.... rain!
Yesterday turned out to be a very fine day, though perhaps not as blue sky as we were expecting. But it was warm (for mid-winter anyway) and a fair bit of snow melt going on.
This morning it is raining in Yuzawa and quite heavily at times so it's a wet and fairly miserable morning. Higher up it looks like it is trying it's best to be snowing - though early on even Kagura are reporting rain - and hopefully as the day progresses it will start snowing. It is forecast to cool down and end up in the minuses once again and snow later today and into tomorrow though I don't think we can expect anything significant in terms of new cm. Not a huge amount of snow on the six day radar and it looks like we are in for a mixed bag of weather conditions, thought it should stay colder than it has been the last few days.
Rain and gray; the new weather cycle has definitely moved in. The snowpack is shrinking before our eyes, and the rain is making for some slippery and sloshy driving.
Snow has just begun to fall, almost exactly as predicted by the forecasts. Overall a little rain isn't a bad thing; the snowpack is now very well settled, the bush and brush in the backcountry is bent down into the snow and it's time to get a little more fresh on top.
Backcountry, we're keeping an eye on the top layer after two days of sun and warmth, followed by the rain. Temperatures have not dropped suddenly — yet — so hopefully the new snow will adhere well to the old and not build on top of a hard layer. The wind is shifting around to the north, so there is the chance of a quick drop in temperature. We should know more in the next few days when the new has built up a bit and we can dig around and see what's happening in the snowpack.
It is not often that you need to report rain mid-winter in Kagura, but raining it is this morning - even up there. Hmmmm. As has been reported, it has been a run of days with some clear skies and warm weather but it seems that things are about to change as we get more winter-like weather approaching again.
Hopefully by the end of today, preferably sooner, it will be snowing up there as it gets colder and snow is forecast - and then we should be on for a run of colder days and it will feel like winter once again!
After the very fine weather of yesterday it was a pretty bad start to today with rain falling in Shiga Kogen. Rain is not something that is welcome or even common in a normal year here, but I'm happy to report that it has since turned into snow and although wet it is currently snowing.
Some of the resorts numbers are reflecting the fact that the warm weather (and then rain) have had an impact on the snow. Hopefully this new snowfall will give us a fresh blanket of snow to play in. It doesn't seem we can expected prolonged snowfall though and things might clear up once again for the weekend though this time it should stay cold out there which is what we want...
Nighta this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 21st January 10: