Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Monday 22nd February 2016, 7:57am
Some icy conditions yesterday but we do have some fresh snow this morning here in Madarao, I'm happy to report.
There was 3cm of snow on the top of my car and the resort is reporting 5cm of fresh this morning. We could do with more than that, but we'll take it and it will have improved things. It is definitely good to feel a real chill in the air as well this morning and it should be getting colder mid week as well back to mid-winter like temperatures.
Snow isn't expected today - cloud is forecast for the day - with more snow due around Wednesday and then the end of the week (which is still looking rather promising, keep an eye on that!)
Back to a normal Monday so it should be quite quiet out there.
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):
Cloudy; an earlier heavy fog has mostly lifted at base
A quick report, as I'm out in town today... pretty gray out there, with fog and some very light snow coming down from time to time. VERY light, as in just a dusting on the trees.
The wind offshore has swung around to the north/northeast, which doesn't really result in much snow - if it comes more from the west we'd have uplift over the mountains, and probably more snowfall here. At least snow is on the menu for the coming days with only a little bit of clear predicted, and even the possibility of heavy snow later in the week. Personally I'd like to see it; it was pretty icy on the slopes yesterday. Powder over chatter, please.
Akakan, Akakura Onsen and Ikenotaira are the only early reporters today; all others are from yesterday.
Hello and good morning from Yuzawa where there's some fresh snow on the ground.
We had to put up with rain for quite a bit of yesterday down in town level though I hear it was snowing at times at higher elevations.
Down here as well it was trying to snow at times, and by evening it eventually did turn into snow - and we have 5cm of new snow on the ground this morning.
Maiko Snow Resort are reporting 5-10cm of snowfall and Kagura are reporting 5cm, so it looks like you can expect around 5cm of fresh out there on the slopes this morning. Obviously that's not as much as we would have liked and not enough to totally refresh conditions, but an improvement.
It has still been snowing since I got up, but is expected to ease off any time now leaving us with a mostly cloudy day.
We might get to see some sunshine tomorrow morning along with the seemingly ever-present 'warmer than average' temperatures, rising to around +6 or +7C.
Good news is we should be back to snow on Wednesday and some decent snowfall is currently on the forecast for later on Friday as well, so fingers crossed!
Recently it has been getting noticeable how the days appear to be getting longer and it getting darker later on.
Resort official snow depths (Monday 22nd 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.
It's a powder day! Overnight snowfall brought 28cm to the base of Kiroro resort. It has cleared slightly with some broken patches in the clouds this morning. Temperatures have dropped to between -8°C and -11°C, helping keep the powder light and dry. The moderate winds are expected to drop during the day.
It is shaping up to be a great day so grab your gear and head out. Read more ...
Monday 22nd February 2016, 8:42am
Cloudy but bright, even a bit of blue here and there
Good morning from Niseko and it feels nice and cold this morning.
There's 6cm of snow outside my place this morning and so I would expect 10+cm out on the mountain this morning. Just cloudy at the moment and quite bright. Not much in terms of snow is expected today but it should be back tonight giving me more to report tomorrow morning.
Unfortunately, wind is once again going to be an issue today. There were strong winds overnight and as we start the day top lifts are on hold at Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri - current status at the time of writing added below. Those of you who have followed my reports over the last few years will know just how much the winds annoy me... they affect top lifts on too many days in a season. (Not that I have a solution for a way round the problem...!)
Regular snowfall is still lined up on the current 6-day forecast and it looks like temperatures should be dropping further again come mid-week.
So if you are going to be here in Niseko this coming week, be prepared for snowy and cold conditions!
Have fun; do take care out there.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Village The top Wonderland Chair lift is on hold at the start of the day due to strong wind. Gondola currently open but moving slowly.
Niseko Annupuri The Annupuri Gondola, Jumbo Number 3 and Jumbo Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -6℃, 10cm snowfall. Moiwa 838m: -10.4℃, N4.7m/s, 20cm snowfall with snowdrifts development. Benkei cape: NNW15m/s, Kamui cape: W12m/s, 1025hPa, wave height unknown. Hirafu peak ridge 1250m: -13℃, NE15m/s with development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -12℃, NW15m/s with snowdrift development.
Intermittent snowfall under the winter pressure chart. Snow amount is small, however newly formed 40-50cm snowdrifts are developing in leeward knolls and under ridgelines above 800m elevation. Looking at observation and weather data, the snowdrifts are developing as we speak and are very unstable, easily collapsing from Feb 22nd layer with riding stimulation. Avalanche hazard level is high. Peak gates closure is undecided, please respect the patrol’s instructions. Bumpy Feb 21st layer is hiding shallow under the new snowpack, be careful not to fall and ride in controllable speed. Various hazards are lurking in the mountains. Better not overestimate your knowledge, experience, equipment and skills; always stay humble and prudent. Marginal conditions today, we strongly hope for everyone to stay safe out there.
Official resort snow depths as of Monday 22nd February 2016:
Strong winds yesterday affected some lifts across the valley.
It was snowing during the morning but it was the kind of snow that didn't amount to much in terms of accumulation. In the afternoon things generally cleared up a bit and by mid-afternoon there was some blue skies and sunshine to enjoy.
Light snow has been falling again this morning, but I can't add any new cm to my observed snowfall numbers I'm afraid. Looks like some of the higher lifts at resorts are climbing up into thick fog with poor visibility, but it's much clearer in some places. I would expect the fog to clear up this morning leaving us with a cloudy day.
It's quite cold this morning and so I'd expect some hard and icy conditions early on in particular.
What more is there to say this morning?
Ah yes, the forecast! It's still looking fairly promising in places - tomorrow night and Friday in particular. Please be right! I won't say any more, let's just see what happens.
As you probably know, the Happo-one, Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47 and Tsugaike Kogen resorts usually open right through until the end of Golden Week in early May. It's usually just top areas by then of course but it's going to be very interesting to see how lower slopes in particular manage this season. As things stand once things start to warm up properly the lower slopes are not going to be able to last that long as - there's just not enough snow base to survive a prolonged warmup period.
We have been known to get relatively lots of snow in March before, so there is hope and I want to believe!
Can the latter month or so of winter buck the general trend for this season and bring us some prolonged winter goodness?
Resort news as of 8:50am on Monday 22nd 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 generally open. The Osaru (Gate 3) area of the Tree Riding Zone is open. The R4 Snow Park is closed today and tomorrow as they work to 'renew' it. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 210cm Base: 110cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall on lower slopes and up to 5cm on upper areas this morning. All courses are generally open except Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 225cm Toomi: 110cm Iimori: 110cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses open including Kurobishi Off Piste Area and Happo Banks Snow Park. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 205cm Nakiyama: 55cm Sakka: 40cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. 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 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 183cm Base: 110cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas are open. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 5th/12th/19th March. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 215cm Maruyama: 90cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 60cm
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). Event currently being held on Kamoshika Pocket, Big Bahn and Up Bahn area. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 120cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses apart from Expert and Snake are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 110cm
The start of the new week has brought with it another 8cm of new snow. Today's snow is a lot lighter than what we had yesterday and will provided a different experience to the powder conditions on Sunday. It is snowing moderately right now and that is expected to continue through the day.
Tomorrow will be a little warmer but still below 0c. Then from Wednesday the temperatures get wintery again with temperatures in the double negatives. Light snow is forecast to fall for the next 6 days continuously. Read more ...
Monday 22nd February 2016, 9:15am
Cloud cover coming down over the tops of the mountain today.
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Well good news today as yesterdays snain turned out to be mostly snow and very little rain in the end. Whilst there was no glorious dump of powder, conditions on piste today should be slightly rejuvenated.
The weather forecast going on is still predicting snow most of this week with a small amount of rain predicted on Tuesday. Let's hope this doesn't show up.
It’s another race day here at Appi so make sure you come on up/down and cheer for everyone. Even with the bad weather yesterday it certainly didn’t stop people from coming out and waving their flags. Racers from all over Japan came for these events and through the rain, wind, snow and fog everyone had a smile on their faces. Congratulations to all the competitors and good luck to those racing today! I’ve never seen so many local town flags being waved, it was an amazing experience.
The racers today can expect much better conditions than yesterday. Currently we’ve light snow falling with a temperature of -6 at the base. The snow on the race run should have been groomed well overnight so the times should be a little faster than yesterday. No slush today thank goodness. Things should stay the same most of the day today and tomorrow with a little more snow in the forecast over the next couple of days. Temperatures are to remain steady in the -10 range for the coming week too, thankfully no more rain.
Time to layer up and head out to see what’s in store for today and to cheer everyone on.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift A - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Sailer Number 2 - Vista quad
This morning the resort is reporting 5cm of snowfall on the upper Yamabiko and Uenotaira areas and as I write this the webcams show limited visibility up there with lots of cloud and fog covering the mountain.
Down here at base it's cloudy but there's even a bit of sunshine breaking through the clouds in places.
Taking a look at the forecast we are hoping for snow from tomorrow night through Wednesday and then on Friday into Saturday - that looks pretty good actually, here's to that forecast being right.
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 Monday 22nd February 2016 (subject to change):
It's colder this morning and there's 6cm of fresh snowfall on the ground here at base.
Not snowing at the moment, rather lots of cloud but bright and a bit of sunshine poking through at times.
We should be getting snowed on again tomorrow night and some of the forecasts talk of quite a lot of snow as well. That would be nice if it happened. From Wednesday onwards regular snowfall is forecast too as well as cold temperatures so there's a chance that we'll end February in good form.
The 'Juhyo Lightup' evening ropeway service is currently open.
All being well it should remain open every day until next Sunday 28th February, from 5pm until 9pm - the last ropeway goes up at 7:50pm. Please note that you need to buy a separate ticket to use this service - it is not included in any of the normal ski lift tickets.
Information as of Monday 22nd February 2016 (subject to change)
All planned lifts are operating this morning. The Karamatsu pair lift does not operate on weekdays.
It was strong winds and snow storm time overnight but this morning we're just waking up to just a thin layer of new snow... somewhat disappointing.
It's a calm morning now. Less cloud, more blue sky and the sun is shining.
A lovely morning actually.
I was talking with a few people last night who have lived their entire lives here in Shiga Kogen (or down below in Yamanouchi town) and they were all commenting on how they have never experienced a season like this one before. It truly is unique! (Let's hope it stays that way!)
The way that generally temperatures have been higher than normal with a few sudden dips into mid-season cold here and there... 'not normal' is the best way to describe it.
In this season of odd weather, how will the rest of February and March treat us?
Forecast: snow tomorrow into Wednesday, and then at the end of the week.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Monday 22nd February 2016):
Sun Valley 60cm Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)
Takamagahara Mammoth 120cm
Tannenomori Okojo 120cm
Ichinose Family 120cm Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Yamanokami 120cm
Yakebitaiyama 150cm Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)
Okushiga Kogen 90cm
Kumanoyu 100cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm) Also on 12th February and 20th March
So Tenjindaira resort was closed yesterday due to strong winds up top. They were audible from the base so must have been raging. It snowed here for well over 24 hours so despite the resort reporting only 5cm at the base of the lifts, there are bound to be patches of deep snow today and conversely some spots where wind has completely removed fresh snow. The sun is just poking its head through the clouds now at 10am. It's forecast to reach +3C at the base today so hopefully that means slightly below zero up top. Will be there soon investigating!
Hodaigi yesterday was quite nice but rather crowded due to a snow festival they were holding. The base was quite hard due to Saturday's rain but soft snow managed to accumulate on top and the riding was fast and smooth.
Set for warmer weather tomorrow, snow starting tomorrow night.