Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 24th March 2018
Wednesday 24th December 2014, 7:01am
Cloudy for the moment
Mostly cloudy over the region, some quite dark clouds there early on as well.
Yesterday it was snowing on and off for most of the day and into the evening, though the kind of snow that didn't end up with much in terms of new cm on the ground. There were a few times when blue skies appeared as well, only to be fairly quickly covered again by the clouds.
Fairly hard packed snow conditions on lower slopes yesterday afternoon and a bit icy - it felt pretty cold out there - so while there's still a large amount of snow delivered to the area. Perhaps Santa could help rather than skiing around! And perhaps he will. While today is expected to be quite mild and temperatures rising to maybe around 6 degrees early afternoon, it should be getting cold by evening and hopefully snow falling by the end of the day (though some local forecasts give us the chance of rain before snow). After that, snow for all of tomorrow, so bring it on Mr Christmas.
I'm posting the report too early this morning to catch the official snow depth number updates and so most of those are as they were yesterday.
Morning from Nozawa on this traditional day of sponge cakes and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Santa-san, after enjoying the fresh snow on the mountain yesterday, is off busy doing his job proper today delivering presents.
It's a chilly morning here though set to mild-up a bit duing the day and while there's lots of cloud around as I am sat here writing this report before 8am, forecasts point to clearer conditions and the sun shining down so we might get that later.
Snow clouds are due back over Nozawa though tonight and it's looking like snow should be falling on Christmas Day this year.
Fresh snow this morning:
Yamabiko - 2cm (during the day yesterday) Uenotaira - 2cm (during the day yesterday) Hikage - 0cm Nagasaka - 0cm Karasawa - 0cm
Yesterday the skies cleared up quite a bit leaving us with a fine day in the afternoon.
This morning it's another very cold start to the day in the area. Lots of cloud, but some sky on view as well. It might end similar to things yesterday.
No new snow to report, but by the end of the day today snow is forecast to be falling and through tomorrow as well. Very cold conditions expected to continue to wrap up well.
Night skiing at just Ichinose Family now for the next few days, with more places doing the night thing for the New Year period (with some) starting on Saturday - details in the report below.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 80cm Most open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yakebitaiyama: 100cm Most open
Ichinose Family 100cm Most open
Ichinose Yamanokami: 100cm Open
Ichinose Diamond: 100cm Part open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 90cm Open
Terakoya: 110cm Open
Higashitateyama: 100cm Open
Giant: 90cm Open
Nishitateyama: 90cm Most open
Happo Bundaraia: 90cm Open
Sun Valley: 60cm Open
Maruike: 60cm Open
Hasuike: 60cm Open
Kumanoyu: 110cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yokoteyama: 110cm Most open. Shibutoge now open.
Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:
Sun Valley: December 29th-30th; January 1st-2nd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st
Maruike: December 29th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 10th, 11th
Takamagahara Mammoth: December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd
Ichinose Family: Every day until March 29th
Ichinose Diamond: December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th
Yakebitaiyama: December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st
Kumanoyu: December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th Read more ...
Wednesday 24th December 2014, 8:12am
Another fine snowy morning here in Niseko with about 25cm fresh on the ground once more outside my place here in Hirafu. Going to be more than that up there, so conditions should be top notch again today on the mountain. It's still coming down very nicely now so refills aplenty during the day... and tomorrow and Friday by the looks. A steady supply of fresh light snow, nice.
(Oh yes, just to update what I was reporting yesterday - the JMA snowfall number for December 2014 in Kutchan has now gone over that for December 2013. Keep it coming!)
It's not as cold again here at base, just around -3C degrees now, with resorts reporting low temperatures at peak of -8C. Wind doesn't look like it's going to cause lift disruptions this morning.
I'm hearing that Gates 5 and 6 should be opening very soon, bit more on that down in the Avalance Report below. Top lifts at Hirafu, Village and Annupuri not yet moving but hopefully it's going to open soon.
It being Christmas, there's a number of events going on. Santa should be found on the slopes today and tomorrow. Whether he will be skiing or snowboarding, unconfirmed! But apparently he will have some 'delicious presents' to give to some people who meet him. That's over at Hirafu anyway. I've got a feeling that he might be spotted elsewhere as well.
Fireworks. Who doesn't like fireworks? Well, apart from my dog. Pets are advised to keep away from 9:15pm tonight when there'll be a firework display at Hirafu after the night skiing has finished.
I have no doubt that once that lot has finished there will be further frivolity at various establishments around the village and beyond as well. Have fun. Wrap up well. Don't drink too much, etc. It may sound strange but in past seasons there have been very sad accidents happen late at night.
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Niseko Grand Hirafu looks set to start the day as planned, top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts not moving yet.
Niseko Village: Four lifts open as normal, top Wonderland Chair lift not moving yet.
Niseko Annupuri: Four lifts open as normal, top Jumbo Number 4 lift not moving yet.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Moiwa base: -3C, 30cm of crystal snowfall in the past 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: -4C, mild wind, 40cm of fresh, snowdrift development and 30m visibility. Annupuri 1150m: -6C, strong wind, 30cm of new snow and notable development of snowdrifts. Snowpack 140cm at 1000m. Hirafu 1000m: -5C, 30cm of fresh and light development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape NNE9m/s, Kamui cape N5m/s, 1010hPa and 1.4m waves.
Typical heavy snowfall (30-40cm) of an approaching low-pressure system. The wind in high-altitude is strong, but mild around 800m and the snowdrifts development is relatively slim. Visibility is poor. This thick new layer of low-pressure generated snow often collapses even without notable weak layers. Beware of slides in steep knolls and cornice slopes. Depending on the chairlifts operation, Gate 5 (Hanazono) and 6 (Moiwa) will open today. Seek for the ski patrol’s advice before stepping out of bounds. Carrying avalanche gear is strongly recommended. Many hazards are present in the out of bounds area. Always remain prudent and think safety first. Always ride one by one and stay away from gully bottom. The snow in the trees is in good shape.
Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 270cm Base - 120cm
Niseko Village: Top - 170cm Base - 120cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 140cm Base - 110cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift. There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area.
Merry Christmas, as they say, as it is of course Christmas... Eve. I'll say it tomorrow as well and confuse some of my Japanese colleagues. ;)
Great day yesterday, if not a little windy up on the mountain, with lots of clouds clearing and leaving us with a beautiful afternoon and much blue sky over Hakuba.
There's no fresh snow to report this morning on the ground or around the resorts, but still lots to play in left over from yesterday.
There's lots of heavy looking dark cloud around this morning but perhaps it'll clear up again. Some local forecasts do indeed say it should be nice and sunny today.
We're expecting snow for Christmas Day though, probably starting tonight. Look for a dip in temperatures as well, it should be much colder than it will be today.
Have fun out there!
Official snow depth numbers and operations as of 24th December 2014. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall this morning. All lifts operating except Alps Daira 2&4 and Toomi Number 2 Pair lift. All courses open except Adventure Course. Night skiing at Toomi every day until 31st March.
Hakuba Cortina: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Lifts 5 and 7 not open - resort now mostly open. Night skiing every day until 31st March.
- Upper - 290cm - Lower - 190cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now open, most notably the Uma-no-se course not yet open. Next night skiing is from 27th December through 1st January in both Kane-no-naru-oka and Karamatsu-Shirakaba areas.
Quite cloudy this morning, though thin in places and a bit of light blue showing through. Might it clear up? Yes, I think it might. Though forecasts tell us that such clearing won't last long because we have fresh snow clouds on the way to bring us a Christmas present. (Hopefully 30+cm worth!)
Yes snow forecast for late today and through tomorrow, perhaps into Friday as well.
Bit milder this morning though that won't last long either with a cold December 25th likely.
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park
Just a dusting of fresh snow this morning in my report.
Not as cold this morning, just under 0 degrees, and it's calm out there. Cloudy conditions with the upper mountain covered in early morning fog so visibility right now poor up there. Might be a hint of clearer skies once that sorts itself out but we are expecting snow showers later on today and overnight and possibly tomorrow too. It will be a very white Christmas. Got to keep an eye out for possibly stronger winds though.
Yokokura area: From Friday 26th December until 4th January; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
December 2014: 27th-31st January 2015: 1st-4th, 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st February 2015: 1st-28th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2600 yen for adults and 1300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Wednesday 24th December 2014, 9:07am
The snow continues to fall and the good news continues to roll in. Overnight there has been 20cm of new snow in the village and significantly more at the top of the resort. This was a surprise as the precipitation numbers on the forecast yearday were small. The new snow means the resort has been able to open parts of Kitanomine today. From today the Kitanomine quad chair and Kitanomine Romance #2 double chair will be operating, as well as the link lift over to the Furano Zone. If you are planning to return to the Furano Zone from the Kitanomine side, be sure to note the closing time of the link lift. Kitanomine Gondola is still not operating. The Kitanomine courses that will be open today are the Link Course and Rinkan Course going via Furano Prince Hotel to the bottom of the Kitanomine quad chair.
It is currently cloudy and there is a light trickle of snow falling which looks to continue through the day. Visibility is generally good but there are some patches of low light out there. All in all looks to be an excellent day especially with the additional terrain that is now open. Read more ...
Wednesday 24th December 2014, 12:22pm
Clear morning in Minakami with snow showers beginning from the night till Saturday morning.
A dusting of new snow are expected for the weekend.
Sunny earlier in the day, but not increasingly cloudy
The weather is changing this early afternoon; the morning saw sun and shining white snow—always pleasant, I guess, but we're looking forward more to some snow in the days ahead. There's a chance from tonight, iy seems, although maybe not as heavy as early forecasts on the news programs predicted. The wind is picking up on the coast, while the barometer is starting to turn down. Maybe a little fresh white stuff in time for Christmas?