Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Friday 24th February 2012, 7:35am
Yesterday we saw some crazy weather. I hiked the peak at around 10:30 am and had to deal with about 130km/hr+ winds. Meanwhile, it was completely still at the base of the mountain...no wind at all. This is the perfect descriptor of how Niseko weather can be. With a maritime climate and a North/Southeast South/Northeast jet stream mix, it can provide for some serious changes very quickly. So please forgive us in predicting the weather if we are not as accurate as you had hoped! We didn't see any new snow yesterday, but last night we got about 1-2cm.
As the backcountry heated up yesterday. We had a report and video confirmation of a pretty good sized avalanche in the backcountry. Even though the overall danger was low and terrain was abnormally steep, this slide could have very easily turned deadly had there not been quick reaction from the riders. Hopefully we will be able to get to the area and analyze the slope to see what exactly caused it to go. It looks like a lot of unstable wind loading and a very warm day caused the perfect sliding layer for all of the new snow to slide off. This slide was characteristic of this area and most other places probably would have been fine. For the time being I would stay off SE/S/SW facing slopes greater than 45 degrees in steepness unless controlled like at a resort.
The future is again looking quite uncertain. It's going to be variable with snow likely over the next 2-3 days then possibly clearing up and becoming warmer after that. We really need some snow to cover up where it got warm and then re-froze. Hopefully this system gains some strength and brings us a lot of snow! For the mean time there's still plenty of fun to be had over there. Enjoy!
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 415cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Village: Top - 460cm Bottom - 240cm
Annupuri: Top - 460cm Bottom - 240cm
Niseko Avalanche Report: Status: -1â„ƒ at the base, -4â„ƒat 800m. Coastal data: N12m/s at Benkei cape, 3.2m waves and 1010hPa at Kamui cape. 15cm snowfall in the past 12 hours. Moderate development of snowdrifts in the eastern side of the mountain at 800m. Snowfall transition: Temperature rising due to the passing low-pressure system. A wet crystal snow has blanketed on top of Feb 23rd layer in the past 12 hours. Snowdrifts of broken particle snow has developed in the east facing slopes above 800m. Snowfall amount is slim, however enough to mostly reset the surface in the trees. Hazard evaluation: Low-pressure system related snowfall causes long-running avalanches. Beware of slopes with large snowdrifts slabs. Potential risk of 20cm thick slides of heavy & humid snow. Avalanche can happen in the forests too. Avalanche risk from deeper layers will rise due to temperature warm up, especially in gully terrains of 1000m Higashi-One area (coordinate H8), west-face Goshiki onsen area (E7). Gates: Will open at 9:30. Caution: The resorts are not managing any areas outside the gates. Seek for the ski patrolâ€™s advise before you step out of bounds. Traversing across valleys all together or stimulating knoll terrains is to be avoided at anytime. Entering strictly off limits areas (Yu no sawa and Haru no taki) repeatedly will only make it more difficult to keep the freedom to go out of bounds. The freedom to ski off-piste in Niseko has been obtained in exchange to keep those areas closed. Read more ...
Friday 24th February 2012, 8:47am
A dusting of snow down in the valley and a bit more higher up thanks to the precipitation yesterday and last night. There were strongish winds yesterday and they are likely to continue today. The new snow is a bit on the wet side but fresh snow is always a good thing.
We are back into sub-zero temperatures and light snow forecast for the next week or so. There might be the occasional break for some blue sky but lots of cloud to come.
Good morning from Naeba and thankfully not a rainy one. Though we did get rained on yesterday of course, which I wasn't too pleased about. Can't complain. Well, I suppose we can - but you know what I mean!
So it's Friday and just before the all important weekend thingy. So what's the deal? I'm glad to report that we can call it 'snowy'. Just a bit of snow really - the resort blog is calling 5-10cm though I can't see that from where I am - and Kagura is also reporting just a dusting. It is back into the negatives and -2 here at base and just feels much colder than it did yesterday.
We still have strong winds though, though it only seems to be affecting the planned opening time of Tashiro Ropeway at Kagura which seems set to open something like normal. (Update on that they plan to get it moving around now, 9am). At Naeba the Gondolas including the Dragondola are on standby and the No2 and Dragondola will open if and when they can.
Remember the big news this weekend is that the top No5 pair lift at Kagura will be open for the (dare I say it while we are still in February) 'spring' season. If you have never tried it, give it a go!
The forecast has snow falling tomorrow and Sunday as well. Just how much remains to be seen - please check out the Yuzawa Now report on here this evening as we will update that with the latest local snow forecast.
Resort Operations, 24th February (subject to change) Naeba: Limited due to wind Kagura: Tashiro opening later than usual
Thankfully the wet day of yesterday is now behind us and this morning while generally just cloudy early on, we do have light snow falling in higher areas. It's definitely colder than yesterday as well which is something of a relief.
The winds have dropped down as well since yesterday though still moderate in places, but Gala Yuzawa is open today only the gondolas and a few lifts at Naeba affected this morning it seems.
Tomorrow sees the top lift at Kagura opening up for the first time this season.
We should have snow falling over the weekend, but it's unclear really how much we can expect. I'll be posting another update this evening to this Yuzawa Now page with the latest news and forecast for the weekend.
OK here we are with the evening update after a generally just cloudy day. A few spots of rain/sleet at times in town but thankfully that was kept to a real minimum. A high of around +3 degrees around lunchtime today.
Tomorrow? It seems to be light snow up top with a chance of sleet or perhaps rain falling lower down in town. We are looking at a high of around +4 degrees in town at the highest point tomorrow, so we could really do with that pushing down a bit. The forecast for tonight is just a few cm of snow in the mountains of Yuzawa before 9am, so for the most part weekenders are going to be playing in what we have now and keeping fingers crossed for real-time snow refreshes tomorrow morning! Let's hope so.
The snow walls around town have noticeably become lower though with the weather we have seen over the last week or so and there is no doubt that snow conditions will have taken a hit as well. The better snow conditions can be found higher up.
Of course, this is all in the interests of proving clear and honest information, not trying to be a downer at all - it's still great to get out on the slopes, we are just spoilt by often fantastic conditions especially this season! Hope you have a great weekend if you are in the area.
It is certainly colder this morning than yesterday just below zero in village, but still not the levels we are used to and there's a strong wind. The weather yesterday certainly didn't do the snow conditions any favours and this morning the sound of scraping can be heard on somewhat icy sounding slopes - near the base anyway. It's just cloudy this morning so nothing falling from the sky.
OK onto the better news. It looks like tomorrow should bring with it snowfall and potentially decent snowfall as well. I hope to be able to bring you news of that tomorrow morning.
Official snow depths (24th February 12) Utopia - 275cm Chuo - 210cm Paradise - 260cm Uwanodai - 175cm
Operating lifts (24th February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Friday 24th February 2012, 9:50am
Cloud, light snow
OK better news this morning for sure.
I have new snowfall to report, up to 10cm of it in fact along with colder temps. The resort is reporting up to 15cm in some places. This morning light snow continues to fall in Madarao and we should see snowfall over the weekend as well. One of our regular dumps of 30cm or so would fit the bill just right, though it's unclear as to whether we can expect anything like that. We'll just have to wait and see.
Lifts currently operating: Lifts 3B and 13, and Tree Run courses not open today. Official snow depth: 270cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 24th February 2012, 9:58am
Cloud, light snow
Thankfully, it is a much colder start to the day this morning. We are back in minus numbers and a chill to the air after yesterdays blast of almost-warm conditions. It has also started snowing this morning - light snow - but enough to cover up the roads here in Maruike so they are once more nice and white. That's what we like to see. Lets have some decent snowfall please! Actually while it is cloudy there have also been breaks in the cloud as well and even the sun peeping through for short periods, but the forecast says cloud and light snow for today and I think that's what we can expect.
It's looking hopeful for the weekend as well with snow clouds due to be above us and hopefully bringing us the goods tomorrow. We could really do with a nice fresh new layer at the moment after the warm conditions of yesterday.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of Friday 24th February 2012 AM:
Gusty winds overnight saw an end to the rain that was falling for the majority of the day yesterday. The afternoon cleared up with blue sky patches and there was even a rainbow or two. Clouds look set to dominate the sky today with the occasional clearing. Freezing levels have dropped below the valley but will gradually rise over the course of the day and into the evening again.
This morning was -1 C in the valley with a high of 6 C expected. Up on the resorts the lower lifts will see temperatures range from -2 C to 2 C and up top -3 C to -6 C temperatures. Winds are light and coming from the WNW and SW. The freezing level is projected to top out at 1350m (mid mountain).
Another southerly weather system is making its way up and we should see its effects tonight and into tomorrow. However it is not as intense as the last system we saw and we should still receive snow up top of the mountains. We should see some snow accumulation over the next three days with the start of the new week maintaining cool temperatures.
Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 24th February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: No new snowfall early this morning. All lifts operating. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 295cm; Toomi - 170cm; Iimori - 140cm
Hakuba 47: No new snowfall this morning. All courses open (Line D lift not operating weekdays). Official snow depth: Upper - 228cm Lower - 120cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Usagidaira pair, Central pair and Kita One No3 pair lifts operating today. The Freestyle Park is closed today due to conditions. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 180cm; Sakka - 90cm; Nakiyama - 90cm.
The rain is gone, replaced this morning by very light snow.It's just a dusting, really, but the forecast is for snow showers through the weekend. It would be nice to get a little soft stuff; things are pretty crunchy both on and off the trails.
The snow levels have dropped a lot, bit when you still have a base of more than three meters, the amount the wind and rain ate is not that much. The temperatures, too, have gone back to 0Â° or lower--and it looks like it could get quite cold from Sunday on into the next week. If we do happen to get a lot of fresh on top of this now hard rain layer, be extra careful this week if you do head into the backcountry.
It is a superb day today with a solid 10cm of fresh snow at base level and some milder temperatures. There is great powder skiing all over the mountain with large areas having been left ungroomed. The powder quality is a little heavier than the regular Furano powder that we experience but still very good. The milder temperatures will mean less layering may be necessary. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 24th February 2012, 16:44pm
Blue skies up top fog in the middle
Woke up to a bit of light snow falling outside the window this morning. It did not eventuate into much though with about 5cm being recorded across the resort. Made for a little bit of fun up top though with the temps dropping a bit and the sun even beamed through later this afternoon.
It waas a weird sort of a day with decent visibility down low and good up high but thick fog in the middle around Uenotaira. Heard a few guys went off course and got lost in the fog heading in the direction of Sakae-mura. Could be an expensive rescue for them, so a good warning to stay on the marked runs.
The outlook is improving with the next 3 days showing snow marks for the top at least so hopefully we will get a good covering out of it. Hard to really tell what to expect in terms of cm, we'll just have to see.
There's a big soccer game on tonight - Iceland versus Japan - and actually there happens to be a few Icelanders in town at the moment, so could be interesting!