Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Monday 26th December 2011, 9:03am
Christmas Day was certainly a very snowy one. Quick recap: I moved a total of 80cm or so of snow off the top of my car yesterday and this morning there was another 20cm or so. So I don't think it's unreasonable to say that we got a metre or so of snow since Frdiay night! And that's in town areas - Kagura, for example, are this morning saying they got 70-80cm since last night. So by their own reports that's 100-120cm since Friday night. You won't see that big a jump in the official numbers from ski resorts of course, but that snow I moved last night was definitely real! Nice and light and fluffy too.
So this morning about 20-30cm more in town. The lucky ones getting out there today should be treated to some top quality snow conditions.
Unfortunately some strong winds higher up are affecting lifts at the Kagura Mitsumata area which is just open from the Ropeway to the Kagura No1 pair lift early on this morning. Tashiro is open from the Ropeway to No2 pair lift. Lifts are being affected similarly at Naeba this morning. That situation may well change as soon as conditions do.
Resorts down at town level don't seem to be affected as I check up on things here. Again, that could change. But the best choice today would seem to be one of the places nearer town especially as there will be great conditions everywhere right now.
At the moment the snow is falling lightly but it should be snowing pretty much for all of today and into tomorrow with conditions possibly starting to clear up later on tomorrow.
Another quick evening update. It has been snowing all day - at times just light snow and right now the clouds have lifted a little and I can actually see the mountains... well most around town anyway. It has stayed quite cold, continuously just under 0 in town, all day.
Anyway there is more snow forecast to fall overnight tonight - up to another 50cm or so of it as well up on the mountainsides, so this particular dump of snow isn't over yet by the sounds of it. Things might well ease up tomorrow and we may even see clearer conditions on Wednesday.
As always, will bring you the latest tomorrow morning. Read more ...
Monday 26th December 2011, 9:10am
Another day of big snow in Myoko! The big cold front from the north has decided to camp out over most of the northern half of Japan, the weather people are telling us, and here that means the snow just keeps on falling. Small trees and brush are disappearing under the increasing pack, meaning it will be an early approach for the backcountry this year as well.
ou can tell it's the early season, though, when 1) the snow reports still just don't reflect the amount of snow falling—though it's nice of the resorts not to overstate what's out there, and 2) snow-throwers break down all over town, your reporter's included. And my neighbor's. And dozens of other people, says the repair shop. The joys of Snow Country living in the 21st century.
Heavy snow warnings are still out allover the area; train operations have also been interrupted from Arai Station to Myokokogen; seems like those coming from Nagano City will be OK, but there may be difficulties/delays from the Japan Sea side (and possibly both ways as the snow continues to fall).
Lots and lots of snow, yes this is what we like to see!
It has been snowing since Friday night and according to Kagura they have received over 1m of snow since then. Up to 120cm at their estimations (70-80cm since yesterday). While I wouldn't put the number up there for down here in the village, we have had a lot. Lots of snow blowing, shovelling and moving going on this morning as people out on the slopes enjoy sliding down it. Those lucky souls should be experiencing some top snow conditions as well, the lucky people.
It is still snowing but also quite windy up on the mountain - Kagura reporting a max of 15m/s. The No2 Gondola is moving at Naeba but the Dragondola and a few other lifts up top are closed at the moment due to the wind. Over at Kagura as well things aren't fully open on both ends so it's limited operations there - specificially from the Tashiro Ropeway to the No2 pair and from the Mitsumata Ropeway to the Kagura No1 pair lift. These situations may well change as the day goes on and if the winds calm down.
EDIT late morning --- both main Naeba Gondolas now moving and most courses open.
Resort Operations, 26th Dec (subject to change) Naeba: Some lifts, including Dragondola, not moving due to strong winds Kagura: Both Tashiro and Mitsumata-Kagura operations limited due to strong winds
30cm of fresh snow this morning to report. I said that yesterday as well didn't I? So that's 60+cm over the last 36 hours or so and over 1m of snow piling up around the village now. While people out on the slopes get out and enjoy their skiing and snowboarding, around town the locals are busy managing the snow and sorting everything out. It's a small price to pay!
The snow looks set to continue for at least another day or two. We might see a glimpse of the sun sometime around mid-week but after that snow clouds are back into New Year - though perhaps not the same kind of clouds that have brought us so much in the last few days.
It's a cold morning, minus 8 out there, and a bit of wind but it does not seem to be affecting resort operations with everywhere open this morning.
Official snow depths (26th Dec 11) Utopia - 95cm Chuo - 90cm Paradise - 85cm Uwanodai - 65cm
Operating lifts (25th Dec '11) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) and all scheduled lifts operating. All the runs at Zao are now open/accessible. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 26th December 2011, 9:40am
Cloud, light snow
The snow is coming down nicely in Shiga Kogen as I write this and it is feeling very wintery this morning Perhaps 15cm or so but if it continues like this it should start building up nicely. Let it snow! as they say. There's a fairly moderate wind blowing things about as well but all lifts seem to be operating as normal.
A few people have written in to ask us about the snow this year and why some areas that aren't that far away from here seem to be getting so much more. I wish I knew! (And I wish the snow clouds were giving us as much). Shiga Kogen certainly seems to be getting less than some other parts of northern Nagano but hopefully that will soon change. Like I said before Shiga Kogen isn't known for getting the most snow but the quality of snow that we do get is usually very high. We are certainly still in need of more snow as we are not yet deep, but the fact is that most areas and lifts are now open. Just get out there and enjoy what we have I say. I certainly had a fine day yesterday spending most of it over at Yakebitaiyama and Okushiga Kogen.
Looking at the forecast, the snow might continue into tomorrow and after that conditions may clear up for a day or two - we might even see the sun. It should always be staying very cold though so the snow should keep in good condition.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
- Ichinose Family - Ichinose Diamond
Official resort snow depths as of 26th December 2011 AM:
And another 30-40cm of new snow this morning. Santa was spotted on the slopes of Madarao yesterday and he brought us some more goodies overnight.
It is a very cold morning and a cold wind with us as well but lifts seem to be moving as planned. Most of the mountain is for the most part just about visible but it's generally a grey and white palette with those clouds and the snow falling still.
From today the USAGI course is open, so more of the powder areas become accessible. Even on the main slopes and to the sides, there's a lot of quality snow to play in right now. Couldn't really ask for better conditions for late December.
It looks like these snow clouds will ease off come tomorrow and we might then see a few days when the sun might appear.
Lifts currently operating: All lifts apart from No13 are scheduled to be open today, and most normal courses are open. Kids Park and Zipline are also open. Powderwave I, Usagi and Riverline due to be open today.
It is full on winter now in Hakuba, I am happy to report. Lots of snow, lots of powder and it keeps on coming this morning. Yeah, thats more like what we like to hear.
We got about 20 cms of new snow in the valley overnight and it still snowing as I type this report. It was a cold night and the powder is going to be light and dry all over the resorts in the Hakuba valley this morning. Riders and skiers are going to be treated to fantastic conditions on all runs today, deep powder and soft base underfoot on groomed runs too. Still some bushes and bamboo sticking out in some places especially on the lower slopes, but generally it is going to be great powder right on the runs, so not much need to go backcountry or off piste.
Resorts are now getting close to all being fully open - see below for more. And check out the numbers for Hakuba Cortina below - another 70cm reported for their upper slopes and the snow depth breaking the 2m mark. Nice.
It is forecasted to continue snowing all day today and tomorrow then clearing mid-week next week and warming up slightly but still if it keeps under 0 degrees we are fine and set now. All folks in Hakuba are happy to see the white stuff coming down and finally the season feels underway with skiing top to bottom.
Have a powder-ific day guys and gals!
Official snow depths and operations @ Monday 26th December 2011 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting another 40cm of fresh snow on the upper slopes this morning and 30cm on lower slopes. All areas of the resort are now open. Early morning skiing will start from December 29th. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 180cm; Toomi - 80cm; Iimori - 80cm.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 21cm (exactly!) of new snow this morning. All open! Official snow depth: Upper - 196cm Lower - 60cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: This new snowfall has done us good. Most of the lifts and most of the mountain is now open and accessible. The top Grad Quad seems to be closed due to 'insufficient snow', according to the resort website - seems strange, but that's what it says! Official snow depth: Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 110cm; Sakka - 50cm; Nakiyama - 50cm.
Tsugaike Kogen: Ski lifts/courses: The snow depth numbers are beginning to look much healthier now with 40cm added since yesterday on the upper slopes. A few courses opening late due to the resort coping with the new snowfall, but Tsugaike should soon all be open. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 180cm Champion - 100cm
Hakuba Cortina: Cortina is reporting another impressive haul of fresh snow this morning - 50cm (lower) and 70cm (upper) of fresh snow. Upper slopes now clocking in at 210cm of snow. Ski lifts/courses: Resort coping with the new snow early on this morning so possibly limited lift operations. Official snow depth: Upper - 210cm Lower - 160cm
Hakuba Norikura: Official snow depth: 90cm
Hakuba Iwatake: You can now ski down to base at Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper - 110cm Lower - 80cm
Hakuba Sanosaka: The resort is now fully open. Official snow depth: 80cm
Hakuba Minekata: Minekata opened for the first time this season this morning, with one lift operating. Official snow depth: 50cm Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 26th December 2011, 11:36am
Snowing heavy has not stopped since yesterday!
The ridiculous is now bordering on the insane on the snow front in Nozawa with another huge 60cm of snow on our doorstep this morning. The powder hounds are going to be in their element again today and will be deep bottomless champagne powder on tap for anyone keen to brave the conditions.
So we have had close to 2 meters of fresh snow in just a 3-day period and still absolutely dumping outside at the moment. Think it has been about 8 years since we had such a good start to the season. At that time it snowed every day from December 1st to December 31st.
Yesterday on the mountain was amazing snow under foot and tracks were getting filled in quickly giving powder potential even on the groomers. Visibility was limited though and the light was flat but it was an great Christmas day had by all.
Back to a weekday today so there will be fewer people on the mountain so for the lucky ones here conditions for skiing will be amazing. Rug up though, as it is -10 degrees and strong winds. The roads in Nozawa are pretty hard going now with the deluge of snow taking over.
Looks like we should get some sunshine by Wednesday and seems strange for a ski resort to hope for, but we are really looking forward to a break in the snow!
Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:
Current Lift operations: All but Kandaha
Current courses open: All but Kandaha Yu Road is also open the moving walkway from the Village Read more ...
Monday 26th December 2011, 12:30pm
North north-west 18m/s. Fairly mild temperatures and wind is dying down, snow will continue to fall.
Can't quite remember seeing this much snow before at this time of year, it feels like we must be bumping up against some recent records for December. Another 40cm or so to report. That official snowfall number for Kutchan town for the month of December is now standing at 313cm. That is in fact the most in December since 2005 (when the snowfall number was 362cm), but we still have those extra days until the end of the month.
The top lifts and Niseko Village gondola are closed due to wind but that is set to die down during the day and the sun has even made a couple of brief appearances. Lifts in Hirafu and Hanazono are operating at reduced speed but should be back to normal shortly as the weather starts to clears up. The wind out there means that it is also feels very cold.
There is still a huge amount of fresh snow out there and little stashes of fresh still to be found. We got a big dump overnight again and the forecast for the next few days is looking good with some welcome calmer winds and consistent snow fall.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 300cm Bottom - 170cm
Niseko Village: Top - 260cm Bottom - 170cm
Niseko Hanazono: Top - 300cm Bottom - 170cm
Annupuri: Top - 260cm Bottom - 170cm
Niseko Avalanche info reads: Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 40cm of broken particles snowfall in the past 12 hours. Coastal data: NNW13m/s wind at Benkei cape, N12m/s, 5.6m waves and 1004hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: NNW18.2m/s. The atmospheric pressure gradient is steep and a strong northerly wind is blowing throughout the Niseko range. Large cornices (2.5m) and thick & dense snowdrifts (150cm) are developing in O Sawa, Kozan no Sawa 1000m altitude leeward slopes and in Fujiwara no Sawa (2m cornices and deep snowdrifts). According to the snowfall transition and present status, the avalanche hazard is high. Risk of 120cm thick surface slab avalanche is present in leeward slopes. All gates in Hirafu side will be closed. Other gates opening are yet decided. Respect the ski patrol’s decisions. Many of the avalanche accidents happen during and just after storms. Mountains in Niseko areas are in a dangerous condition, be conscious and be careful. Read more ...
Monday 26th December 2011, 12:55pm
There was an additional 5cm of snow overnight and the day started of well with clear weather. From mid morning it has started snowing again and it looks like we will be blessed with even more snow during the week, with Thursday night and Friday morning looking like there is potential for moderate precipitation. If you are out and about in the Kitanomine Zone you will notice the addition of a new magic carpet lift for kids. This proved a hit over the weekend with the little ones having a ball of a time. Read more ...
Monday 26th December 2011, 17:44pm
Another day of big snow in Minakami. We woke to another blanketing on the ground that had covered up the tyre tracks from the day before. It has been non-stop snow all day with a bit of a wind blowing, making it feel even colder than it was. Light, fluffy snow everywhere and piling up on the groomed runs too. Read more ...