Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Thursday 26th January 2017, 7:35am
Blue sky, some cloud (due to clear)
Good morning to you all from Yuzawa. It’s an early report this morning which means that some of the official snow depth numbers have not all been updated.
The snow continued falling through the day yesterday into the evening, continuing to build up very nicely. With a few more cm this morning, it gives me a total of 24cm to report today.
Clear skies are due for the day today and indeed it is a very nice start - though there is some cloud hanging on at the time of this report. And a fair bit of cloud still to the north of Yuzawa (as you can see on the Ishiuchi Maruyama webcam below). I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with completely clear skies though today.
Snow conditions should be excellent whichever ski hill you choose.
The forecast is for generally clearer conditions over the coming days, maybe a bit more sleet-snow later tomorrow (rain in town? the local forecast shows some alarmingly warm temperatures in the daytime tomorrow). Let's hope things don't warm up much, it would be cruel to mess with the lovely snow we have now.
What a few weeks it has been.
Over the period of about two weeks, we have gone there not being much snow (along with frequent rainfall), to having a very large amount of snow.
The numbers I am about to mention are all available below on this page and also on the Snowfall Analysis page (tab at the top), but it’s worth pointing them out.
Here’s the snowfall that I have observed here at town level during the month of January in recent seasons:
449cm from 1st-26th January 2017 143cm for the whole month of January 2016 420cm for the whole month of January 2015 297cm for the whole month of January 2014 254cm for the whole month of January 2013
….and most of the snowfall this month has been in the last 14 days!
Here is the amount of snowfall observed from the beginning of the season through January:
595cm up until 26th January 2017 235cm up until the end of January 2016 979cm up until the end of January 2015 433cm up until the end of January 2014 479cm up until the end of January 2013
Remember, the 2014/2015 season was generally known as a season of ‘crazy snowfall’ and the 2015/2016 season was one of ‘much less than usual snowfall’. They were two extremes, almost.
Last season (2015/2016) we only observed 424cm of snowfall in total – for the whole season – so we have already had got more than that by late January. Anyway, the last few weeks has really transformed the season here.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season shapes up.
Over the previous four seasons we have seen between 151cm and 238cm of snowfall during the month of February. We usually get much less in March, but it can throw in a few surprises (see March 2014).
Here’s to lots of regular snowfall through the next few months and for a long season!
Official snow depth information as of Thursday 26th January 2017
Some not updated for today due to early report
GALA Yuzawa The South Area is closed at the moment due to the recent heavy snowfall. The main Central and North Areas remain open as normal. Official snow depth: 330cm
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. *** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday until 11th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Thursday 26th January 2017, 7:45am
Clear blue skies. Very nice.
Morning from Hakuba.
With no new snowfall since yesterday and settled weather conditions, I think it is safe to post an early report. Today is one of those days that I simply can’t resist. I feel the real need to get on some early ski lifts. I’m sure you understand.
Yesterday there was generally lots of cloud hanging around in the morning but by the middle of the afternoon there was quite a bit of blue sky to enjoy and sunshine casting lots of moving shadows around the valley.
The clouds have cleared nicely overnight leaving us with the beautiful clear skies this morning.
It is a cold start to the day but the sun will warm things up a little and perhaps into low positive numbers.
It should be a great day, can’t wait.
And what’s more, I can see what looks like heavy snow on the forecast for the beginning of new week.
We’ll have some of that please! Or should I say, lots.
Resort news as of 7:40am on Thursday 26th January 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All planned lifts are operating. Tree Riding Zones scheduled to be open. Official snow depth Upper: 315cm Base: 170cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All scheduled lifts plan to be operating. Official snow depth Alps: 340cm Toomi: 155cm Iimori: 135cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Otherwise all courses open. The Kurobishi off-piste area is also now open. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 200cm Kurobishi: 235cm Lower: 140cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses open. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 310cm Han-no-ki: 300cm Maruyama: 220cm Oya-no-hara: 160cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 150cm
Hakuba Cortina: The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Official snow depth: Top: 330cm Base: 215cm
Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:
Hakuba Goryu: Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm
Tsugaike Kogen: Planned at the Kane-no-naru-oka area on January 28th; February 4th, 11th (6pm until 8:50pm) Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area on January 28th; February 11th, 18th; March 4th, 11th, 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)
Hakuba Cortina: Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Hakuba Happo-one: Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area.
Kashimayari: Planned to be open daily.
There is no night skiing at the other resorts in the area. Read more ...
Thursday 26th January 2017, 7:51am
Mostly cloudy with light winds at base.
Good morning from Kiroro!
With light snow falling through the night, 11 cm has accumulated at the base and 12 cm at the peak in the last 24 hours, and current snow depth is 205 cm at the base and 335 cm at the peak.
It's currently lightly snowing and overcast but starting to clear at the base, with the snow swirling around a bit in the light wind down here. It's warmed up compared with the last few days and freezing levels may rise as high as 900 m tomorrow morning. Even so, the heavy precipitation predicted for tomorrow should still fall as snow, with more than 30 cm coming over the day tomorrow.
Not much snow is in the forecast today, but occasional showers may produce a few more centimeters, and the southwesterly winds should stay around 20 km/h during the day today, but may rise to 40 km/h over night, and will likely pick up considerably tomorrow with westerlies up to 55 km/h midday and the possibility of 70 km/h winds tomorrow night. Read more ...
Thursday 26th January 2017, 7:53am
Fantastic blue skies
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Well, it is a chilly start to the day however with a perfect bluebird day on the cards I imagine it will soon warm up to somewhere around 0 degrees celsius. Conditions out there are nicely groomed and soft all over the mountain! Take out your carving plank today as the snow could not be better for laying over some extreme carves!
Please bear in mind that whilst we are reporting 10 cm of new snowfall today this is because of snow that fell during the day after our report was posted. As such whilst there is lots of fresh snow around it has all been nicely groomed. As such please don't come out today expecting to find snow that you need to snorkel in!
Looking on the fine weather is supposed to hold out for today with a return to snow predicted for tomorrow. The rest of the week is predicted to be a mixture of clouds and light snow with potentially a little bit of rain thrown into the mix.
Good morning to you all. The days keep on rolling on don't they - not much more of January left! Yikes.
Anyway, I have more fresh snow to report this morning. Another 11cm down here by Hirafu base since yesterday morning.
Some forecasts are promising us some blizzard like conditions to move in over the region starting tomorrow - strong winds ahoy - and into the weekend with some oddly mild temperatures mixed up in there as well. I have looked at four different forecasts and each tells a slightly different story. I'm no weather forecaster of course (I'm sure you can tell!), so will let you take a look if you like and we will just have to sit tight and see what happens and how much snow this particular storm brings us. A good Niseko-like end to the month would be great.
In the meantime we can probably expect generally cloudy conditions for the day today with the snow starting to fall and winds picking up overnight.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 10cm new snow. Moiwa800m: -10.3℃, NW1.3m/s, 15cm snowfall, 20cm snowdrifts in east aspects. Annupuri 1150m: -13℃, NW10m/s, 20cm snowfall. Hirafu 1250m: -11℃, NW5m/s, 20cm snowfall. Kamui cape lighthouse: WSW7m/s, 1021hPa, 1.3m waves.
The isobars are spread out and the weather is generally calm, however a moderate westerly wind is blowing above 1000m. Although the overall snowfall is small, eastfacing slopes above 800m are mostly reset with 30cm of soft slabs. According to observations and snowfall transitions, a shallow surface slab slide from Jan 25th layer is to be expected in high elevation leeward slopes such as Higashi-One Cornice slopes and Backbowl sidewalls. There was a fatal accident in similar conditions in the past, where a skier jumped off a cornice, triggered an avalanche and injured his head to death.
The general avalanche risk is low. All gates are expected to open from the morning. Although many tracks are present, the snow quality remains good thanks to low temperature. Do not duck ropes, one track under the rope would lead many to do the same and eventually raise the chances of an accident. Niseko community respects the freedom to ski out of bounds, but is also concerned about all guests’ safety. Ignoring or interpreting the Rules selfishly is nothing but a menace to the today’s gate system. Have a nice day.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Just a slight dusting of snow to report this morning - so 0cm - and a cloudy start to the day here in Zao.
Looks like there's really poor visibility up on the mountain with a thick fog hanging around... perhaps that will clear up during the day.
Possibly stormy conditions tomorrow maybe with strong winds and some snow on the forecast. Right now it looks like over the weekend conditions should be somewhat calmer.
All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating today: Diamond Number 1 pair Paradise Number 3 pair Karamatsu pair Yokokura Number 2 pair
All courses are open
Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself): Summit - 100cm Paradise - 170cm Chuo - 170cm Utopia - 140cm Uwanodai - 100cm Yokokura - 125cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations - upcoming dates
January 2017: 27th-31st February 2017: 1st-28th March 2017: 1st-5th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 26th January 2017, 8:26am
Blue skies and sunshine
It is a beautiful early morning in Nozawa.
More snow during the day yesterday and a bit further overnight, and this morning the scene is set for what will surely be one of the best of the season so far. I love it when there's lots of fresh snow and the weather is like this; I'm sure lots of other folk do too.
It's a cold start but will warm up a bit during the day - not as much as tomorrow though when temperatures may (according to the local forecast) rise to about +6C in the afternoon. Would be nice if we could avoid that please.
It is looking like a perfect morning with clear skies that are blue with scattered clouds. There is just a little bit of mist hovering around the peaks at the moment but that should lift during the morning. I am also happy to report 7cm of very light powder snow at village level, and I would expect it to be around double that at the top of the resort.
Tomorrow looks to bring good and bad. The good is that heavy snow is forecast for the top of the resort on Friday, but there will also be severe winds on Firday and Saturday. The winds are forecast to reduce on Sunday. Heavy snow is forecast for Sunday evening as well. At base level on Friday temperatures may rise above freezing and there is the possibility of rain rather than snow at base.
Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available. Read more ...