Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 12th December 2017
Thursday 26th November 2015, 8:41am
Blue sky and cloud for now
Good morning to you all.
I remember in my report yesterday I mentioned snow to return today, but for the moment the sun is out and we have some lovely blue skies over the Niseko region. Mt Yotei is of course looking lovely as well with some clouds hanging on over in that direction in particular.
It's good and cold too this morning.
So there is no new snowfall since yesterday and it goes without saying that the lifts are yet to open, but snow is still due to be falling again later on in the day today.
What's this about 40cm snow depth by lunchtime yesterday over in Sapporo city? It seems a waste... bring it over here! Apparently it is the first time since 1953 that there has been over 40cm in Sapporo in the month of November.
My SnowJapan HQ friends based down in Niigata have been telling me there are lots of new readers coming on board again this season. A hearty welcome to you all and I hope that you will follow me through the Niseko season. Oh yes, and if you don't like what I post on any given day... just take it out on the Niigata guys, OK?! ;)
With popularity seemingly rising every year at a quick pace I often wonder just how popular Niseko will get. And indeed the other popular snowy regions of Japan.
Planned opening dates for the Niseko resorts:
Niseko Grand Hirafu: as soon as there's enough snow Niseko Annupuri: Saturday 28th November Niseko Village: Tuesday 1st December Niseko HANAZONO: Saturday 5th December
'Nighta' should be starting on Saturday 12th December Read more ...
Thursday 26th November 2015, 9:01am
Sunny at the moment
We did get rained on later on in the day yesterday and it was quite heavy at times too.
This morning though we are starting the day with some sunshine with a moderate wind at times. It isn't expected to last though with rain due once again by early afternoon. That will probably be snowfall at 500m and above but almost certainly not down to town level with temperatures just not getting cold enough in the day time at least.
Looking ahead at the weekly forecast - as it stands now there isn't much sign of any significant snowfall unfortunately. It is looking increasingly likely that we might see November pass without any snowfall on the ground at town level this season.
Photos - Kagura main slope and NASPA Ski Garden
Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
Currently part open: Kagura (Mitsumata) - 1100m course at Mitsumata open with snow mats - no natural snow to ski on yet
Some snow falling on the mountains yesterday with things turning white and some sleet/snow falling down here too. Not huge amounts to boast of yet but there's a feeling now that it is just around the corner...
This morning it is currently raining and a bit milder, but snow is due again later on today with tomorrow looking quite promising indeed - chance of snow in the village and a fair amount at higher elevations.
It might be a bit unexpected this but the sun is out early this morning. Lovely morning. Not cold enough and not snowing, but lovely morning all the same!
Clouds expected to move into the region fairly soon today though and bring with them rain in the village, but snow on upper slopes of Nozawa.
There was actually a light dusting of snow on the upper slopes of Nozawa since my last report and as I said there's a chance of more later on today into tomorrow with snow perhaps even down to the village during the day later tomorrow. (Expect it to at least start as rain in the village). Fingers crossed for lower temperatures.
As for the planned opening on Saturday... well, stranger things have happened, but we would obviously need a significant snowfall tomorrow for that to be a possibility. I would certainly not be planning for it! No official word yet from the resort on the subject but I'll be sure to post a report tomorrow with any updates and news on that snowfall.
And of course, once the season starts and the lifts move I will be here with you every day right through until the end of the season in May.
Fresh snow to report since yesterday (reported by resort):
It's bright and partly cloudy today with blue tranches and fog or low cloud in places.
Furano Resort opening Saturday as scheduled
At the close of last year, November 28 (this Saturday) was chosen for opening, weather willing, and the weather, we are pleased to report, has willed it. Lift passes are half price, too, which is nice.
Furano always opens first on the New Furano Prince Hotel side (where the Ningle Terrace cabin shops are and the Snow Night Fantasy land). They gradually open more and more lifts and runs until the full mountain (including the Kitanomine Zone) is operating two weeks later.
As ever, it is all completely weather dependent, but looking good so far.
This morning at 7am it was -15C at the base of the resort on the Kitanomine side and -16 at the Sorachi River crossing at 8am. That would put it about -20 at the top of the resort. Cold.
No new snow and no wind, it could warm up to 3C today which would help melt the base a bit, which in turn would help it stick around solidly. Today's forecast is for off and on snow flurries or rain showers. Either would be helpful in forming the base.
Photos 1&2 are of the resort this morning from Kitanomine Village.
Just a bit of snowfall in higher areas of Shiga Kogen the night before last along with the coldest conditions of the season so far - feeling somewhat winter-like (at last).
And then some more snow to report this morning - about 3cm or so on the ground actually. Still, it is not as cold as we would like it to be and the snow is not exactly dry powder but of course good to see a thin layer of white around us now.
It's around 2 degrees now as we approach 10am and the sun has appeared from behind the clearing clouds.
Clouds back by tonight though and snowfall expected again. Just how much remains to be seen of course.
The Kumanoyu area has been busy trying to supplement the small amounts of natural snow with machine-made snow, but it's unclear if things might be able to happen for this weekend.
It started after lunchtime yesterday and this morning we have that great feeling of having to go out and shovel some snow. (It gets less great a feeling as the season progresses, believe me!)
We're hoping for some more snow tonight and tomorrow.
The official opening ceremony of Zao Onsen will be held on Saturday 5th December over in the Uwanodai area of the resort. If there's enough snow though, lifts will no doubt be taking skiers and boarders out onto the slopes before then.