Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 19th February 2018
Friday 2nd December 2016, 7:35am
There was some rain yesterday but the sooner we forget that the better.
This morning I have (just about) 1cm of snow to report, though I may be being slightly generous there. A thin layer of snow once again as we wait for some decent snow to fall in the region.
When will that be? It's still looking like Monday into Tuesday is when to expect some potentially decent snow.
Zao Onsen will open as soon as there is enough snow. Read more ...
Friday 2nd December 2016, 8:31am
Snowy and windy
Hello and good morning.
Well first of all I'm glad that yesterday is out of the way! Warm conditions and rain aren't much fun when you're eagerly expecting powdery snow, but the good thing about that is that it will have helped in compacting the base, in preparation for all of the fresh snow to come. That's the theory anyway.
Strong winds are blowing around this morning and windy and at times rather extreme conditions are forecast for the day. Niseko Annupuri are reporting south-westerly winds of up to 16m/s up top early on and with such winds there's a very good chance that lifts will be affected of course - for part or all of the day.
Indeed at the start of the day, lifts at Niseko Annupuri are on hold - but it does look like the planned open lifts at Niseko Village and the quad at Niseko Grand Hirafu are actually operating.
While it isn't mid-winter cold this morning, it is definitely colder than yesterday morning with the temperature currently hovering around the zero mark.
Wind blown for sure, but I am measuring 4cm of fresh snowfall this morning.
Anyway, I hope to have more snow to report tomorrow morning but during the day tomorrow we can expect some sunshine and fairly mind conditions once again... before a dip in temperatures and snowfall once more around Tuesday.
What is planned to be open today?
Apparently, Niseko Grand Hirafu were hoping to be able to operate the Ace Family pair lift from yesterday but weren't able to due to the still-not-enough amounts of snow.
Today strong winds may well affect the lifts that are planned to be open:
Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be part open from 8:30am with the Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift taking folk up to the Ace Number 3 pair lift and the open Center Course. The last lift servicing the open run will be at 3:30pm and the last quad lift coming back down to base at 4pm.
Niseko Annupuri also plans to be part open. The Annupuri Gondola starts moving at 8:30am, taking people up to the Jumbo Number 3 pair lift which is open from 8:45am until 3:15pm. The last Gondola down is at 3:30pm.
Niseko Village plans to be part open from 8:30am until 4pm. The lower Community Chair and Annupuri Village Gondola will be operating. For more information on the new lifts at Niseko Village, check out the resort page on SnowJapan.
Official resort snow depths as of Friday 2nd December 2016:
Planned season dates for the four main Niseko United ski resorts:
Niseko Grand Hirafu: partly open already, until Sunday 7th May 2017 Niseko Annupuri: partly open already, until Sunday 7th May 2017 Niseko Hanazono: Saturday 3rd December 2016 until Sunday 2nd April 2017 Niseko Village: partly open already, until Sunday 2nd April 2017
Night skiing is planned from Saturday 10th December until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Annupuri, Grand Hirafu and Village resort areas. Read more ...
Friday 2nd December 2016, 8:35am
Morning from Yuzawa.
Another fairly mild overnight and early morning with wet roads due to the rain before dawn. Things seem to be getting brighter though and the weather forecast says that we will see some sunny conditions later in the day as well as a high temperature of around 8C in town.
Up at the open Kagura resort, they are reporting 1-5cm of fresh snowfall overnight and again the main course, Technical and Family courses are open. The Giant and Gondola courses are also scheduled to be open from today as well, but they are not actually mentioning that on their morning mini-report -- so we'll call that unconfirmed for the moment. Tomorrow the Panorama course is also scheduled to be available.
Fine weather is forecast for tomorrow with temperatures in town reaching double digits.
Look to around Tuesday for the next snowfall.
A recap on what is planned to be open today at Kagura:
Open courses are:
- Kagura main course - Technical course - Family course - Giant course (planned to be open) - Gondola course (planned to be open)
Operating lifts are:
- Mitsumata Ropeway - Mitsumata Number 1 quad - Mitsumata Number 2 romance pair - Kagura Gondola - Kagura Number 1 quad lift
Ski resorts currently open: Kagura - part, via Mitsumata Ropeway
Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
As soon as there is enough snow: Iwappara Joetsu Kokusai
I'd prefer to be reporting huge amounts of snowfall, but still can't help be happy to report clear skies and the fantastic mountain scenery on a morning like this.
Yes, those rain clouds have cleared and it is a lovely morning here. It was a chilly start with temperatures likely to rise up to about 8 degrees here in the village later on in the day.
More sun is forecast tomorrow and it's going to remain mild into early next week.
The snow on the upper slopes of the mountains is looking thin on the ground now unfortunately, but things can - and often do - change quickly once things start happening.
Tuesday looks like it might be promising for snowfall though - could that be the start of things?
As always, keep your eye on that forecast.
I'll post the next report on Monday, unless there's anything particularly exciting to report.
Here are the planned season opening dates for the ski and snowboard resorts in the Hakuba region. There are all subject to change depending on what happens weather-wise:
Hakuba Happo-one: as soon as there is enough snow Hakuba 47: as soon as there is enough snow Hakuba Goryu: as soon as there is enough snow Tsugaike Kogen: as soon as there is enough snow Hakuba Cortina: from 10th December Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: from 16th December Hakuba Norikura Onsen: from mid December Hakuba Sanosaka: from mid December
Reports will be posted daily once the lifts get moving. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 2nd December 2016, 9:02am
Mostly clear and sunny
The sun is out this morning and it is going to be a fine day.
A cold start to the day but the sun should see things warming up a bit. And fine weather is forecast for the region tomorrow as well.
Tomorrow is the official opening ceremony for Shiga Kogen and part of Yakebitaiyama is still scheduled to open from tomorrow.
It is all still very limited but if you want to get some first turns of the season in and enjoy some fine weather, it's better than sitting behind a computer!
Still, it would be good to have signs of some decent snowfall on the horizon... it looks like Tuesday might bring some for us.
Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open:
Kumanoyu The Number 2 pair B lift is operating with a 600m long run open.
Ichinose Family The Number 2 pair A lift is operating with the lower main course area open
There's not much to report really, other than the fine and sunny weather this morning.
The snow that was on the lower slopes in my last report has now retreated back up the mountain a bit - rain does that - and today there is lots of blue sky around and the sun is out. There is still a layer of snow on the upper areas of the resort (they are reporting 20-25cm depth) so hopefully that will stick around and be our base.
We are forecast more sun and mild conditions again tomorrow and it's not looking like temperatures will drop back down again until Tuesday. The good news is that Tuesday is looking good for snowfall, so hopefully that will be a good early season blast of winter.
I will post my next report on Monday.
Nozawa Onsen will open as soon as there is enough snow. Read more ...
Friday 2nd December 2016, 9:25am
The town went through a significant rain event yesterday with rain falling for most of the day on the lower slopes but thankfully temperatures higher up were cold enough to ensure that the rain was snow.
We are certainly getting some varied weather at the moment and today we have woken up to find 13cm of fresh snow in the village. With warmer temperatures this is not the usual light dry Furano powder but instead reasonable heavy snow which is ideal for building up the base. The forecast is for coninuing snow today. Winds are moderate at base level and strong at the top of the resort.
Furano Zone is partially open with Furano Ropeway operating to upload and download skiers to and from the upper mountain. It is not possible to ski from the top to bottom of the mountain yet. The skiable lift is Downhill Romance no.2 chair and the skiable courses are the upper part of Sailer and Spies Course, and Shirakaba Course. Restaurant Downhill is open.