Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 18th February 2018
Monday 2nd February 2009, 6:54am
Cloudy (giving way to the sun)
Yesterday's snows have given way to mere cloudy skies, but temps are still quite low, maintaining the fluff stuff. The weekend was wonderful, with low crowd levels and high powder. The weekdays this week prove to be even better, with low temps slated and light snows to smooth things over every morning. Stay tuned. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 2nd February 2009, 8:49am
It's a cloudy morning in Nozawa today. Snow fell for most of the day yesterday delivering a total of 25cm for Yamabiko and 20cm for Uenodaira since the last report. It is currently -3 degrees in the village and -8 degrees up the top, where there is a light 15km/h west-northwesterly breeze.
We are expecting a mostly fine day today before snow showers in the evening, followed by light snow tomorrow morning and afternoon then clear conditions on Wednesday.
Enjoy the fresh snow!
All lifts are expected to operate today except: Mizunashi. Yunomine Hikage #2 B Challenge Utopia
All courses will be open except Jumping, Mukoubayashi, Kurokura and Hachiman. Read more ...
Monday 2nd February 2009, 9:25am
Yesterday remained windy through much of the day limiting lift services right around the mountain. Although snow fell for much of the day many areas are still very icy having been stripped by the wind. Overnight it cleared up and the wind eased. This morning dawned mostly sunny but cloud has moved back in and currently it's snowing. Today should only see light snow showers continuing but some heavier falls are expected to come through overnight through tomorrow. Avalanche danger has eased and all gates are expected to open. The peak gates are expected to open from 10:30am. The best skiing will be found in sheltered tree areas below 1000m where the winds caused less havoc.
Snow on and off yesterday, though not the kind that brings you walls of new snow on the side of the road. Just a few cm or so down at town level since yesterday, Naeba reporting 5cm of new snow and Kagura with another 20cm or so. Other reports reporting between 5cm-15cm of new snow since yesterday. (Again, don't expect the official snow depth numbers - posted below - to precisely reflect those snowfalls).
So conditions up there should be really good today, less so further down at lower resorts that have only had a sprinkling.
It is snowing lightly at the moment and a fairly cold -2 outside. The forecast is for the weather to clear up during the day though and it does seem to be happening even now as it is very bright and a glimpse of the sun was had just a bit earlier.
All resorts it seems are open as they should be today, with only a slight cold breeze this morning.
Nighta tonight is at the following resorts in Yuzawa: Naeba Iwappara
In Minamiuonuma just to the north, nighta at: Ishiuchi Maruyama Centleisure Maiko Joetsu Kokusai
Wintery conditions yesterday with some fairly strong winds - things have calmed down somewhat this morning leaving things looking very white this morning. It's another cold one but without that wind chill of yesterday it feels less so. Resorts have all benefitted from the snow of yesterday and while not huge amounts it has given them a new layer of snow for us to play in.
It is cloudy this morning but those clouds are likely to clear up fairly soon and we look set for a fairly fine day out there.
The following resort plans to be open for nighta tonight: Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 2nd February 09:
After a busy weekend and the holiday period coming to an end you can expect to practically have the mountain to yourself today. The slopes are freshly groomed and will be a little icy to begin with, so do be extra careful this morning. However, by mid morning the sun will have warmed that top crust and conditions should be good on the mountain today.
After light snowfall yesterday we are back to fairly clear skies today, with patchy cloud. There will be quite strong wind gusts today and therefore certain lifts towards the top of the mountain might me closed at different points throughout the day.
Snow Stability Information
The heavy rains of Saturday have created a very saturated snowpack that has frozen into a solid ice crust on windward aspects and at higher elevations but is still quite warm in temperature at lower elevations and on leeward aspects.
The rain turned to snow in the late afternoon on Saturday. This snow fell all through the night and all through Sunday and has left the Hakuba area with very variable depths of new snow. Windward areas have been scoured right down to the Febuary 1st rain crust and slopes on the leeward aspects in some locations have collected upwards of 40 cm of new and wind transported snow. This new snow is very low density and much cooler than the rain soaked snow or crust below it and this has created faceting right at the new snow and rain layer interface. These faceting crystals are not allowing for good bonding between the differing snow types and is definite the weak layer in the upper snowpack. Tests at Hakuba Cortina at 1400 meters on Southern and Eastern aspects found easy results in compresion tests‚ hand shear tests and shovel tilt tests as well as a clean and fast Reuch Block 3. All of these tests were done on 35-40 degree lee slopes in open forested start zones. However ski cuts in the same location pruduced only sluffing in the top 10 cm of surface snow. This might have been due to the very soft and moist nature of the rain soaked snow below that seemed to grip the new snow as it was compacted into it. These results would have been very different again had it been solid crust below the new snow and would most likely have slid easier from the ice layer.
Todays fine weather and solar radiation will add load to the low density / rain crust interface and it is probable that natural and human triggered avalanches will occur on loaded leeward aspects as temperatures rise. Wind was steadily blowing from the north west through the night and will have added even greater load to the lee slopes.
Travel in Alpine avalanche terrain especially solar radiated lee slopes is strongly unadvised. Stay to scoured ridges or areas of low snow accumulation or low angled simple terrain away from run out zones. Travel in off piste areas below tree line may also produce avalanches in certain terrain‚ such as; steep convex slopes‚ Solar radiated lee slops especially around rocks and well spaced trees.
5cm of new snow reported by Naeba this morning with Kagura reporting a pleasing 20cm of fresh snow. Light snow remaining earlier on but right now the sun is shining and casting shadows onto the lower slopes - it looks like some blue skies are appearing above the top of Kagura as well so all in all I'd say it was a very good day to get out there on the mountain.... new fresh snow and not that many people out there. Nice.
Only a slight cold breeze this morning and the Dragondola, gondolas and all of Kagura are operating as normal early on.
Next snow? Well it looks like we are in for a few days of generally fine weather here - with the snow coming again maybe around Thursday. Read more ...
Monday 2nd February 2009, 11:05am
Hello Furano fans, apologies for the lack of a report yesterday - but you didn't miss anything.
No new snow, and really cold, with some wind adding to the chill.
Today however, it is a glorious Monday, with fluffy snow falling steadily all morning. The hyper-accurate powdometer shows just over 6 cm, now it's 6.1, ... 6.2....
The wind is mild, so it's not miserable out there, unless you don't like skiing in falling snow. I know there are some people like that, my mother being the first to come to mind, so I can make allowances for that. Anyway, we needed some fresh snow, and it's great that we got some. Check back tomorrow to see how much it turned out to be.
Some light snow fell in the earlier hours of the morning in upper Minakami but the weather has since cleared up to reveal a beautiful sunny day. The snow of the past 36 hours has added around 20cm to the valley level but because of strong winds much of the snow in exposed areas has disappeared.
The outlook for tomorrow is for some snow around morning to midday clearing towards the evening with the remainder of the week looking like sun. With the long range forecast for all of Japan for February to be 70% chance of being warmer than average the big powder days are looking scarce. If you want powder it looks like you might have to climb for it, unless you can convince the heli-ski operators to start up earlier! Read more ...