Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 24th March 2018
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 2nd March 2013, 7:58am
It looks like we have some fresh powder falling in Nozawa Onsen this morning. With a rapid drop in the freezing level overnight the rain has turned to snow delivering 15cm reported at Uenotaira, with other areas of the report reporting a fresh 5cm.
We have strong winds about the peak so higher lifts may again be on wind hold. With the rapid freeze and fresh snow, slope stability is very low. Beware of the very high avalanche risk when venturing off piste.
Yesterday was not the best day on the mountain. Conditions were ok in the morning with firm and fast pistes early that quickly softened. Very strong prefrontal winds kept most of the top half on wind hold all day. During the afternoon the rainfall commenced and built in intensity after last lifts, becoming heavy. Luckily the solid base has probably resisted major damage.
With the worst of the weather behind us we can look at the forecast ahead without cringing. Nozawa Onsen is set to experience further light to moderate snow showers today and into tomorrow. Cold temperatures should accompany this snow until at least Tuesday. Monday should see a mostly sunny bluebird conditions.
Spring conditions are set to return around Wednesday with warm days, cold nights and mostly clear skies.
Lifts operating: All lifts operating except Hikage Number 2 Pair B line
Courses open: All courses open except Grand Prix Kandahar East Kandahar West
Yesterday's rain and wet snow slowly turned to snow. And it's still snowing now this morning. Strong winds are affecting some slopes and Tenjindaira is unfortunately closed.
Solid wet base from yesterday's rain means really icy conditions on the slopes, so take care out there.
From tomorrow we can expect clear and mostly dry conditions until next weekend. Read more ...
Saturday 2nd March 2013, 8:54am
Strong winds indeed messing us about this morning.
Let's forget about the 'R' yesterday and focus on the 5cm or so of new snow this morning. And much colder after the warmth of yesterday. And it is snowing this morning still, along with those strong winds.
It's limited here at Naeba with lots of lifts on hold especially the upper half of the mountain and the gondolas.
Tashiro is closed again I'm afraid today, along with the Dragondola of course, and so Kagura is just the Mitsumata Ropeway up until the Kagura No1 pair lift.
Hopefully things might improve, though the forecast doesn't look too hopeful on that score.
Tomorrow should be calmer.
Official resort snow depth: Naeba - 330cm Kagura - 390cm Read more ...
Saturday 2nd March 2013, 8:58am
Welcome to the weekend.
And I'm glad that yesterday is behind us that really turned out to be a not particularly good day! It was windy, it was warm, it was wet and rainy, lifts had to be closed because of the conditions. Just not a good day all round really.
This morning the story is much better. We even have some fresh snowfall, perhaps 5-10cm or so at base area and the resort saying there's up to 15cm on the slopes. That is good. It might not be enough to completely cover what will be a hardened icy base, but it sure is better than us waking up to nothing new at all. The wind might have blown it around as well so more in places. Due care needed.
Light snow forecast for the day (though there's even a few breaks in the cloud at the mo), perhaps less so tomorrow and then clearer on Monday. So says the local forecast.
Lifts planned to be operating: Number 1 Number 2 Number 3 Super quad Number 5 Number 11 Number 12 Number 15 Kids Park --- FreeRide Park Powder Wave I Powder Wave II Usagi Riverline Powder Theater Adventure Read more ...
Saturday 2nd March 2013, 9:03am
Rain last night. Never good.
But, it is much colder this morning and we have a few cm of fresh snow.
It is continuing to snow now - along with some strong winds which are unfortunately stopping some lifts from operating, including the top ropeway. It's a shame that people coming for the weekend will get these less than ideal conditions.
Yesterday. Well, yes, it rained. And it was warm. Not the best start to March for sure. Let's move on shall we!
The good news this morning is that it is snowing and there has been a bit of fresh building up. Not much - the resorts around Hakuba were early on reporting '0cm' - but perhaps a few cm has built up since then. There's a few on the ground here at village level. More snow over up in Otari it seems with Hakuba Cortina reporting up to 10cm in places. This won't be enough to cover the icy crust that we have left over from yesterday, of course, so that needs to be kept in mind. Though it will likely be pretty obvious out there with scraping sounds a plenty! It's a good workout though, think of it that way.
The not as good news is that it's a very windy morning - not so much at base but on the mountain - and it's messing with lifts around the valley. Hakuba 47 report a wind speed of 10-14m/s up by the gondola with gusts getting up to 25m/s. As you might expect, that Gondola has not yet started up for the day. Top lifts at Goryu also on standby.
Happo-one seems to be mostly closed as of just before 9am with only lower Nakiyama, Shirakaba and Sakka lifts open. Upper courses at Hakuba Cortina closed....
So unfortunately it's another rather complicated start to the weekend. I think everyone would be happy with a return to colder conditions and the new snowfall though, and hopefully it will continue to fall during the day today.
Right now it is snowing lightly where I am here at base and more up on the mountain. The forecast is for light snow through the day, though there are signs around village though that it may be starting to clear up.
Tomorrow there should be less wind and no snow due to fall, followed by clearer weather on Monday and more of the same further into the week.
Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 2nd March 2013 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: 0cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba Goryu since yesterday. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 320cm; Toomi - 160cm; Iimori - 130cm
Hakuba 47: 0cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba 47 since yesterday. Official snow depth: Upper - 275cm Lower - 175cm
Another mild morning here in Niseko, though I have around 10cm of snowfall to report. Perhaps not the prime light powder that Niseko is famous for, but new snow all the same. I'll take it! I see that 15cm of snow is being reported from over in the Moiwa area...
Snow forecast for the day along with, yes you've guessed it, moderate to strong winds. Top lifts at all of the resorts on the mountain are not operating this morning but it just seems to be affecting top areas. Oh, and the Niseko Gondola at Niseko Village. I remember saying it before but there sure seems to have been a relatively large number of wind-affected days this season.
Visibility has been pretty poor this morning on mountain, as noted in the avalanche report, but as I am writing this report there's some shadows being case on parts of the mountain as sun breaks through. There's even some small patches of blue sky on show here and there. Just mostly cloudy here as I am writing this. Could it be clearing up?
In the coming week we can expect a run of calmer days and perhaps some sunshine.
If you take a look back at our Niseko Now report archives you'll get an idea of how much snowfall there has been in March and beyond from previous seasons.
The Kutchan town snow fall data from the Japan Meteorological Agency for the month of February 2013 was 228cm, so a slight increase on the previous year and the most since 2009. Last season March was relatively dry with just 79cm, compared with over 2m of snow in the previous two seasons. So March can bring surprises and some excellent conditions. Here's to March 2013 being one of those.
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono Top - 490cm Bottom - 240cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 395cm Bottom - 250cm
Niseko Village Top - 450cm Bottom - 240cm
Niseko base 6am: -3C, 15cm of new snow. Moiwa 800m: -5C, 15cm new snow, significant snowdrift development, Annupuri peak: wind SE3.5m/s, -8.9C. Coastal data: wind W15m/s, 0.9m waves, pressure 981hPa.
Snowdrifts have rapidly developed above 800m, in strong SE wind, with the passing of the low pressure system yesterday. Snowfall has been warm, wet, broken particles. Below 800m lift lines and inbound steep slopes are also unstable.
Today, a cold westerly wind is expected to intensify, followed by rapid snowdrift development. Avalanche risk is VERY HIGH.
All gates will be closed for the safety of all resort users.
Do not enter the Higashione area, Kagami Numa area or Osawa cornice slopes. Visibility is very bad. Please be aware of cracks and other hazards. The snow conditions within the resorts is good. Do not overestimate your own skills or equipment performance.
The rain wasn't fun yesterday, and it was really coming down at times. Windy too along with the warm conditions. For the first day of March, it wasn't too good!
The rain turned into snow overnight though. Around 5cm or so this morning with resorts reporting up to 10cm of fresh snow. Snow is falling at the moment, though it's definitely of the wet variety. But definitely better than what we had yesterday that's for sure. It's going to be a dusting on ice and the wind probably won't help in that respect either today...
Unfortunately, strong winds are causing problems with lifts around town. There's limited operations at Naeba and Kagura, GALA Yuzawa (which has actually closed now), NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa Kogen in Yuzawa. Also it seems that Maiko Snow Resort is being affected by strong winds with the Gondola and top bowl area closed at the time of writing.
The winds are forecast to continue through the day along with snow showers. Tomorrow is forecast to be calmer though some snowfall may continue. Looking ahead in the coming week we can expect more sunny conditions. Hopefully it will keep cold, though a warm up like we say over the last few days might be on the cards again for later in the week.
Tonight it is the Yuzawa Snow Festival along the main onsen road from the West Exit of the main Echigo Yuzawa Station, though the weather isn't looking like it will be co-operating and events may well get cancelled.
Some 'wetness' yesterday... I can't bring myself to say the word... but a return to colder temps this morning and some snowfall as well, though it has stopped snowing now. Just a bit on the roads, enough to make them whiter than they were yesterday. I said the snow has stopped and actually there's a bit of sun out here in Maruike at the moment. Fast moving clouds mean it's out and then hidden again quickly. But as forecast, changeable conditions this morning.
Some resort areas are reporting disruptions to lift operations.
The wind should calm down for tomorrow and then this week we should see a run of clearer days but keeping fairly cold until the end of the week when a warm up again is likely.
Nighta operations planned for tonight at the following resort areas: Ichinose Family Ichinose Diamond Kumanoyu
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 2nd March 2013 AM:
They say that March comes in like a lion, and last night would be no exception. Howling winds and heavy snows pummeled Furano from yesterday afternoon until the winter storm died down early this morning. 15cm+ of the finest fresh fell over a few hours, but winds upwards of 7m/s with stronger gusts were whipping the newly fallen snow into deep snow banks and cornices. Please be careful out on the mountain today, as some places that may look to be completely normal are actually deep pockets of wind-driven snow.
Things have quieted down for now, and the sun has even come out a little bit. The forecast for today called for the huge storm that moved its way across the Furano Valley last night to linger on through the day today, but it looks like the worst is over. Expect some lingering snow showers for the remainder of the day, but we should see nothing like the debilitating heavy wind/snow combination we saw last night.
Temperatures are in the low minus single digits, and we just may approach the freezing mark today. The resort has raised the official snow depth to 190cm, and today looks like a great day to get out there. Happy skiing, and enjoy all that fresh snow! Read more ...