Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 20th February 2018
Friday 30th December 2011, 8:13am
Currently cloudy and expecting snow this afternoon.
A layer of 5cm blew in and so did some heavy winds. Snow deposited cornices are starting to increase in size, especially at higher altitude. In some cases, up to 50cm deposits can be found on leeward facing slopes. Some more wind and cold temps are expected to move in. Right now it is deceitfully sunny, but I wouldn't expect it to stay much longer than the next 30 minutes or so.
This week could bring a decent amount of snowfall the way things are looking. Sunday night is expected to be the heaviest snowfall along with calming winds. Sunday and Monday night would be a great time to test out the night skiing here at Niseko. There is enough base for it, that's for sure!
The significant avalanche danger right now would be anything wind deposited or sizable cornices. Everything else is relatively stable and would be okay. Just beware of any propagation along edges. With a few more days of wind expected, this is likely to increase. Be safe, have fun, and ski hard!
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 290cm Bottom - 155cm
Niseko Village: Top - 260cm Bottom - 170cm
Annupuri: Top - 265cm Bottom - 170cm
Niseko Avalanche info reads:
Niseko base 6am: -7℃, 5cm of snowfall in the past 12hours. Coastal data: SSE2m/s at Benkei cape, 2.2m waves, 1012hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: W4.1m/s. The south-easterly wind with snow blowing from 2pm to 9pm yesterday has left 50cm of snowdrifts in leeward slopes around 800m altitude, however no notable development of snowdrifts can be observed in the past 12 hours. Dec 29th snow surface is forming a notable layer due to the change in temperature and will potentially become a trigger layer in the future snow accumulation. Deeper layers of snow are rounding and stable. Looking at the snowfall transition, present status and observations, thin slab avalanches are likely to happen in steep slopes today, however the general avalanche hazard level is low. Peak gates are scheduled to open after 9:30am. Do respect the ski patrol’s decisions. The snow in the trees is fast but shallow. Remain in control and beware of hitting trees. Carefully watch the weather as it may suddenly change. The Niseko Rules’ key map can be used as a reference; we recommend to always carrying a copy when touring around Mt. Annupuri. Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2011, 10:00am
Very mixed weather yesterday in the area. After that beautiful start, clouds moved in and by late afternoon it was sleet falling (rain to the north) but then soon back to snow in Yuzawa. We ended up getting perhaps another 10-15cm lower down with high up at Kagura reporting another haul of 20-30cm of fresh snow.
It is a cold feeling -2 degrees this morning and snow is still falling and likely to continue overnight but right now it looks like tomorrow conditions should clear up.
We also have some stronger winds higher up which is affecting the Kagura and Naeba resorts. It's limited at both Mitsumata, Kagura and Naeba this morning. At Naeba most of the courses are open but all of the Gondolas are closed. Things may well change if conditions allow them.
From today we will probably see many more people hitting the slopes as the New Year weekend starts for a lot of people. The resorts will be hoping for one of the busiest of the season, so you can expect crowds and queues for lifts at the most popular places.
Looks like we should expect snow overnight and into tomorrow though things may well clear up and Sunday looks like temperatures should get milder. Next snow due Sunday night.
A very good morning to you from Zao. And yes a good morning it is too with at least 20cm of snow overnight and has been coming down with some purpose early this morning... the rate that brings with it a decent accummulation. Curiously though that stopped and right now I can actually see some blue sky. So it's changeable conditions this morning. There's not much of a wind but it is a cold -10 degrees. The snow quality is really great out there though, so for everyone here for New Year they won't be disappointed.
Similar kind of conditions are forecast for the next few days too.
Official snow depths (30th Dec 11) Utopia - 135cm Chuo - 110cm Paradise - 125cm Uwanodai - 75cm
Operating lifts (30th Dec '11) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) and all lifts operating. All the runs at Zao are now open/accessible. Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2011, 10:12am
And the snow is back. The sunshine and blue skies of yesterday morning were just a brief respite. The clouds came back again by afternoon and the snow was falling again by late afternoon. We had a dusting overnight and the temperature has dropped again. The snow continues to be near perfect with awesome conditions both on and off the groomers. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 30th December 2011, 10:23am
Cloud, light snow, sun in places - changeable!
It's one of those mornings where we can see a whole range of weather conditions in a short space of time. While it is snowing and cloudy with poor visibility in some areas, the sun is out in others. And that's changing quickly. Right now here in Maruike it is quite bright with the sun peeping out from behind clouds but I was over in Okushiga a little earlier on and there was poor visibility and snow falling. So it doesn't quite seem to be able to make up it's mind right now.
The snow was coming down pretty good later on in the day yesterday after that fine start, and I would saw we had another 10-15cm of fresh snow fall so the courses got a top-up.
I have a feeling it will clear up today and tomorrow the sun should make an appearance as well. Look for the next decent snowfall to be perhaps the evening of the 1st.
Resort areas are seeing more people out there now as New Year guests stake their claim on the slopes. Lines seem fast moving though and I can't see anything that looks like congestion out there at all just yet. Hopefully it might stay that way.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
Yesterdays stormy weather came through and we have been left with 12cm of nice fresh powder in the village and even more on the ski area itself. Conditions this morning are clear with high clouds and calm conditions. The winds are expected to pick up later tonight and bring more snow. Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2011, 10:30am
Cloud, light snow, blue sky at times
We are back to seeing more snow overnight with perhaps 15-20cm of fresh snow falling on the mountain. Just what we ordered for New Year and busier slopes. Actually earlier on the morning started off fine with some blue skies and not that much cloud but it has since clouded over and light snow has started to fall. I doubt it will translate into much new snowfall though as it is light and not the heavy style we have seen of late and the whole of the mountain is visible, so nice conditions to be out on the slopes really.
Tomorrow night we can look forward to some New Years Eve events including the traditional 'skiing down the slopes with torches' (not you, the instructors!), nighta open until midnight and an official countdown and fireworks at midnight. That's all tomorrow night. Normal nighta operations for tonight.
Forecast for tomorrow is decent. We might see some light snow but generally a calm end to the year that was 2011. What a year for Japan, hey? But we are ending it with great snow conditions.
Lifts currently operating: All of Madarao is open. Connection with Tangram Ski Circus open.
Some more new snow overnight after the clearer start to things yesterday. By late afternoon it was snowing. Kagura are reporting 20-30cm of new snow while down in the village it is more like 10-20cm. Winds are blowing things around a bit so difficult to put a real number on it.
Those same winds are this morning causing a few issues at both Naeba and Kagura. Early on Tashiro is closed and from the Mitsumata Ropeway it is just open to the No1 pair lift at Kagura. All runs at Naeba seem to be open to ride down but the Gondolas, including Dragondola, and a few of the higher lifts are on hold at the moment due to the wind. If things get calmer, expect things to open up.
Right now we have light snow and cloud with fairly poor visibility at both resort areas. The forecast has things clearing up later on and in time for tomorrow which should see calmer conditions.
Resort Operations, 30th Dec (subject to change) Naeba: All of Naeba is skiable, some lifts and gondolas on standby due to winds Kagura: Normally fully open but winds today mean limited operations
Just 15cm of fresh snow overnight - still not bad at all of course but we thought that we may have gotten a bit more based on the forecast and our recent history. Maybe we are getting a bit snow greedy!
There was a bit of blue poking through when we awoke this morning but has been quickly replaced by some decent snowfall outside now. The wind is up though today especially higher up. Any little top up will be welcome with some of the lower slopes getting a little icy yesterday. Probably due to the increase in traffic on the slopes over the past few days.
Yesterday was blue skies in the morning and snow came in later in the afternoon. The outlook is for the snow to lighten up today and clear skies in the morning then a big dump still expected for Sunday night. Tomorrow night should be clear for the fire works but cold so rug up.
It has been another fine morning in Hakuba. Early on this morning the skies were covered in grey cloud but that soon generally moved on and by 8am the mountains were becoming more visible and blue skies opening up. No new snow to report in village and most resorts, with just Cortina reporting 5cm of fresh snow today.
Upper slopes may still have cloudy conditions with poorer visibility but come down out of those areas and it's nice and sunny as we enter the afternoon. On those upper slopes though some stronger winds have caused some lifts not to move this morning... the upper slopes of Goryu have been closed and the Hakuba 47 gondola was not moving until about an hour ago as well. At Happo the Grad quad and Kurobishi No3 lifts aren't moving, the latter due to the windy conditions.
The sun may be out but temperatures are staying low and cold and right now it is -2 degrees in the village. The latest forecast for Hakuba is that we should see clear conditions tomorrow, followed by snow later in the day and overnight into Monday.
Of course, tomorrow is New Years Eve and there are more people getting out on the hills now as people arrive for their New Year holiday but things seemed manageable out there and not too crowded. Some of the upper areas being closed is making some lower slopes busier though. We can expect more people coming tomorrow and over the weekend as well of course.
Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 30th December 2011 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Strong winds closing top lifts this morning. No new snow to report. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 205cm; Toomi - 90cm; Iimori - 90cm.
Hakuba 47: Winds prevented the gondola from moving this morning, but now operating. No new snow. Official snow depth: Upper - 196cm Lower - 60cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from the top Grad Quad and Kurobishi No3 pair are moving. Official snow depth: Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 110cm; Sakka - 50cm; Nakiyama - 60cm.
It turned out to be very crowded on some of the lower slopes this afternoon in Hakuba - as mentioned earlier, some higher lifts not operating because of the strong winds certainly added to the situation, but I think we can definitely expect a busy weekend ahead. It might be a good idea to up there early if you can for those early tracks and beat the crowds. But go out there expecting some lift lines over the weekend.
It's looks like the weather tomorrow will be fine and sunny without the winds of today, so everywhere should be open and extra motivation to get out up top.
It would be great if we could report deep new snowfall these last few days, but we'll just have to play with what we have got. Look to Sunday night for the next snowfall and then more hopefully from Tuesday onwards again.
The day started sunny today, but with some winds and occasional snow through the day. A little extra snow fell overnight as well, which shows up in some of the reports (there was enough for the plows to be out, meaning more than just a dusting). The snow condition remains excellent, too, as it's staying cold even when the sun is out. All set for the New Year's crowds (who started to show up today).