Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 18th March 2018
Thursday 31st December 2009, 7:09am
Weather in Hakuba is currently snowing and the forecast calls for it to continue all day.
Hakuba village received 15-17cm of snow overnight, so on-hill conditions will get a much needed powder input. Expect light and dry powder on terrain above 1500m and great skiing on all aspects. Bring a hooded jacket and good goggles today as you will need them.
The low pressure system circling Japan is expected to stick around for 3 days with healthy snowfall forecast, so make the most of it and get some while it dumps.
Avalanche Conditions in the Hakuba Area: Alpine: Extreme Tree Line: Extreme Below Tree line: High
Rapid loading on all aspects, continued heavy snowfall for the next 3 days will most likely see this trend continued. Due caution should be taken on steep unsupported terrain, wind loaded lee-ward slopes and convex slopes.
We didn't wake up to the blanket of snow that we were hoping for (and that the forecast is promising) but the snow has started. There was some light rain in the valley in the early hours which soon stopped and it started to snow lightly at about 7am. The snow is still coming down now but at this rate won't cause any problems on the roads.
The resorts were busy again yesterday and snow conditions remain good, although with the constant traffic a couple of spots are showing signs of wear. With the up and down temperatures over the last few days the off-piste is choppy and pretty tricky. Today's snow is supposed to get heavier later in the day which will hopefully drop a decent layer by tomorrow. Read more ...
Thursday 31st December 2009, 8:08am
Blue skies and sun
Amazing will be the only words to describe things. It was a blizzard from yesterday afternoon with extreme winds and sideways snow. The winds continued all night. Today we have awoken to beautiful blue sky, sun and 30cm of fresh snow.
Expect some wind effect in the new snow. The earlybird will be spoiled for fresh tracks this morning. Kitanomine is looking stunning, bathing in sun with a backdrop of blue sky.
There is a countdown New Years Festival with torch skiing and fireworks on 31 Decemebr in the Furano Zone from 10:30pm to midnight.
Just a reminder that if you hold a Furano Ski Area 5-7 multiday lift pass, you can trade one of the days for a Kamui Ski Links or Tomamu lift pass. If you hold an 8 day longer pass you can trade one day for a Kamui Ski Links pass, and another day for a Tomamu pass. (There is a procedure for the exchange of the lift passes - please confirm directly with Furano Tourism or Furano Ski area. There are day tour shuttle services from Furano out to Tomamu and Kamui, details are on page 32 of the Dining and Entertainment Guide.
Night skiing is open on both sides of the mountain until 8:30pm. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 31st December 2009, 8:52am
Cloud increasing and snow becoming heavier as the day goes on.
We have 15cm of new snow overnight up top and lots more forecast for the entire mountain over the coming two days. This should see a nice top-up for the current base and will ensure conditions over the New Year and weekend are great.
Visibility will surely deteriorate as the days goes on and the snow becomes heavier. Hopefully we will be able to report some very good numbers in tomorrows report.
I was waiting a bit later to post this mornings report.... waiting for the snow to start! Unfortunately, it was disappointing to see that we didn't have any snow at all overnight in Yuzawa, but the very good news is that since just a few minutes ago the snow has started falling.
With the forecasts often not quite coming true of late, I'm wary of passing on this info - but the official forecast for the Yuzawa region between now and 9am tomorrow morning is an average of 40cm and a maximing of, get this, 90cm! So that would certainly be a New Year treat. It is coming down nicely now as I write this and already starting to stick, so things are looking good.
I will write a last report of the year later on today with the latest....
Well, the day may have started off with disappointment but things have changed a lot since then. As I reported earlier, the snow started falling in Yuzawa at around 10am and after a few periods of it clearing up and being just cloudy again during the morning, it has really been snowing in style the last few hours along with there being some strong winds and a very cold feeling -3 degrees at the moment out there.
That heavy snow we were promised is now with us and it looks like it will be continuing for some while... I'd say we have had 20cm or so of snow since this morning and that will quickly increase into the evening and overnight. The official local forecast has 30-60cm falling between now and 9am tomorrow morning. Another 60cm would be just the ticket for a New Year 'otoshidama' (present) I reckon!
The snow is set to hopefully continue through the weekend and perhaps even into early next week so if you are planning on a New Year ski or snowboard you'll be enjoying some excellent conditions out there - especially once these stormy conditions pass on.
The winds have been too strong for Gala Yuzawa which has closed this afternoon. The strong winds have also been affecting Kagura with the quad and connecting course with Tashiro closed. They have also announced that they are still planning to be open 7:30am tomorrow but that might be affected by weather conditions early in the morning. Right now the forecast looks like snow snow and snow with wind so the chances of a not fully open Kagura tomorrow are definitely there. If you are planning to go, best to give them a call or visit their site early on for the latest.
All that's left for me now is to say thanks for reading this year and see you tomorrow. Have a fun evening wherever you are and whatever you are doing! Read more ...
Thursday 31st December 2009, 10:08am
Last night a warm front on the eastern side of the approaching storm passed over the region. Up to 20cm of what was pretty wet snow at lower levels fell across the resort. Strong winds accommpanied the front and there was a reasonable amount of drifting. The centre of the low is moving almost directly over us currently and the winds aren't too bad this morning. As the low moves NE up into the Sea of Okhotsk it will deepen and colder and stronger NW winds will develop later today with near blizzard conditions continuing over the next couple of days. Snow on the lower mountain is not the best quality being a little crusty. Up high it is better quality but the winds are getting pretty strong up there. Snow is forecast to continue for much of the next week so conditions should improve daily especially after the winds abate.
Just a little warning for those who will be out partying tonight to usher in the New Year. With strong winds, cold temperatures and plenty of falling and blowing snow expected, it's best not to walk back to your accommodation alone. It will be easy enough to become disorientated even if you haven't imbibed copious amounts of alchohol. So if it's a fair walk don't hesitate to get the bar to call you a taxi or make sure you stay in a group. Make sure you look after your friends so everyone makes it home safely. Otherwise have a great time and Happy New Year! May it be a very snowy one for everyone.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 170cm Bottom - 100cm
Niseko Village: Top - 190cm Bottom - 120cm
Annupuri: Top - 190cm Bottom - 130cm
Niseko Avalanche Info No.16
Moiwa base 6am: -2℃, 20cm of new snow in the past 12hours, typical pre-Low snowfall. The snow surface in areas lower than 600m is crusted due to cold air coming in since this morning. Coastal wind: 2m/s S at Benkei cape, 12m/s SW, 985hPa and 1.8m waves at Kamui cape. Predicted wind at 1300m: easterly 30m/s. 15m/s SSW wind at Mizuno no sawa is developing snowdrifts. The wind is mild this morning, less than 15m/s southerly in lower1000m area, but is forecasted to turn into a storm soon. Gate 4 (Fujiwara) will be closed. Gate 6 (Moiwa) will open in the morning only. Avalanche risk remains high in knolls terrain with snow-slabs. The snow in the trees is not bad, but never duck ropes, use gates to access the out of bounds areas. 2 people have lost their passes sneaking into Mizuno no sawa yesterday. The groomer condition is fantastic this morning. Always remember that most accidents happens in poor weather, beware of sudden weather change. Read more ...
Thursday 31st December 2009, 10:09am
The big snow hasn't hit yet, despite occasionally promising snow flurries and wind gusts. But as I'm writing this (10 a.m.), the wind is shifting around to the north, with increasing fog and dropping temperature. So the sunny early morning is already gone; hopefully the gray means the heavy snow.
Snow conditions remain pretty good, but we need a little more coverage on some isolated bare spots and icy patches.
It's snowing this morning in Zao and with some purpose too! Mid-winter conditions early on today on this last day of the year, though curiously maybe not as cold as we might expect. But whatever, the snow is now falling and is probably set in for the day and indeed hopefully into the weekend and we can expect a decent rise in the amount of snow out there as well as some deep fresh cm out there.
Tomorrow looks set to be blizzard-like conditions with some particularly strong winds forecast, hopefully not affecting the resort operations too much but keep that in mind.
If you are in Zao for the New Year and weekend - wrap up well, bring the goggles and look forward to some fine snow conditions.
This morning snow is falling in Shiga Kogen. It perhaps started later in the morning than we had hoped for (what happened to it last night?!) but curiously the snow depth numbers that the resorts put out haven't changed, but there is new snow - perhaps 15-20cm of the stuff in places - and it continues to fall now though fairly lightly as I type this.
The forecast has stronger winds and heavy snow for later on in the day and especially tomorrow, but a decent new covering of snow is due from today right through perhaps until Monday. So conditions will be good out there.
It's a cold morning especially with the wind, currently around -7 degrees.
Let it snow! And see you in the New Year. Have a great New Years Eve!
Nighta this evening at the following resort areas:
Sun Valley Ichinose Family Yakebitaiyama Kumanoyu
Official resort snow depths as of 31st December 09:
Well, the snow we were told to expect last night didn't turn up - and didn't even start earlier this morning so that was a disappointing start to the day. Hearing that it was snowing to the north in other areas of Niigata didn't help!
Kagura are reporting 5cm of snow, though there was none lower down in the village.
It's still not snowing here either, coming on for 10:30am. The good news though is that it is now snowing down in Yuzawa town and surely (hopefully) that is on it's way here and this much heralded snowfall over the new year starts. We are told to expect on average around 40cm of new snow, but possibly much more in some area.
So smiles all round tomorrow morning (or perhaps tomorrow afternoon, depending on how the parties go tonight!)
We are seeing some fairly strong winds today and because of that the Dragondola isn't operating. The Ropeways at Tashiro and Mitsumata currently seem unaffected though. More strong winds are forecast for tomorrow so we can perhaps expect operations to be affected by that at the resorts.
Hope 2009 was good for you, let's see how 2010 turns out... starting tomorrow! Have a good one.