Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 31st January 2014, 8:07am
Hmmmm. At 3pm yesterday the resort was reporting rain on the upper slopes and cloud at base, with temperatures ranging from 0C to +6C down in the village. Overnight it was around +3 degrees in the village and there's no escaping the fact that I heard rain coming down in the middle of the night. It actually looks like it should get colder as the lifts start moving and during the day today. At the moment as of 8am it is around +1C.
While it's wet in lower areas, it's snowing on the Yamabiko area say the resort. A look at the webcams also shows pretty poor visibility up there. They are also saying there's a new 5cm up there (and 10cm on Uenotaira) as well since yesterday, so higher up is definitely the place to head for right away if you are on the mountain today.
It should be colder overnight and then tomorrow is due to be a clear and sunny day. Sunday is still forecast to be mild and raining.
It's difficult to know what to write at the moment actually. Obviously we all want conditions to be awesome. At the same time don't want to sound down on things, but need to of course keep it honest. But it's all a bit... dare I say it, spring-like just at the moment. :(
I'll end on a positive note and that is that early next week is looking promising with a return to cold and snowy conditions. Here's hoping it will be a fab Nozawa-like consistent dump and we'll all be smiling again.
Lifts All lifts operating except: Yunomine pair Mizunashi triple Challenge pair Utopia pair Hikage Number 2 pair B
Courses All courses open except: Kandahar East Kandahar West Read more ...
Friday 31st January 2014, 8:26am
Yesterday saw a warm front arrive that has now passed, and overnight there has been an additional 10cm of new snow.
Stepping outside the first thing you will notice will be the wind which is blowing in gusts moderately at base level and stronger at the mountain top. There has been no indication by the resort so far that this will affect lift operations.
Ah good, we are back to something colder this morning.
Another 10cm of fresh snow to report this morning from the Hirafu village area and it's of a better (drier) quality than the snow I reported yesterday. As you can see in the Avalance Report below, up to 20cm is being reported at higher elevations.
Strong winds again spoiling the fun a bit this morning and it's blizzard conditions up on the mountain by the looks. For those braving conditions, make sure you know where you're going - visibility is low out there.
The top lifts at each resort not opening as scheduled this morning due to the wind conditions.... winds of up to 21m/s reported by Annupuri, where the Gondola isn't moving either; the Gondola at Niseko Village is also on hold.
Happy Chinese New Year to those celebrating! It's going to be a busy weekend.
Tomorrow we'll look at the numbers for the season and the month of January and also see how they compare with last year.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -6, 15cm new snow in last 12 hrs, snow drift development. Moiwa 800m: -9C, wind W16m/s , 20cm new snow, snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -11C, wind W20m/s, 20cm new snow, snowdrift development. Hirafu 1000m: -7C, 20cm new snow, snow drift development. Annupuri peak 1308m: -12.8℃, wind NW15.4m/s. Cape Benkei: NW20m/s, Cape Kamui: W14m/s, wave 2.1m, pressure 1001hPa.
Isobars have moved closer together and the mountain is experiencing blizzard conditions. There has been major snow drift development and the avalanche risk is high on steep wind influenced slopes. From current observations it is expected the 28-29 layer will fracture easily generating slabs 80-120cm thick. Dont ride the valleys today. The forest is reset and good. Beware of cracks in the middle of slopes due to bad visibility, they are hard to see from above. Peak gates will be closed. Do not duck ropes to get fresh lines. Niseko Rules are here to protect all skiers safety and freedom. We strongly demand all riders read and understand the rules. Do not enter Haru no Taki, and Yu no Sawa Strictly Off Limits area, or Mizuno no sawa Special Control Area. Mountain is in good condition. Have a safe day.
Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:
Not the most exciting things to report this morning.
After a cloudy morning, later in the afternoon we enjoyed some clearer skies and avoided rain. Until night time. I was actually woken once in the middle of the night be the sound of heavy rain which obviously isn't good.
This morning, Kagura are saying that they got 10cm of snow with resorts around town just a dusting. It seems that while it was raining down in town there was snow falling on the mountain. Wet and heavy very probably, but better than rain for sure!
It's approaching 9:30am now and I'm happy to report that it has turned to snow. Light wet snow right now - not the kind that will end up with cm on the ground - but snow forecast until later this evening.
This morning there's a wind blowing on the mountains and it looks like Kagura is on it's Mitsumata Ropeway to Kagura No1 lift and Tashiro Ropeway to Tashiro No1 lift pattern. Winds are likely to persist for the day.
We're expecting sun tomorrow and then unfortunately rain on Sunday as it warms up.
With the mild conditions, not much fresh lately and rain... well, snow conditions not the best.
Lunchtime yesterday and it was raining in the village, with temperature rising to around +3C, though it was snowing as you got higher up.
Hakuba 47 yesterday said that 3cm of snow fell on the upper slopes during the day time and this morning the number stands at 15cm on the upper slopes. Similarly Goryu are saying up to 20cm on upper areas, but nothing down at base.
So it probably goes without saying - head higher for the snow conditions. People talking about spring like conditions in January is not good but like I said there are usually one or two blips in a season. But January as a whole has been on the dry side. We are just hoping that February will be the comeback month.
OK back to the forecasts. We might see the clouds clear today and even a bit of sun. Sun tomorrow morning at least, and then warm and rainy on Sunday. But come Tuesday things are looking more interesting. We should be having a return to very cold conditions and snow falling. Let that be the start of a great February.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 31st January 2014):
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall at base, 20cm on upper areas. Upper - 285cm Toomi - 160cm Iimori - 140cm
Hakuba 47: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall at base, 15cm on upper areas. Upper - 255cm Lower - 90cm
Strong winds this morning... and lots of the mountain is closed due to those conditions at the moment meaning a bit of congestion on the base lifts open. Though I think that lots of people might write the day off and spend it soaking in an onsen as it's a bit wild at the moment out there.
The sun should be shining tomorrow morning, but as in many other regions it's going to warm up for Sunday and there's a chance of rain even up here.
Back to winter from Tuesday, according to the forecast.
Have a good weekend and Happy Chinese New Year to friends visiting from overseas.
Official snow depths (31st January 14): Utopia: 250cm Chuo: 195cm Paradise: 225cm Uwanodai: 140cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 31st January 2014, 9:55am
Snow, wind, fog and poor visibility this morning in Shiga Kogen. A bit of a wild one at times though forecast to calm down later on in the day, and it should be clearer tomorrow. Warmer on Sunday but we are hopeful that we can maybe avoid the rain that lower regions seem destined to get.
After the few days of milder conditions winter should be back come Tuesday.
Official snow depth data, as of Friday 31st January 2014, 9am):
The rain never eventuated yesterday and we have snow falling in Minakami this morning at a rate of around 2cm/hour. This snow should stop by midday with a cloudy day remaining. 25cm being added to the snow depth at Tenjin today.
Tomorrow is forecast for temps to reach to around 6 deg C with the sun shining all day, so spring conditions can be expected. A high of 10 deg on Sunday is forecast with a possibility of rain.
It looks like we head back into winter temps from around Tuesday with snow forecast for a couple of days.
Yesterday: rain, augmented with lightning and thunder in the evening. I know because our cowardly Retriever was barking in the middle of the night to be let in the office, where she could cower under a desk. OK, she's a sweet dog, likes people, likes to ride the lifts and run down, she just doesn't like the lights and bangs.
I'm glad I'm late posting today, because I can say that the high winds predicted earlier by SnowJapan and today's TV news coverage has come in. Not enough to shut down lifts - yet - but there are occasional high gusts coming in from the north. At least the precipitation is snow, not rain today. But the high winds and rain of yesterday have really eaten into the snowpack: time for some fresh to fall!
Which, unfortunately, looks unlikely until the first part of next week. That freezing line is going to go up almost to the peak of Mt. Myoko; it looks like it will rain almost that high as well on Sunday. Big sigh.
Here's a hopeful prediction, based on a conversation with a friend last night. I recall that many years ago February was our big snow month. January could be good, but February was when we got the big snowfalls. Could be age and over-optimism, but there's still a lot of season left, and we could still see some Myoko-style, non-stop snow. Or more powder, at any rate.