Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 20th November 2017
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 3rd December 2015, 8:27am
Quick report this morning - some rain last night and a cloudy start but rain is threatening again and could be falling any time.
Snow is due later on though so everyone is hoping that it will be a much colder and snowier situation tomorrow morning.
Resort areas that are currently open:
The Kumanoyu area has its Number 2 pair lifts operating and the 600m Number 2 beginner course open - natural snow aided by artificial snow machines. Read more ...
Thursday 3rd December 2015, 8:32am
I think today will be the first time that I have to talk about wind.
Ah yes, wind.
It's that one thing that manages to annoy me most about Niseko, it often messing about with lift operations and what is open on the mountain. And today is one of those days - well, this morning anyway. Strong winds are with us and stopping some lifts from opening at the start of the day. Niseko Grand Hirafu resort at 8am was reporting wind speeds of 20-25m/s at the top of the Center Four lift. They will of course try to get going if the conditions allow, but strong winds are expected for the day today. As of 8:30am, it looks like the two lifts at Niseko Village are actually going to be opening as planned but the planned lifts at Niseko Annupuri as well as Niseko Grand Hirafu are on hold.
This morning we also have warmer conditions with rain falling as well. Temperatures may rise to around 10 degrees in town today which is of course too warm. All in all, it's not really a particularly nice day to get up on the mountain even if the winds allowed the lifts to move.
It is one of those days when 'other things' are a good choice. My choice is a soak in the onsen hot springs...
OK now we have all that lot out of the way, things are looking much better from later on today.
Temperatures are set to drop and hopefully by the end of the day it will be snowing. And there's a good chance that the snowfall will continue through tomorrow and over the weekend and into early next week. If this comes off then by the end of the weekend things should be looking very different here.
So I'm looking forward to bringing you that news over the coming few days.
Resort specific news as of 8:30am - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Lifts planned to be running - Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four (transport), Ace Number 3 Early morning strong winds and poor visibility preventing them from opening as planned
Niseko Village: Lifts planned to be operating - Community Chair and Banzai Chair.
Niseko Annupuri: Lifts planned to be operating - Annupuri Gondola (transport) and Jumbo Number 3 lift Early morning strong winds and poor visibility preventing them from opening as planned
Yesterday morning we had beautiful clear skies and sunshine and temperatures that were just too high. Come mid afternoon there was a bit of cloud around and some gusty winds blowing. I'm not sure if there was any rain overnight (light rain was forecast) but the roads are dry this morning.
There is a lot of cloud in the skies and rain is also forecast for today but for the moment it is holding off. The mild conditions continued overnight and it's still about 10 degrees as we approach 9am. Temperatures will probably rise a little by early afternoon before dropping a bit tonight and tomorrow but we will be lucky if it is cold enough for any snow. Hopefully at higher elevations, possibly lower down if it can get cold enough. Fingers crossed.
The snow mat area at Kagura Mitsumata is now there just to let people get over to the main Kagura area with the resort is saying that the skiing/boarding area is now just on the main Kagura run. Looking at the webcam this morning it is quite noticeable that there is less snow cover up there this morning no doubt due to the warmer conditions.
Tomorrow is the day to look to for a chance of snow at higher elevations but after that and into early next week the forecast is more sun than snow.
It's looking like we will need to wait a bit longer for winter to kick in proper.
Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
Currently part open: The lower part of the main Kagura area - 600m in length, real snow + artificial - is open. The Mitsumata (snow-mat) area is currently being used as a connection to get to the open Kagura area. Operating lifts are Mitsumata Ropeway, Mitsumata Number 1 lift, Mitsumata Number 3 lift, Kagura Gondola, Kagura Number 1 romance pair lift. The Kagura Gondola needs to be taken to return back to the Mitsumata area.
Lovely day yesterday and a cloudy start to the day here today. It was mild overnight - I didn't even put the heater on last night - and remains so this morning, currently about 8 degrees.
The warmer conditions means that some of the snow on the higher areas has melted again with only the Yamabiko course area looking like it has a cover. There's not much up there though so we remain in need of a considerably dumpage of snow to get the resort open.
So when is this snow going to arrive? Well, there's a chance that by the end of today we will see snowing at least higher up. It may well start as rain which is forecast for this morning.
Tomorrow is due to be colder and snowy so I hope I can bring you news of that tomorrow morning.
We'll need a lot tomorrow because beyond tomorrow there's not a whole lot of snow potential on the weekly forecast as it currently stands.
It was a beautiful morning yesterday and even though skiing and boarding options are still very limited, it was a fine time to be up on the mountain.
More clouds appeared during the day and after a mild overnight we have started with very cloudy conditions early this morning. And rain... which hopefully will be snow by the end of today as things start to get colder from this afternoon.
Resort operations remain the same as yesterday for the moment.
Snow is due tomorrow. I'm expecting and hoping to be bringing you good news tomorrow morning.
Resorts that are currently at least part open
Hakuba 47: The base area of Hakuba 47 base is not yet open but the top area of Goryu/47 is open as well as the Hakuba 47 Line E lift. Get up there via the Hakuba Goryu gondola. 2500 yen for adults, 1350 yen for children. Lifts operating: Line E should be open today Official snow depth Upper: 45cm Base: 0cm
Hakuba Goryu: The upper area of Hakuba Goryu is open along with one of the Hakuba 47 lifts. 2500 yen for adults; 1350 yen for children Lifts operating: Telecabin Gondola (to get to the open area) Alps Number 1 pair lift Official snow depth Alps: 50cm Iimori: 0cm Toomi: 0cm
Hakuba Happo-one: The Panorama course of Happo-one is now open. 2600 yen for adults; 1600 yen for children Lifts operating: Adam Gondola (to get to the open area) Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 30cm Nakiyama: 0cm Sakka: 0cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Part of the upper area of Tsugaike Kogen are open. 3500 yen for adults; 2000 yen for children Lifts operating: Eve Gondola Han-no-ki high speed pair lift Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 44cm Maruyama: 0cm
It's raining in Furano Town and was 3C when I crossed the Sorachi River our of Kitanomine just before 9am.
The mountain is shrouded in cloud at the top so there is a slim chance it's snow flurries up there, but the smart money would be on rain. Drizzle if you want to get specific. Cold, wet, soul sapping drizzle, if you want to get dramatic.
Light breeze today. Visibility not an issue but through rain drops. Up in the clouds at the top of the resort visibility would be poor to fair.
At this stage, the forecast is for four days of snowy afternoons starting tomorrow and this rain is currently forecast to stop around 6pm.
But as ever, it's the weather. So we shall see.
Photo 1 is the Kitanomine Zone of the resort taken from the Furano JR railway station Photo 2 are the snow covered lavender pots and bedraggled lavender out behind the station. Read more ...