Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 13th December 2017
Thursday 3rd January 2013, 9:01am
About 10cm here in Naeba and Kagura reporting 10-15cm, it might not be mad deep yet but snow is due to be falling all day today. Lots of snow hopefully in the next two days. Bring it on.
Poor visibility out there this morning as the snow comes down. It's cold too, -8 here at base in Naeba.
Official resort snow depth: Naeba - 140cm Kagura - 270cm
All runs at Naeba open apart from Splash Bowl. Top area may be closed at times. Read more ...
Thursday 3rd January 2013, 9:14am
Light snow started to fall yesterday evening and has continued through the night. Moderate winds started to whip up late evening and have continued. All this has left around 7cm of fresh snow at village level. On the mountain there will be areas and drifts significantly deeper than this. The snow is forecast to continue for the rest of the week and there should be around another 10cm falling during today. The winds persist this morning and are varying between light to moderate. At the moment all lifts are operating but the wind conditions may cause some lifts to suspend operation. For powder seekers this will be a good day indeed.
We ended up with some fine weather yesterday. We are back to snow and wind this morning - there's another 15-20cm of snow to report in Niseko this morning and once again a similar temperature.
Early on the top lifts at each resort are not operating due to the wind (Jumbo Number 4 at Annupuri; Wonderland Chair at Niseko Village; Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 at Niseko Grand Hirafu; and Hanazono Number 3 at Niseko Hanazono). A few more lifts are running at reduced speed.
Visibility is not too bad out there at the moment even with the snow falling. In fact, just now there was a quick and cheeky appearance of the sun from behind the clouds, but it was only for a short time. If the forecasts are correct, it should be snowing for the day and tomorrow as well. Perhaps get a bit colder too.
Let's take a look at those JMA snowfall numbers for Kutchan in December 2012. The final number for the month was an impressive 306cm. So not quite the 349cm of December 2011 but more than the previous five Decembers. Some excellent conditions out there again and for the most part I don't think there'll be many complaints from the people who chose the early season.
By my calculations we have now probably had over 6m of snow fall here in the Hirafu village area since the first snowfall of the season. Sounds good to me!
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono Top - 320cm Bottom - 140cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 240cm Bottom - 190cm
Niseko Village Top - 290cm Bottom - 180cm
Niseko base 6am: -10C, 15cm of broken crystal snowflakes, moderate storm. Moiwa peak: -15C, westerly wind 15m/s and bad visibility. Coastal data: NW18m/s, 3.1m waves, 1010hPa. Typical winter pressure pattern is generating intermittent snowfall with strong westerly winds. Development of cornices and snowdrifts is drastic, and unstable soft-slabs are forming in leeward slopes. 15+m/s westerly storm is persisting above 800m altitude. Avalanche risk is high today. Weak bonding within the newly formed snowdrifts (Jan 2nd layer) could easily collapse, resulting in a 60cm slab slide.
Cornice slopes and open steep slopes below the ridgeline should not be stimulated today. Good snow can be found in the trees, however the visibility will remain generally poor. Most avalanche accidents occur in leeward steep slopes during storms. Avoid cutting (traversing) across these kind of slopes and/or stopping at the valley bottoms. Ski/ride the fall-line and ski/ride away from suspicious terrain as quickly as possible.
Gates 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be closed. Other gates will depend on lift operations. Follow the ski patrol's instructions. Gate 9 (waterfall) has been opened yesterday. Respect the Rules, always use gates. Have a nice day. Read more ...
Thursday 3rd January 2013, 9:27am
Overcast and snowing
5cm of fresh snow to report at the valley level this morning with the snow forecast to continue throughout the day and for all of tomorrow as well. This should bring around 30cm to the valley with up to 70cm expected at Tenjin by the end of this storm. Some fine conditions ahead!
The weekend looks like mainly overcast and cool weather which should keep the snow in good condition.
The BC areas around Minakami have not had sufficient snow to fill in creeks as yet. At least another 2m of snow is required to make easy and safer exits. The new snow is settling on the hard rain effected layer which is likely to cause problems. Read more ...
Thursday 3rd January 2013, 9:43am
The snow continued yesterday and this morning resorts around the valley are reporting up to 35cm of new snowfall since yesterday. The Deep Award goes to Hakuba Cortina this morning with that haul on it's upper slopes. Goryu is reporting 10cm on lower slopes and 30cm on upper slopes with Hakuba 47 reporting 25cm of new snow on the upper slopes. I think we can safely say that whichever resort you choose today you'll be rewarded with some fine snow conditions. Yey!
There hasn't actually been a huge amount of snowfall down at village level. The slightly heavier snow of last night changed to drier snow and it is still coming down now this morning. Probably 5-10cm of snow at base levels and just a few cm where I live. It's the snow on the slopes that matters, though, right?
It is a cold morning and not going to rise much about -5C today in the village, in fact we are forecast to get colder this afternoon and into tomorrow. It is all grey and white out there this morning with generally limited visibility.
Should be great out there!
With all the new snow, we have some rather dangerous avalanche conditions at the moment and venturing out to avalanche terrain is not recommended. Take care out there.
Official snow depths and operations @ Thursday 3rd January 2013 AM: Please note that resort lift operations are subject to change at any time.
Hakuba Goryu: 10cm on lower slopes and 30cm on upper slopes - new snow reported from Hakuba Goryu. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 250cm; Toomi - 125cm; Iimori - 100cm
Hakuba 47: 25cm of new snow reported on upper slopes by Hakuba 47 this morning. Official snow depth: Upper - 210cm Lower - 95cm
The snow started in the middle of the day yesterday and we had about 15cm by evening time, and this morning up to 20-30cm of new snowfall. Very nice. Still, it is on top of the somewhat icy conditions that we had before the snow hit below it and so a bit more would be good to give us nice soft deep conditions.
The snow is still falling and should be into tomorrow as well. Generally poor visibility on the slopes.
The tree runs are open again today so should be a good day.
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 ...
Thursday 3rd January 2013, 10:13am
Good news from Yuzawa this morning as snow has been falling the second half of yesterday. There hasn't been a huge amount on the ground and resorts around town have been reporting between 5cm and 15cm of new snowfall. With the cold temperature (-4C) and the snow coming down nicely now we can hope for some decent snowfall today. The local Niigata forecast is saying up to 20cm before 4pm today and then the snow is set to continue into tomorrow.
The new layer of snow is very welcome and covering up what had become quite icy conditions on many runs around town. The deeper the better. We may well see clearer conditions over the weekend and so we need as much snow as possible today and tomorrow!
We have had some very nice heavy snow falling in the region today and I'd say we have probably over 30cm now in this storm with more on the forecast. The latest forecast published by Niigata Prefecture has us down for up to 50cm of snow from this evening through until tomorrow morning in both the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma regions. It will stay cold and very likely that the snow will continue tomorrow as well, before easing off for the weekend.
Saturday is currently forecast to be more mild and we might see clear sunny skies.
Conditions should be fantastic out tomorrow if you can brave the potentially wild conditions - hopefully wind won't mess around with lift operations, looks like things should be ok - and Saturday should be great too. If you choose Saturday, try to get out as early as possible to avoid the inevitable powder crowds. Not that you need telling that! Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 3rd January 2013, 10:29am
The snow clouds moved in later on in the day yesterday and this morning we have around 10cm of new snowfall around Shiga Kogen and the snow is falling now still. It is a cold, snowy and quite windy morning and is likely to continue with similar conditions throughout today. Generally poor visibility on the slopes.
After the busy New Year holidays we are getting quieter now... having said that I don't think it was too bad over New Year this time. Some people will have an extended holiday and so we can expect a fairly busy weekend coming up as well.
Nighta operations planned for tonight at the following resort areas: Ichinose Family Ichinose Diamond Yakebitaiyama
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 3rd January 2013 AM:
Epic conditions this morning are only improving now with consistent heavy snowfalls and 50cm of new snow overnight up until now. And that's down low on the mountain as well. After a bit of a snow drought, everyone was keen to get up for first lifts this morning and those who did certainly scored!
It was an interesting morning yesterday. The warm conditions gave way to a cold front which moved over the region in the afternoon.
Since then the snow has been dumping non-stop which has seen a major improvement to the piste courses, although off-piste still needs a little more.
The forecast suggests cold conditions will remain over the next couple of days and snow will continue tomorrow before a return to clear weather on the weekend. Judging by previous years in Nozawa it is certain that the clear weather will not last long.
Lifts operating: All lifts operating.
Courses open: All courses open except: Kandahar West Kandahar East Mizunashi A
Official snow depths Yamabiko 215cm
Official new snowfall 50cm (Yamabiko) 45cm (Uenotaira) 40cm (Karasawa) Read more ...
Thursday 3rd January 2013, 13:33pm
There are days when you wil say, our correspondent is an irresponsible, lazy lout for not getting a report up in a timely fashion.And there are days when you will say, well, yeah, of course, I completely understand.
This day is one of the latter. The big snow has hit. My snowblower's electrical system decided to be fritzy, so late start to clearing about 50cm of fresh. Had to take some people over to Seki Onsen (have to give it a few laps, right?). Snorkel depth powder; repeated overhead shots (and I'm a tall guy). Even my van got face shots on the way up--the wipers got overloaded by one big blast on the way doen!
It really feels Myoko-y today. I measured 47cm at 7am, and it's only falling more heavily now. Very tricky on the roads; lots of cars getting stuck, so be sure to have 4WD and chains if not snow tires. Even then it's tough in places.
Tough, but the reward is so good. Oh, yeah, I had to take more than just one lap of course..... Forgiven?
Quite strong winds today (which haven't seemed to affect lift operations) and more importantly some new snow to report as well. Much colder too as well today. Brrr, cold out there with not very good visibility out on the slopes.
The snow should continue tomorrow as well but likely less severe conditions over the coming weekend.