Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 13th December 2017
Tuesday 7th February 2012, 8:03am
It got pretty warm yesterday. This means with last night's freeze, we will no longer see the light dry powder that Japan is known for except at really high elevations where it stayed below freezing. Most of the resort was subject to over zero temps, so I would make it a half day and wait for the snow that is expected to fall soon. You could also work on some moves in the terrain parks at Hirafu or Hanazono.
It's looking like today is going to be cloudy with some warmer temps again. Tomorrow is supposed to drop in temp and possibly bring us some more snow. The rest of the week is looking like snow as well. Hopefully it can bring us enough snow to really put a soft layer over the warm crust that is developing because of the warm temps. It's currently snowing now, but just very lightly. However, it is a start.
Backcountry travel will be okay today, but ideally the good spots will be up high. A pit from the other day showed a weak layer at about 800m elevation and 80cm down. A sugary fine snow is usually not a good layer to be loaded on. The best thing would be for us to get some more snow and as it stabilizes, thins out the bad layer and erases the issue. Nothing in the area had slid down that far that I could see, but it is something to keep in the back of your head.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 390cm Bottom - 210cm
Niseko Village: Top - 400cm Bottom - 240cm
Annupuri: Top - 410cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base 6am: -1C, No new snowfall in the last 12 hours. Benkei Cape SE 3m/s, Kamui Cape calm seas, pressure 1003hpa. Annapuri Peak elevation 1308m W 0.9m/s, temp -6.9C. Snowfall: Slight snowfall and light winds preceding low pressure system. With the inflow of warm air the snow has been compacted. SnowPit Data: At 50cm a hoar frost type layer from 4th Feb, above the 22nd Jan layer 100-160cm of compacted snow. Above 800m elevation the leeward side has accumulations of over 5 metres. Hazard Evaluation: Around coordinates E6(Backbowl sidewall), F5(O-Sawa cornice face), H8(Higashi One) the possibility of a 50cm fracture from the 4th Feb layer continues. If it occurs it will be coming from deep within the snowpack and be very dangerous. Caution: Do not duck ropes seeking fresh lines in restricted areas. The snow is not good. Beware of speed and collisions with trees. The mountains conditions change everyday, beware of sudden changes in the weather. Gates: Peak gates are expected to open at 9.30am. Please respect the ski patrols decision. Once you pass through the gates you are not in the ski area anymore, please ask for and listen to ski patrols advice. The gates will be closed if visibility becomes bad above 1000m. Have a safe day. Read more ...
Tuesday 7th February 2012, 8:38am
Not the most exciting things to report this morning, I'm afraid.
We are right in the middle of this warm patch as this South East Asian storm passes us by. The temperature will drop by the evening and the rain that we have this morning will change to snow. Unfortunately this morning we will continue to see precipitation fall as rain in the village with it easing up hopefully into the afternoon and turning into snowfall. We're certainly hoping for that anyway!
Yesterday's high was 6 C in the valley and plus degrees on the hill. This morning we have seen 1 C in the valley with a high of 4 C expected later on this morning. Up on the resorts we will continue to see mild conditions of 0 C to -1 C. Freezing levels will be at 1250m and below and will be accompanied by light breezes from the W and SW.
From tomorrow onwards we will see a return to more winter-like conditions and new snow is expected with clearings into the weekend.
Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 7th February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: No new snow this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Alps No2 and No4) Official snow depths: Alps daira - 310cm; Toomi - 180cm; Iimori - 150cm.
Hakuba 47: No new snow to report this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Line D). Official snow depth: Upper - 225cm Lower - 130cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Usagidair pair, Happo No1 and Central pair should be operating today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 200cm; Sakka - 120cm; Nakiyama - 110cm.
As per yesterdays report, the day started off clear with beautiful blue skies and for the most part it stayed like that for much of the morning. Wispy clouds started forming though and by mid afternoon the skies took were covered by grey clouds. Such a transformation. The rain held off though, until late last night.
It was raining when I last checked around 11pm last night and this morning it is still raining in town. Heavy rain unfortunately. Kagura and Naeba are reporting snowfall - sleet down to the Mitsumata Ropeway station, and our man in Naeba says that it is actually raining in the village area - as is Yuzawa Kogen and Gala Yuzawa, but it's surely going to be of the sleet/wet snow variety this morning. It's a mild 4 degrees in town now.
Hoping that it will ease off later this afternoon and overnight snow is forecast to be with us once again and it should be snowy conditions until the end of the week. So looking forward to that.
OK so after the nice weather of yesterday morning it got cloudy in the afternoon and last night I'm pretty sure I heard a saw a bit of snow falling, but this morning I'm sorry to have to report that it is raining here. Drizzly unattractvie type wet rain, if that makes sense!
Today the No1 Gondola will be operating at Naeba (from 10am) - a change from the usual weekday-moving No2 Gondola. This is apparently due to some kind of maintenance on No2. A few higher courses closed this morning as well though the connection with Kagura and Kagura itself seem to be open as normal.
Reports from the resort say that it is snowing higher up on the mountain here in Naeba and also up at the main area in Kagura.
Resort Operations, 7th February (subject to change) Naeba: All lifts operating. Some upper courses closed today. Kagura: Open as normal
Well overnight we seemed to have got some rain/sleet falling but I'm happy to say that it is just about holding it's own as snow this morning. Just about. Not the driest fluffiest kind of snow, that's for sure - but better than full on rain! Less than 1cm on the ground.
It's also a very warm morning. Well, very warm for Zao in early February that is. The temperature in the village is above zero this morning which is unusual and right now about +2 degrees.
The upper half of the mountain is not visible from base this morning.
So not the most appealing of mornings here, but the good news is that tomorrow we should be back to colder temperatures and see some proper snowfall as well which should continue over the next few days.
Official snow depths (7th February 12) Utopia - 260cm Chuo - 220cm Paradise - 250cm Uwanodai - 180cm
Operating lifts (7th February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Tuesday 7th February 2012, 9:26am
Light snow, cloud
So we got some rain falling since last night and it looks like it continued overnight but as of about an hour or so ago it turned into snow and it is snowing lightly now. Phew! Nobody likes rain in the middle of the winter season.
It is unseasonably mild this morning as well with a temperature of about +2 degrees in the village area but hopefully that will drop later on today and encourage more snow to fall!
We should be back to 'cold' from tomorrow and snowfall is forecast for the next few days up until the beginning of the weekend. After rain, we could really do with one of those 30-40cm portions to be deposited on the slopes. Fingers crossed!
Lifts currently operating: Lift No3B aside, all lifts look set to open today. Tree run courses open.
Rain, rain, go away... Or maybe not entirely. It is raining out there this morning, with a few wet flakes joining the drops (some of the areas are reporting soft hail or snow/rain mixes up higher). The good news is that it has brought down a lot of the big slabs that have been perched on rooftops, making it hard o open doors inside and threatening to damage roofs (the semi-unused house next to mine, for example, now has a seriously warped upper roof, and a lower roof that has been pulled right off the wall). Myoko's a great place to live, but you have to be in the house all the time; without the heat of human habitation, buildings get torn up pretty easily.
As the weather turns back to cold in a few days, it is going to be very interesting to see what happens in the snowpack. We might have a hard crust forming, meaning any snow on top might become dangerous slabs. You never know, so get some good information before heading out.
Hmmm, well it's rain and sleet here in Shiga Kogen this morning. Not the best of news for sure. For a change the roads don't have icy/snow pack on them as the rain has melted that away into slush and we can see the actual roads for a change. It's rare that we get rain here mid-winter but certainly not heard of. It's also rare that temperatures venture into the positive numbers but there are there this morning.
There is good news though, and that is that it should get colder this afternoon and tonight and it should soon be snowing. And then we should have snow clouds above Shiga Kogen for the next few days. So hopefully things should be back to something like normal soon!
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 7th February 2012 AM:
If you are considering a day off then today may be your day. Bad news is it is raining in the Village at the moment and has been most of the night. Rain on a ski trip is a bit like rain on your wedding day, never a great thing! Good news is that they are reporting snow up top, 10cm since close of lifts. Also freezing levels are set to drop from tonight and moderate snowfalls should follow. So hopefully this will all be a memory soon.
The other good news is it is one of the first days of the season we have not had to shovel buckets of fresh snow to get the car out.
Yesterday was a great day on the mountain with lots of sunshine in the morning and then the clouds rolled in later in the day. Was a clear day so would have been a good day for photographs.
Anyway, good day to get into one of the 13 free Onsens in town. If you go to the Tourist information office you can get a book and if you go to all 13 Onsens can score a free bandana. Otherwise there are a number of private ones to explore including the new Furusato which has an outdoor onsen and Arena where you can also get a bite to eat at the restaurant or get a massage to ease those mountain aches.
Hopefully it will be back to much more snowy news tomorrow!
5cm of new snow fell after yesterdays report which provided some really good powder conditions all over the mountain. Low cloud crept right down the mountain this morning but partially lifted by mid morning and has been followed by a constant trickle of fresh snow. The forecast for the rest of the week indicates that the light snow will continue. Read more ...
Tuesday 7th February 2012, 19:55pm
Bit of a grim one today in Minakami. Warmer temperatures meant a bit of rain. Grey skies everywhere and depending on your altitude it was either wet snow up high or rain lower down. As a result it was pretty thick and heavy snow out on the slopes and very soft underfoot.
The cold weather is on the way back though and the forecast is for snow for the rest of the week with a possibility of it clearing up by Sunday for a bit of weekend sunshine. Read more ...