Hakuba Now daily snow and weather - Tuesday 20th February 2007

Hakuba Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Hakuba (Nagano), Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 9:08am on Tuesday 20th February 2007
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Light from north-west
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Tuesday 20th February 2007, 9:08am
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Archive report: Posted at 9:08am on Tuesday 20th February 2007
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Sharpen your edges and don your radiation shields as the piste is frozen and the high pressure clear skies are here, for today. The forecast high temperature in the valley is 9C. On the sun blasted white slopes this may feel warmer. Valley winds are forecast as light from the north-west, but that is only a forecast.

The Hira Kawa Snow Study Plot (830m a.s.l.) 0700 hr. reading is:

Sky: Clear (no clouds)
Temperature: Present: -3.5 C
Maximum: 3.0 C
Minimum: -4.0 C
Wind at surface: Light from the west
Winds aloft: Nothing to measure by: i.e. no clouds, no blowing snow
Precipitation: Nil precipitation
Barometer and trend: 921 hPa and steady
Height of new snow in 24 hours (HN24): 0 cm
Total depth of snowpack (HS): 73 cm
Foot penetration: 0 cm
Surface: Melt freeze conglomerate, slight faceting
Density of surface snow: not measured
Crust: 7 cm
Cloud ceiling: unlimited

Above tree line: Moderate

Tree line: Low

Below tree line: Low

N.B. This is the same hazard rating as yesterday. The low elevation crust is substantially thicker this morning but the daily warming will be greater so the same proviso as yesterday has been added, namely: The hazard will increase with the daily warming. The lower elevation snow pack is isothermal and may react to a slight increase in temperature especially on steep solar radiation effected slopes (even through cloud cover the sun has an affect).

Travel Advisory:
As was noted yesterday, the day-time warming of the upper elevation terrain caused point release(loose snow) avalanches. These started mostly in "non-skiable" terrain but often carried well into "skiable" terrain. These all appear to be in the size one and two range. Whether this happened again yesterday is hard to determine with the limited visibility prior to this morning. Yesterday afternoon the freezing level on a north-east exposure was about 1,000 m a.s.l. or slightly higher. This was in the fog. As noted yesterday in the above tree line terrain the sun exposed terrain hazard is probably in the "low" range but where the sun did not affect it the hazard is probably still "moderate". The daily increase in temperature will increase this hazard, maybe substantially. The lower elevation snow pack is isothermal and so might react with surprising results to apparently slight changes in temperature.

To me, with the definite melt freeze crust it seems like spring skiing. This means early starts, play the crust loosening up game and get the horses back in the barn before the afternoon melt-down. Watch for the lower elevation, late afternoon isothermal terrain traps.

Archive report: Posted at 9:08am on Tuesday 20th February 2007
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Hakuba Now ski lift operation notes:

All resorts operating.

Monday 19th February 2007
This report
Tuesday 20th February 2007
Wednesday 21st February 2007
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