Hakuba Now daily snow and weather - Monday 22nd January 2007

Hakuba Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Hakuba region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 10:38am on Monday 22nd January 2007
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Archive report: Posted at 10:38am on Monday 22nd January 2007
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Good morning. After the sun rose there was a light mantle of cloud draped along the crest of the Shirouma (Hakuba) San Zan. Just above that there was a thin ribbon of lenticular-like cloud. This is possibly indicative of high winds aloft. Other than this singular phenomenon the sky was clear. The forecast though is for overcast with some snow in the late afternoon.

The valley bottom forecast is for overcast, -3C to 3C, light winds from the north-west and snow for a few hours in the late afternoon.


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

Sky: Few clouds
Temperature: Present: -5.5 C
Maximum: 3.0 C
Minimum: -7.0 C
Wind: Very light from the west
Winds aloft: suspected moderate from the north-west
Precipitation: Nil
Barometer and trend: 921 hPa and rising
Height of new snow in 24 hours (HN24): 0 cm
Total depth of snowpack (HS): 65 cm
Foot penetration: 22 cm
Surface: facets, size 3.5 mm
Density of surface snow: 160 kilograms per cubic meter
Crust: there is a weight bearing crust where the sun had much affect on the surface

Above Tree Line: Moderate

At Tree Line: Low

Below Tree Line: Low

N.B. The hazard may increase with daytime warming and/or increased load.

Travel Advisory:
The snowpack is generally continues to settle well. There seems to be a bit of competition between the formation of a surface melt-freeze crust and the surface recrystallization as a result of the relatively cold, clear nights. Probable surface hoar was reported by a drive-by observer in the valley bottom rice fields this morning.

Yesterday afternoon a "test" snow profile was dug at 1,600 m a.s.l. at the Tsuga Ike Panorama Way tram base station. The height of snow (HS) was generally 185 cm at this location. There is an active temperature gradient in the upper 50 cm. A single "compression test" (time constrains precluded further tests) gave no startling results. There were three "compression test moderate (CTM)" resistant planar shears at 9, 14 and 20 cm down from the surface. There was a "shovel test" shear down 90 cm from the surface. This was a non-planar break with 7mm faceted crystals at the interface. At 130 cm there is a 1 cm ice layer with a weaker layer above that (about 2 cm thick).

Note the daily increase in the density {three days ago: 80 kg/cubic metre (m3), two days ago: 110 kg/m3, yesterday: 140 kg/m3, today: 160 kg/m3}.

Daytime warming will probably raise the level of the hazard as would increased loading.

N.B. Yesterday a local ski-tour guide reports observing point releases below 1,200 m a.s.l. on north and south aspects of the ridges that radiate from the Happo One Lift Company area ridge south into the Hira Kawa valley. This was attributed to the day-time warming and not jus the direct effect of the sun's rays.

Archive report: Posted at 10:38am on Monday 22nd January 2007
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Hakuba Now ski lift operation notes:

Most lifts at all ski areas are operating. Minegata is now running.\r\n\r\n

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