Hakuba Now daily snow and weather - Sunday 31st December 2006

Hakuba Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Hakuba region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 10:52am on Sunday 31st December 2006
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall
weather condition
broken clouds, light wind, nil precipitation
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
wind condition
Light winds at 1,500 m a.s.l.
Visibility is excellent with good definition
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Sunday 31st December 2006, 10:52am
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Archive report: Posted at 10:52am on Sunday 31st December 2006
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Good Morning Sports Fans! We awoke this morning to mostly clear skies and light to calm winds in the valley floor. The peaks are resplendent in their scenic magesty. There are a few clouds lazing about but no evidence of the tree shaking blasts that where experienced yesterday although there is still moderate winds at ridge top (2,000 m a.s.l.*). For the exponents of mechanical lift-accessible terrain you will be happy to hear that practically all the lifts at all the lift company areas are in operation. Due to the recent mini-dump and cool temperatures, allowing artificial snow to be produced, there is now top to bottom coverage. "Packed powder" is the nature of this coverage. So get out there and "give 'er"! But remember this is early in a, so far, low snow season. Loud powder (thinly covered rocks) is around, full of lurking p-tex shredders.

Our trained snow observers report that yesterday intense scouring of the north-west aspects of the ridge tops occurred. Yesterday at the Hira Kawa snow study plot (830 m a.s.l., i.e. in the valley bottom) we observed gusts of "strong" wind (over 40 kph) in the mid morning. Late in the day on a brief low elevation reconnaissance there was observed noticable solar effect on the surface (melt-freeze crusts were forming) with a few minor point release type sluffs. This morning overnight surface hoar development in the valley bottom was observed.

On a more serious note there was firm evidence of a cycle of "large" i.e. size 3** from the south-east aspects of Shakushi Dake and Yari ga Dake ("Banana Chute" ran). The fracture lines are visible from the valley floor but are rapidly refilling with wind-transported snow. These features were probably loaded by the high winds and the probable triggers were over-loading and sun effect. With this evidence it is not hard to immagine other less steep features being primed and ready to go at the touch of one or many huminoids.


Hira Kawa snow study plot (830 m a.s.l.) observations at 0700 hrs.:

Sky: overcast (100% cloud cover)
Temperature: -5C
Wind: Calm
Precipitation: Nil
Barometric pressure and trend: 929 hPa and rising slowly
HN (height of new snow): trace of ice (winds and solar effectfrom yesterday)
HS(height of snow on the ground): 38 cm


Hazard Assessment:

Below Tree Line (BTL): Moderate and deteriorating with day-time warning on solar affected aspects especially.

At Tree Line (TL) "Considerable" meaning that natural avalanches are possible, and human triggered avalanches are probable. The natural triggering of large avalanches in steep, high elevation terrain indicates that less steep, lower elevation slopes, especially when sun affected should be treated with respect.

Above Tree Line (ATL) the hazard should be considered as "High", i.e. natural and human triggered avalanches are likely. With this rapid heavy loading and "moderate" to "high" winds the 'great, white, open' areas should be handled carefully. The threat is now from above. Large natural avalanches have been observed. Don't let bright sun fog your judgement.

* a.s.l.: above sea level
** could bury and destroy a car, damage a truck, destroy a wood frame house, or break a few; typical mass 10 to the 4th tonnes; typical path length 2,000 m.

Archive report: Posted at 10:52am on Sunday 31st December 2006
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Hakuba Now ski lift operation notes:

Most lifts at all ski areas are operating

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