Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 23rd February 2020

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 8:01am
Weather conditions: Cloudy with some sun patches
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The past few days the wind has really got to the snow. This means areas that face south/southwest have been heavily favored by the wind. The snow will be best there, however, wind loading could provide for some stability issues.

Gates and backbowls have been closed for a consecutive 10 days now. Looks like they should be open today. If they do, the snow should be pretty good from the lack of being skied. The top may be very wind affected though, so if you're going to ski them take it easy in the beginning of the runs!

We got a nice helping of snow overnight and yesterday proved to be pretty fun for the people that found the fresh stashes. The weather cleared a bit and visibility returned to Hokkaido after quite the hiatus. Tomorrow is looking like another heavy snowfall and fast wind day. Get that skiing and snowboarding in today so you tire yourself to take it easy tomorrow. Today will be a good one.

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 395cm
Bottom - 230cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 420cm
Bottom - 250cm

Top - 450cm
Bottom - 230cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Mountain base 6am: -1C, 20cm of snow in the last 12 hours. No new snow drift development. Japan Sea: Benkei Cape W8m/s, Kamui Cape wave 1.1m, pressure 1018 hpa, Niseko Peak SW 3.5m/s, temp -9.1C, Moiwa Peak good visibility and light winds, small amount of snow drift development.
Snowfall: Snow and wind from the passing low pressure system have eased in the mountains and at sea level, along with an increase in temperature . Snow drifts from 13 Feb have compacted and stabilized.
Snow Pit Data: At 80cm, 4 Feb low pressure snow crystals layer. 170cm, 22 Jan hoar frost layer. Tests show fractures occurring at both layers. The top 80cm is compacted and stabilized. A new significant layer is expected from the 13 Feb low pressure snowfall.
Hazard Evaluation: The general avalanche risk is lowering from a high yesterday.
Caution: The 13 Feb low pressure snowfall has not bonded well to the underlying snowpack. Where this snow has formed thick slabs an avalanche could easily occur regardless of slope orientation. Above 800m elevation leeward slopes just below cornices, the avalanche risk continues to be high from the 4 Feb layer. Jumping cornices, traversing just under cornices and skiing in large groups could stimulate a fracture at a deep level. Do not remain in the valley bottoms. Yesterday a group of approx 10 ducked the rope and entered the O-Sawa area. These foolish actions will lead to an accident. Be prepared to loose your pass if you duck ropes.
Note: on a cornice slope it is not only the cornice that is dangerous. The leeward slope under the cornice is loaded with wind drifted snow as well.
Gates: Peak Gates are expected to open today at 9.30am. Please follow the ski patrols instructions. Is your beacon switched on? Once you pass through the gates you are not in the resort anymore. Have a safe day    Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 8:42am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is a pretty nice Valentine's morning here in Minakami with blue sky over the resorts. It is crisp but not too cold and there is no wind about. The freshly groomed runs look very inviting and are firm and grippy. It is likely to get a touch warmer throughout the day and may soften up a touch as the day goes on. The clouds are supposed to come in later so enjoy the blue sky while you can.

The forecast alternates between light snow and clear for the next few days though it looks like snow again for this weekend.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 9:16am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The blue skies of early yesterday morning made for a very fine morning out on the slopes. They didn't last too long though as the sky started to grey-over around lunchtime and by mid-afternoon it was all very dull and grey with complete cloud cover. Quite the transformation.

Unfortunately in the evening we got a bit of rain/sleet, though that eased off quickly as well. This morning there is a slight dusting of snow on roofs but it is basically a cloudy start to the day. It is also mild as we were expecting with a current temperature of about +3 degrees in Yuzawa as of 9:15am. That will probably rise to around 5 or 6C later on in the day.

This evening will bring with it hopefully sleet into snow, but there is a chance it will come down rain. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen. The good news is that after some light snow tomorrow, Thursday and Friday look like they should bring moderate to possibly heavy snowfall once again in the region.

Kagura sees a jump of 20cm in the official snow depth numbers, though I'm not sure why today because there hasn't been 20cm since yesterday. Just a note for the record!

Official resort snow depths @ Tuesday 14th February 12, AM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:
290cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 9:50am
Weather conditions: Cloudy and foggy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
We experienced a nice dusting of snow overnight with new snowfall of 5cm in the valley. The morning overcast skies should ease up with a chance of breaks in the cloud. Snow conditions are soft and malleable. This afternoon, clouds should roll back in as freezing levels stay high potentially bringing some light rain on the lower slopes.

It is currently 0 C in the valley and expected to warm to 7 C. Up on the resorts it is projected to range from 0 C to 4 C down low and stay below freezing up top ranging from -2 C to -4 C and a wind chill of -10 C.
The rising freezing level will reach 1300m (mid mountain) but will cool as the week continues. Winds are a light 2 m/s in a SW direction.

5-10cm of new snow has been recorded in the resorts around the village which is enough to soften up the piste. Temperatures will slowly drop over the next few days with a mixture of sun and cloud. Our next significant snow fall is projected to land Thursday night and continue through Friday. The weekend should see fresh conditions with cold temperatures and clearing skies.


Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 14th February 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu reporting 5cm of new snowfall this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Alps No2 and No4 pair)
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 330cm;
Toomi - 180cm;
Iimori - 140cm

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 reporting 10cm of new snowfall overnight. All weekdays lifts operating (not Line D).
Official snow depth:
Upper - 238cm
Lower - 140cm

Ski lifts/courses:
All lifts apart from Usagidaira, Central and Kita-one No3 pair lifts operating.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 200cm;
Sakka - 110cm;
Nakiyama - 110cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 270cm
Champion - 200cm

Hakuba Cortina:
10cm of new snow reported at Cortina this morning. All courses open, just lift 7 closed for weekdays.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 350cm
Lower - 220cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Official snow depth:
Upper - 170cm
Lower - 100cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
100cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 9:56am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
There's just a dusting of snow this morning. An appropriate word actually as it's more like dust than snow really, a thin layer of it. That capped off a day yesterday that started off clear and sunny and ended up just grey and cloudy. The cloudy theme continues today, with complete cloud cover and a grey look about things generally. Hardly any wind and generally ok visiblity on lower slopes but less ok up high. Not really much else to report for today apart from we might get some light snow tonight.

Splash Bowl, Takenokoyama top, Takenokoyama No2 and Mens Slalom Course closed today at Naeba.

Snow forecast for later in the week so that should be our next regular topup time, just in time for the weekend too.

Resort Operations, 14th February (subject to change)
Mostly normal weekday operations, but some courses closed as above.
Normal weekday operations.

Official snow depths
350cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 10:38am
Weather conditions: Overcast, bit of sun
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Today it is a similar story as yesterday. Started off brighter than it is now as we have a more subdued look to things even though the sun is sort of casting some shadows on the lower slopes. Put it this way, it's not a bright blue sky day... more overcast looking.

Not as cold as well as this mild period is sticking around for a few days. It was still around -5 degrees earlier on when I got up though so not what you would call warm! Having said that even up top at Utopia they are recording a temperature of -3 degrees which is very mild for up there.

Just a cm or so of new snow this morning to report from overnight and a slight-moderate wind.

No significant snowfall over the next few days forecast - it should be back with us at the end of the week. Colder temperatures are due to return from tomorrow.

Just a reminder to Juhyo hunters. The night time "Light Up" operations continue every day throughout Febraury until the 29th. The monsters are looking good, it's peak season now so definitely worth a look if you are in Zao.

Official snow depths (14th February 12)
Utopia - 275cm
Chuo - 240cm
Paradise - 260cm
Uwanodai - 185cm

Operating lifts (14th February 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
All the runs at Zao are open.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 10:51am
Weather conditions: Cloud, light snow, fog, sun in places! Variable
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Great day out yesterday but it did cloud over quite quickly after that start to the day.

This morning it's change again. It's one of those days when we have different conditions in different parts - ranging from just cloudy, to light fine snow, to the sun breaking through the clouds in different parts of Shiga Kogen. The one thing that is general for all parts though is that it is a mild morning. Closing in on zero kind of mild. Come later on tomorrow though and it should be getting back down to something like normal temperatures.

Thursday night into Friday looks like we should see some moderate snowfall.

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 14th February 2012 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
260cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 10:55am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Not much really to report this morning in terms of snow, perhaps a cm or two with the report saying they got 3cm as of early on. It's definitely a mild morning though here with the temperature currently hanging around the 0 degrees mark.

A chance of very slight snowfall tonight again but generally calm conditions the next few days with perhaps some appearances made by the sun. Proper snow (ie. stuff that will give us a nice new layer) is due Thursday night into Friday when it should get colder once again.

Lifts currently operating:
Lift No3B aside, all lifts and runs look set to open today.
Official snow depth:
300cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 11:12am
Weather conditions: Heavy overcast truing to fog at the top of runs
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
As predicted, yesterday's lovely blue skies did not last all that long, and the clouds had pretty much taken ver by mid-day. We even got a very mild dusting of fresh, sparkly flakes overnight. Today, it is gray and a bit warmer. Some of the resorts are reporting as low as -7C, but that just ain't possible (the trusty car thermometer does not lie).

So this is a day to just kind of get through. Not a bad day, just a bit gloomy before the snow starts over again in the next few days. At least it's not going to rain. That much I'm willing to predict.

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



290cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 13:32pm
Weather conditions: Foggy warmer conditions
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Happy Valentines day from Nozawa Onsen. Today on the slopes at Hikage they have been giving out free chocolate fondue so if you missed out head down there and drown your sorrows in chocolate. If there's any left!

On the weather front a pretty foggy day all over the resort and warmish weather, which is probably responsible for the fog as the warm moist air blows over the snow. The riding conditions up high should still good with a bit of fresh falling after lifts closed yesterday.

The road clearers have been at work again yesterday and the sides of the roads just keep getting higher around the resort.

Drove down to Iiyama yesterday to do my once a season shop and was amazed by the size of the walls on the sides of the roads all the way down to Iiyama. In a usual season we would have a bit of snow down there but yesterday they were well overhead high.

There is a meeting of all the local ski resorts today too at nearby Hokuryu Resort. It is the little resort just as you come into Nozawa Onsen. They still have rope-tows and cheap lift tickets with zero crowds, worth a look if looking for something small scale and off the beaten track.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
All open

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Tuesday 14th February 2012, 14:18pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
There is cloud sticking around the tops today but conditions are generally clear and temperatures are much milder than they have been recently. All in all it is a great day to get out and enjoy all the recent snow that we have been receiving. The sun will be out at times when it can break through the gaps in the clouds and will no doubt melt the road surface with the milder temperatures.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Furano Now
23rd Feb, 7:55
Shiga Kogen Now
23rd Feb, 7:34
Geto Kogen Now
23rd Feb, 7:25
Nozawa Onsen Now
22nd Feb, 15:09pm
Aizu Bandai Now
22nd Feb, 11:27am
Minakami Now
22nd Feb, 10:48
Zao Now
22nd Feb, 10:10
Naeba Now
22nd Feb, 9:55
Myoko Now
22nd Feb, 9:54am
Hakuba Now
22nd Feb, 9:53am
Appi Kogen Now
22nd Feb, 9:30
Yuzawa Now
22nd Feb, 9:15am
Madarao Now
22nd Feb, 8:53
Niseko Now
22nd Feb, 8:31
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am