Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 24th May 2019
Thursday 16th February 2012, 7:09am
Cloudy, light snow
An early report, as we're out on the mountain for some first-person research. A little bit of snow overnight, after a day that was a little windier than I reported yesterday morning (it started to blow right after I pushed the submit button). It never got to the level of stopping lifts, though. It's calm at the moment (7am), but the forecast is for some wind during the day. It's often the case that the snow and wind stops right around this time, so you think the snow has stopped until it suddenly turns back on again.
Looks like heavy snow coming again from tonight and on possibly through Saturday. I haven't changed the official reports below because they haven't submitted any yet....
We got some good snow overnight! It's still snowing pretty good at the present time as well. Looks like a fairly calm and snowy day is ahead of us. The resorts will be the place to be. There will be some aspects that will have less snow since the wind has been howling the past few days. However, the ones that are favored, and adding the new snow we got last night, will be D-E-E-P.
Looking at the future, we are expecting a bit more snow and possibly a day or two of sun after this low pressure clears. It has been a bit warm recently so we are hoping it stays cold. This will preserve the snow in most areas around Niseko.
If you are planning to travel into the backcountry (probably a bad idea), I would recommend staying on lower angle slopes due to heavy wind loading and cornice development. There's a ton of snow and a lot of resorts in the Niseko area, the conditions aren't ideal for less than experienced backcountry travelers. It's going to be easy to get lost in the poor visibility and if anything was to happen, few people would see it.
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 410cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Village: Top - 430cm Bottom - 250cm
Annupuri: Top - 450cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Moiwa base 6am: -7C, 30cm of broken crystals in the last 12 hours. Significant snowdrift development. Japan Sea: Benkei Cape WNW14m/s, Kamui Cape wave 3.0m, pressure 1012 hpa, Annupuri 13.08m Peak NW 18.6m/s, temp -16.6C, Moiwa Peak 800m -13C blizzard conditions, visibility 0m. Snow drifts are increasing Snowfall: Rapidly developing snow drifts form current winter weather system. Leeward slopes above 800m elevation 100cm - 200cm snow drift development. Snow Pit Data: Above 13 Feb, a layer of low pressure snowfall was followed by warm temperatures on the 15 Feb which created an ice layer. Above this there is significant snow drift development. Snow drifts(slabs) are rapidly developing and fractures will easily propagate in the weak layers. At 750m elevation South face, 4 Feb layer is at 120cm, 22 Jan is at 210cm. Between these 2 layers is compacted and stabilsed. Hazard Evaluation: Above the 15 Feb layer is approx 120cm of snowdrifting, a large scale avalanche could easily occur. Coordinates C4-D5(Moiwa), E6(Backbowl), E7(Goshiki face), G3(Yu no Sawa off limits area Annupuri face), G7-H8(all Higashi One area), Iwaonupuri and Nitonupuri avalanche risk is HIGH. Gates: Main gates are expected to be closed today. Caution: If everyone understood and respected the avalanche risks we could open the gates on a day like today. However this isn't the case, so we must be err on the side of caution and keep the gates closed for the safety of all mountain users. The snow in the trees is deep, be careful not to get stuck
It was a good one today. There was a lot of deep snow around and rumor has it that a couple resorts outside of Niseko held amazing snow and non-existent lift lines. If the peak gates open tomorrow, they should be pretty good. However with the instability I saw today, it is very doubtful. Cornices are heavily loaded and very easy to disturb. Even steeper slopes on most aspects are loaded and very "slabby".
The weather is still sort of up in the air. Local sources are still really unsure of what is to come. It looks like snow is favored, but not anything extraordinary. Read more ...
Thursday 16th February 2012, 8:36am
Cloud, light snow high up
It is a bit colder this morning and up top the resort areas have up to 5cm of snowfall to report. There is no new snow to report here in the Naeba base area but it's apparently on it's way. It feels more wintery generally this morning with a temperature of -7 degrees early. There's a moderate wind but I don't think it should cause too many problems with the lifts. Visibility is ok down below, less good up top.
Like I said, snow is on the way. Light snow is apparently already snowing up at Kagura and we may see light snowfall today but nothing major. Tomorrow looks much more likely to bring moderate snowfall.
Resort Operations, 16th February (subject to change) Naeba: Mostly normal weekday operations, with some courses closed. Same as yesterday early on. Kagura: See report
After the rain early on it did try to snow yesterday and at times on and off it was - but only just! The finest snow you could imagine lazily falling down.
All we have to show for that this morning is a very thin layer of white in places (though hig up at Kagura they are reporting 5cm of snowfall). It has just been a cloudy start to the day here but actually I am back in Minamiuonuma now and snow has started to fall as I write this and in much bigger flakes than anything we saw yesterday. It's actually considerably colder this morning and -4 degrees at the moment. Happily it looks like we are going back into more wintery like conditions again.
So the forecast for today is cloud/snow, with moderate (or perhaps even heavy) snowfall lined up for tomorrow. Light snow and cloud for Saturday and then sun for Sunday. All totally subject to change of course!
Well, we did get snow later on in the day and indeed this morning there is 15-25cm of new snowfall in Madarao. Yey. It's back down cold as well as we welcome winter back with open arms and great timing too with the weekend just around the corner. Visibility not too bad really out there this morning and not much of a wind. So light snow forecast for the day and heavier snow likely tomorrow.
For those wanting the chance to test out some 2012-2013 model skis, this Saturday and Sunday at Madarao K2 are going to be bringing some of their next season model fat skis for people to have a go. Limited number but it's free and if you are lucky you might get to test them out.
Lifts currently operating: Lift No3B aside, all lifts and runs look set to open today. Official snow depth: 280cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 16th February 2012, 9:17am
Just a sprinkling and frosting of snow overnight really here in Shiga Kogen as we start the day with cloudy conditions. The good news is that it is back down to normal winter temperatures after a very cold night - so good to see those minus double figure numbers.
Tomorrow looks like it should bring us some snowfall as well, and potentially heavy snowfall at times as well. It's not going to be one of those storms that lasts days though as it seems likely to clear up on Saturday making way for clearer conditions on Sunday. It will remaing very cold though.
Lots of snow tomorrow please!
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 16th February 2012 AM:
Good morning. No new snow to report from Zao this morning.
There are still clouds around this morning but is much brighter than it was yesterday and there are breaks in the cloud as well at the moment. About to clear up? Very poossibly. The forecast does tell us to expect the sun at times today though there's always the chance of some light snow falling as well - and similar conditions tomorrow.
One thing that has changed is that it is cold this morning. Earlier on it was back right down to -10 degrees in the village and it should be staying cold now into next week.
Official snow depths (16th February 12) Utopia - 275cm Chuo - 240cm Paradise - 260cm Uwanodai - 180cm
Operating lifts (16th February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Thursday 16th February 2012, 12:34pm
There has been another 15cm of new snow overnight The slopes are in excellent condition and have been extensively groomed. Off the groomed trails expect great powder conditions. There are some light winds but not enough to interfere with the lift operations. Temperatures are fairly cold with the wind chill taken into accoun so wrap up well before heading out. Read more ...
Thursday 16th February 2012, 12:59pm
Cloud, fair - sun at times
Colder today! After a cold night, up to 15cm of new snowfall on the mountains and just a bit down in the village, it is currently just under 0 degrees in Hakuba this lunchtime.
Lots of cloud early on this morning but since around mid-morning they have lifted somewhat and it has got brighter as the morning moved on and the sun casting shadows. There's still a fair bit of cloud hanging on, and some hanging around lower than the upper slopes of the resorts around the village and so making for some really cool views today from the slopes. Good visibility for the most part and there's not much of a wind.
We will probably see decent snowfall in the region tomorrow though the forecast currently seems to be saying that we can expect things to clear up for the weekend, especually on Sunday when bright sunny skies are likely. It should be remaining cold though, so keeping the snow in decent condition.
Official snow depths and operations @ Thursday 16th February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu reported 15cm of new snowfall on the upper slopes and 3cm lower down this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Alps No2 and No4 pair) Official snow depths: Alps daira - 325cm; Toomi - 180cm; Iimori - 140cm
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 reported 18cm of new snowfall overnight. All weekdays lifts operating (not Line D). Official snow depth: Upper - 244cm Lower - 130cm
We have been blessed with some nice blue skies in Nozawa this morning. Really squinting when you go outside as the eyes adjust to the brightness. Feels like we have been in a snow cave for a while!
Reports are showing 5cm of fresh since lifts closed yesterday plus what we received yesterday in the day time is reflected by an overall slight increase in the base levels today. Should be making for a fun on the slopes, especially since there were not many up there yesterday with all the fog about. May even be a few nice fresh lies up for grabs.
Yesterday was pretty hard to see your hand in front of your face at times so this is going to be a nice change.
The weekend is just around the corner and will be a lively one, with the Jazz Festival in full swing. Friday night is a free concert at Himatsuri Bar opposite Oyu then Saturday night is the big one at the Arena from 7:30pm. Tickets are 2000 Yen or if buy prior at the Tourist office just 1500 Yen. There is a good line up so sure to be a mellow night of music combined with some good skiing conditions expected.
A great day in Minakami today with a bit of everything. Snow falling this morning and then the sun came out in the afternoon. So a bit of a top up and then some fine weather to fully enjoy it - all in the same day. The temperatures are cold again which is good for the snow and conditions in all resorts are great right now.
Forecast is for light snow for the next couple of days although there is apparently the possibility of some high winds. A fine day on Sunday is still on the cards with light snow or sun forecast into next week. Read more ...