Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020
Friday 17th February 2012, 7:00am
Increasing snowfall; very heavy fall forecasted
Another early morning--kids' race in Myoko--so the report comes without today's official snow reports, No snow fell during the day yesterday, anyway; it was a pretty nice day up until the afternoon, when it looked like a new front was moving in, then the day ended with the stars sparkling above.
This morning, though, it looks like we're on the edge of yet another big snowfall. At 7 am, the snowfall is really picking up, and the news is full of heavy snow warnings and possible traffic interruptions. If you're coming to Myoko, the highways are usually slow but open (but there will be chain restrictions, but you're smart and know better than to wait until you're just below the resort to put on your chain....right?). The trains often stop or are delayed on the stretch between Kurohime and Arai--meaning where Myoko is--but buses are added when this happens. You may be delayed, though, so be ready!
There's definitely still some fresh patches out there in Niseko. It seemed a lot of people got really good snow yesterday. The Mizu no sawa area was awesome, but some of the steeper sections were prone to sliding. It should still have some fresh tracks today.
It's still not considered safe out there yet. Iowanupuri, Chisenupuri, Nitonupuri are all very windloaded on certain aspects and will trigger slides relatively easy due to their steepness and open terrain. Inside the trees will be quite a bit more stable. If you do want to do some touring, the trees are your best bet.
We saw minimal snow overnight at the base of Niseko Village (about 5cm). There was also very minor wind drifts as compared to the blazing winds we have seen the past couple days. Cornices have developed and are severely overloaded. The next warm day (or unlucky skier) will bring down a couple good sized ones. Stay safe out there and get some fresh turns.
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 420cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Village: Top - 440cm Bottom - 250cm
Annupuri: Top - 450cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base 6am: -7C, 10cm of broken crystals in the last 12 hours. Japan Sea: Benkei Cape WNW 7m/s, Kamui Cape wave 1.1m, pressure 1008 hpa, Annupuri 1308m Peak NW 13.2m/s, temp -13.5C. Snowfall: Snow drifts from the yesterday morning have compacted and stabilsed. From yesterday through to this morning we have received snow from the passing of a small low pressure system. There has been no significant snowdrift development. Snow Pit Data: It is expected the 16 Feb layer will become a significant layer. From pit analysis, 850m, south face, at 60cm a layer contains black dust particles from the 15 Feb, the 4 Feb layer is at 150cm. Hazard Evaluation: The wind has eased from yesterday. The snowdrifts from 15-16 Feb at 800m have compacted and stabilsed. Low pressure snowfall from yesterday contains a lot of moisture and will form soft slabs. Depending on location, leeward slopes around 40 degree pitch, there is the possibility of 30-40cm fracture. The snow is good. General avalanche risk is LOW. Gates: Peak gates are expected to open today at 10.30am. Please respect ski patrols decisions. Before passing through the gates please re-check the avalanche report Caution: The Niseko Rules gate system was created so people could ski out of bounds with out having to duck ropes. However this does not mean outside the gates is safe when the gates are open. The gates operation tries to balance peoples freedom to ski out of bounds with averting horrific accident toll we saw in the 1980s-90s. The avalanche risk is always high around Higashi One and in the Backbowl. Avalanche accidents are caused by overconfidence. Be careful of sudden changes in the weather. Read more ...
Friday 17th February 2012, 8:26am
A cold one this morning in Minakami but it might warm up a bit later. Blue skies at the moment. The forecast for today is light snow so will have to wait and see if the clouds come in. Bit of snow yesterday and a light dusting overnight so great conditions on and off piste today.
Forecast is for light snow today and tomorrow with sun on Sunday and Monday. Seems to be fine weather on the way though temperatures look set to remain in the minuses for a while yet.
Yesterday morning the clouds and light snow gradually cleared up and around lunchtime lots of blue sky opened up over the region - for a few hours it was lovely, clear weather. It started clouding over again later on. After a cold night this morning we have just a bit of new snowfall in town areas - up to 20cm at Kagura and less at other resorts around town - and right now it is varying from light snow and just cloudy. There's actually some blue skies over Minamiuonuma to the north at the moment and the sun is out there, so while the forecast is still snow the day there seems a chance it might clear up.
Snow conditions out there are variable at the moment. The weather over the last week or so has hit conditions in lower areas, but good conditions remain higher up. So as things stand now generally the better snow is found the higher you go. That forecast dump of snow today would actually be good for the weekend so fingers crossed on that.
I'll post another report this evening with the latest.
For the most part today was actually quite fine. The sun was out at times, especially in the valley to the north of Yuzawa, but generally just a cloudy day. It has got colder this early evening and light snow is now falling. The forecast is actually for a considerably snowfall tonight and into tomorrow morning with the latest Niigata forecast saying that we might get 40-50cm of new snowfall by tomorrow morning in some places. It doesn't feel like that right now, but certainly possible. A fairly strong north westerly wind a possibility tomorrow, though Kagura say that they are confident that tomorrow will be open as normal.
We will report on what actually happens tomorrow morning. Read more ...
Friday 17th February 2012, 10:22am
Cloud, light snow
Yesterday we saw the clouds disperse for a while in the early afternoon before clouding back over. It was fairly mild. The good news is that it is colder this morning and just a bit of snow in Naeba but the resort is reporting 5cm and the top of Kagura saying they got 10-20cm of fresh snow. Early on this morning it is snowing lightly at times, and just cloudy at others. No major snow coming down as yet but snow is forecast for the day and into early tomorrow.
After that it looks like we might get to see a fair bit of the sun next week.
This morning Splash Bowl, Takenokoyama Summit course, Takenoko No2 course and the Mens Slamom courses are not open at Naeba.
Just some interesting info to report.... that popular top lift at Kagura, the Number 5 pair, should be opening next weekend from the 25th February. It's great that it will be open soon but in one way alarming that we are already approaching the end of February. Feels better when you realise that Kagura usually opens well into May.
Resort Operations, 17th February (subject to change) Naeba: Mostly normal weekday operations, with some courses closed. See above. Kagura: All areas of Kagura open.
The colder temperatures stay with us overnight and today and it is currently -5 degrees in Hakuba. Some more snow overnight with resorts around town reporting between 5cm and 30cm (Cortina!) this morning, so should be some good conditions out there this morning. We will likely see cloudy conditions with a chance of light snowfall continue into tomorrow but it does still look like the clouds could clear up leaving us with a fine Sunday. This morning we saw some light snow falling earlier on but it has generally been a cloudy one since then in the village at least with the sun peeking through the clouds from time to time in places.
Milder temperatures once again forecast from Sunday into early next week and it does look like it is oging to be quite a dry one, certainly the first half.
It's the 42nd Happo-one Fire Festival tomorrow - it will be taking place at a specially-prepared area over on the Nakiyama slope area of Happo. Expect an opening ceremony, free sake if you are lucky, taiko drums, torchlight skiers and fireworks. And most likely more! It starts at 7pm so don't be late. To celebrate the resort (Happo-one) is offering discounted one-day lift tickets as well for just tomorrow - 500 yen off the normal price for both adults and children.
Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 17th February 2012 AM:
Another 20-30cm this morning reported by Madarao is just great for both today and for the weekend of course. The snow is still coming down now - just light snow though nothing to get in the way of a fine day on the hill. It is keeping cold as well with the thermometer outside this morning telling me -8 degrees earlier on.
Snowfall is due to ease up sometime tomorrow, possibly early on, making way for what looks like a potential run of clearer weather conditions in the region.
Have a great weekend wherever you choose to shred!
Lifts currently operating: Lift No3B aside, all lifts and runs look set to open today. Official snow depth: 280cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 17th February 2012, 10:58am
Cloud, fair, light snow - variable conditions
I'm sat here in Maruike with one of those strange 'it's sunny but it's snowing' things going on outside. Shadows are being cast and it is quite bright here right at the moment but the mountains have a cloud cover and it does seem to be snowing in all areas of Shiga Kogen this morning. Interesting conditions, and making for a pleasant morning on the slopes I would think.
The local forecast is for cloud and light snow, with more of the same tomorrow but looking like it should clear up by tomorrow afternoon. What we might be left with is clear conditions for Sunday and possibly clearer skies through until around Wednesday at least and while it will likely not be as cold as it is today it should still stay cold enough to keep the snow in decent conditions.
Contrary to expectations yesterday though, I can't see us getting a whole lot today and tonight - though I would gladly report being wrong in tomorrows report!
A bit of news. From Monday 20th February it seems that the Yakebitaiyama No2 Gondola will be rested on weekdays but still be moving on weekends and holidays.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of Friday 17th February 2012 AM:
It is staying cold this morning - very cold actually - and the good news is more snow that perhaps we were expecting. Upwards of 10cm, perhaps 10-15cm on the slopes. A nice top up.
While this morning we have seen the sun from time to time, up at the top of the mountain it was still snowing early this morning but looks like now it is just cloudy. So the sun has been shining through from time to time but generally the clouds are winning out. There's a moderate wind out there this morning as well.
Forecast for the weekend is mixed - looks like it should be generally calm with a chance of light snow showers and a chance of the sun. Perhaps a bit like today. We'll just have to see what nature brings us!
Official snow depths (17th February 12) Utopia - 275cm Chuo - 240cm Paradise - 260cm Uwanodai - 180cm
Operating lifts (17th February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 17th February 2012, 13:47pm
Blue Skies and scattered cloud
It has bas been a while since we had this rhythm beating in Nozawa - we had been getting used to constant snow. But this morning is a magnificent day with at least 10cm of fresh snow and glorious sunshine.
Yesterday was more or less a carbon copy with pristine conditions all over the resort and about 20cm of fresh. Everyone was back down as late as possible enjoying the magic sunset.
The snow is supposed to continue today and a bit tomorrow then blue bird on Sunday but at the moment it is pretty bright outside at the moment though looks like it might be starting to cloud over soon.
For anyone coming up to Nozawa in March or April here is a list of upcoming events. March is all happening in Nozawa with lots of cool festivals and events organized.
Nozawa Onsen Spring Events Calendar 3rd March - Lantern festival 19:00 Hikage Slopes
10-11th March - Hatoguruma cup - ski race
12th March - ski/snowboard in the morning before lifts open to the public meet at Nagasaka gondola at 7:50 am
12th March - ski with famous skiers for half day apply before 9:30 am at Hikage ski school. First 15 people only
14th March - White Day 10:30 Hikage Slopes - free chocolate fondu for female
17th March - family festival
25th March - 10:00 Yamabiko Slopes Spring Festival - various event such as games, free hot pot & sake etc
13-15th and 28-30th April - Yamabiko Slopes - Try new release ski at Demo Day (bring photo ID)
30th April + 4th May Nagasaka Gondola - Nagasaka Station - free mountain vegetable tempura for everyone
Snow should still be good all the way too with the abundance of base this season.
With all the snow we have been blessed with lately one may have started to wonder when the clear blue sky days that Furano is famous for would return. Well they have returned, and that is what we have today. The mountain is looking amazing with the grooming team having done a great job overnight, and there is still plenty of fresh snow on the ungroomed runs to play in. The sun is out and it will help take the sting out of the chilly double digit minus figures that we have awoken to. Read more ...