Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020
Saturday 17th March 2012, 8:40am
Well, some strong southerly warm winds are affecting things early on. We are avoiding rain for the time being early on but only from Mitsumats to the Kagura No1 at the Kagura areas is open and top courses at Naeba are on hold at the moment....all a bit limited for now. Forecast is cloud and rain and so perhaps today is a good one to skip if you have that luxury.
Tomorrow should be cloudy, less wind and a chance of snow late in the day though it may be Monday before we get any benefit from that. Will update tomorrow morning.
Resort Operations, 17th March (subject to change) Naeba: Limited due to weather conditions Kagura: Mitsumata to Kagura No1 quad open early on Official snow depths Naeba: 280cm Kagura: 380cm
Overnight temperatures stayed above zero dropping down to only about +3 in town after the warm day that we had yesterday. At the moment it is +6 degrees and a high of +7 is forecast. So, the big question - is it raining? Well, right now just spitting really very light rain and the roads are still looking dry. We are still due for rain today though, but if it can just keep on doing it like it is now rather than falling more heavily we will be lucky. There's a fairly strong wind blowing about as well and that seems to be affecting lifts at Kagura and Naeba (see the Naeba Now page) but resorts around town seem to generally be open as normal.
Tomorrow is going to be another warm one but temps will drop later on and we might have a chance of light snowfall still into Monday.
Well it looks like it is sort of snowing outside but the roads are wet and it feels more like it is raining. Resorts around Shiga Kogen seem to be reporting snow more than rain but it's of the very wet and sleet-y variety. As I write this anyway.
It's also very windy this morning and that seems to be affecting some lifts out there especially more exposed ones. Right not is looks like Terakoya and Yakebitaiyama are being most affected.
I think those monkeys will be popular today!
Tomorrow should be calmer and the forecast is just for cloud but a chance of snow overnight and colder temperatures as well for the start of the new week.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
- Ichinose Family - Ichinose Diamond - Kumanoyu
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 17th March 2012 AM:
After that really nice day yesterday this morning the clouds are back and it's feeling milder for the start of the day at least. There is a chance of rain still today this afternoon unfortunately, so just hoping that is kept to a mimimum. Tomorrow will also be quite mild before getting colder for the first half of next week, and those few days could also bring us some fresh snowfall on the mountain as well.
One bit of resort news is that from today the official car parks that are usually 1000 yen on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays will not be 500 yen. (Weekdays are free).
Official snow depths (17th March 12) Utopia - 260cm Chuo - 230cm Paradise - 255cm Uwanodai - 175cm
Operating lifts (17th March 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao due to be open. Read more ...
Saturday 17th March 2012, 9:54am
Rain, sleet, wet snow as you get higher up
Unfortunately the rain we were expecting is falling in Hakuba from early morning, and ski resorts themselves are reporting rain at base and wet snow falling higher up. And it does actually feel like it is trying to snow lower down as well, so perhaps a bit of encouragement from everyone might help it on! It will hopefully become lighter through the day and ease off tonight or early tomorrow morning. Visibility looks to be ok on lower slopes but poorer higher up as the mountains are covered in cloud. There's a wind out there as well this morning which delayed some lifts from opening but does not seem to be causing much disruption now.
The temperature is above freezing level in the vilage and curently around +4 degrees.
The greyer feel to everything is a big contrast to the much clearer conditions and weather that we enjoyed yesterday of course. Right now, the forecast for tomorrow is generally cloudy but there is good news. It should start getting colder again and Sunday into Monday might bring us some snowfall.
Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 17th March 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: No new snowfall this morning at Goryu. All lifts and runs scheduled to be open today. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 265cm; Toomi - 150cm; Iimori - 115cm
Hakuba 47: 1cm of new snowfall this morning. All courses open, all lifts except Line D operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 238cm Lower - 155cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Happo No1 pair, Central pair and Kita One No3 pair moving today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 220cm; Sakka - 70cm; Nakiyama - 80cm.
Good morning from Niseko, it's a bit cloudy out there now. It's supposed to be very warm today and yesterday's high pressure may be sticking around. We're looking at a high of 5 degrees which may well ruin the north facing snow as well unless really high up. The good thing is we are supposed to get some snow Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on top of it so we can hopefully look forward to that.
I just want to reiterate how important it is to take caution with any new snowfall on this layer. The melt-freeze that will happen with the warm temps today will create a bad bonding layer for new snow. All steeper slopes will have a hard time to hold the new snow and a skier will be just the trigger for it to go. Luckily we are not looking at a massive slide, but just something to be aware of.
Yesterday brought us some pretty nice sun and great visiblity. It was a bit hot and the south facing snow was thoroughly melted. Nonetheless, it was a fun spring day and a lot of people were out there enjoying it.
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 400cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko Village: Top - 450cm Bottom - 190cm
Annupuri: Top - 480cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -2C, no snowfall and no new development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: SSE6m/s at Benkei cape, 1.3m waves and 1014hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri & Moiwa peak data not available. 480cm snowdepth at 1000m Annupuri. Snowfall transition: A high-pressure area within a larger low-pressure band is producing a calm climate this morning. No snowdrifts development can be observed above 800m elevation, however a southerly wind is forecasted to pick as the next low-pressure system approaches. Hazard evaluation: The general avalanche risk is low. However a thin surface avalanche due to large temperature change is to be expected in the following areas: Backbowl, Osawa and Higashione steeps. Moreover, slab avalanches from March 15th layer are also to be expected in other untracked slopes. Cornices have grown big in leeward sides of the ridges. Always keep in mind that these could collapse at anytime. Better not rest on top of a cornice. Pay attention to the pictures posted at the gates, extremely devastating climax (ground) avalanches occur in Niseko in spring. Do not spend unnecessary time in gullies and valley bottoms. Gates: Peak gates will open at 9:30am, however may close as the weather comes in. Please respect the ski patrol's decisions. Stay cautious, better not overestimate one's skills. Read more ...
Saturday 17th March 2012, 10:07am
Grey, overcast day in Minakami today. Warmish temperatures down low. Bit of light snow falling at the very top but it gets wetter as it comes down the mountain. The precipitation is supposed to get heavier this afternoon so it could get quite wet on the lower slopes.
Warm and overcast tomorrow and then the temperatures should drop again next week with some light snow coming in. The sun might make an appearance from time to time with Thursday looking like the pick of the days for next week. Read more ...
Saturday 17th March 2012, 11:14am
Rain and wind
Rain, rain.... And some wind, too, which once again is eating away (a bit) at the still massive walls of snow around town. Not the most pleasant of days to be out, but it's probably just going to be for today. Tomorrow the freezing line should be coming back down a bit, and snow is a lot more possible than rain. Looks liks snow ahead in the forecast as well. As I mentioned yesterday, keep an eye on glide cracks if you are off the groomed; they can get covered over a bit with fresh snow, and people do fall in. With the rain--and especially when it gets warm--just stay away from areas with big cracks; they will come down and bring a whole lot of snow with them. There has been a monster slow slide moving down a hill to the east of us in Itakura; not a super steep hill, but a massive amount of snow (and the earth below) is slowly moving down and taking houses out (we're in the national news again!).
Enough on the warnings; there's lots of snow, and lots of good reasons to go out and ski! Just maybe not today....
It's currently 4 degrees above freezing right now, and even though the sky is covered in clouds, the sun is doing its best to soften up all that snow. You shouldn't have to deal with too many icy patches today, but be prepared for things to freeze up after the sun goes down, although it shouldn't get much colder than a few degrees below freezing overnight. The weather has been mild and spring like since the snow we saw on Friday, but all this is supposedly just the calm before the storm as a winter-like air mass is scheduled to move into the area tomorrow night, bringing with it heavy snow and possibly even blizzard like conditions. This could be the last big snow-event of the season, so hopefully we'll see a lot more snow to bulk up the 200cm that we managed to accumulate over the winter.
For those out enjoying the spring-like conditions today, the mild temperatures may tempt you to dress a little lighter, but the wind has been whipping around a bit, so be sure to dress somewhat warmly! Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 17th March 2012, 14:11pm
Overcast and raining
If you decided to start celebrating St Patrickâ€™s day early and had one or two too many last night and can't get out of bed then maybe was not a bad decision.
Today's conditions are probably best viewed by the fire with a warming glass of whisky! After such a stellar week, it was always going to be a bit of a downer to cop some rain as was forecast for today. On top of that we have some strong winds so a lot of the upper mountain including the Nagasaka Gondola are on hold at present.
The only bonus is there may be a bit of snow falling up top and no one will be there to track it out. Good news looking ahead is that temps are on the way down again and we are expecting a solid dump up top from tomorrow night with heavy snow forecast. Then should start to clear Monday and a bit of sunshine on the cards.
Don't forget to make your way down to Oyu Dori the main street tonight for the Family Festival should be fun and no doubt the Stay Bar, Foot Bar and Heaven Bar, the golden triangle will have a bit of Irish cheer on offer as well. Take it easy out there and Slainte!
Why did God invent whiskey? So the Irish would never rule the world.