Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019
Saturday 18th February 2012, 8:52am
Another cold day in Minakami with light snow dusting down at the moment. Conditions are good in all resorts at the moment with the lower temperatures helping. It looks as if this snow will keep falling for most of the day. There has been a bit of sunshine over the past few days and more to come on Sunday and Monday though the forecast still has us down for some light snow showers over the next week.
Not quite the 40-50cm they were talking about last night but we do have new snowfall in Yuzawa this morning - about 15-20cm on the car - and it is snowing quite heavily now. A moderate wind as well which doesn't seem to be affecting resorts in town but is actually causing limited operations at Kagura - they hope to get things moving as normal if and when the winds calm down a bit and do seem hopeful of that. Up at Kagura they are reporting 20-30cm of new snowfall.
The latest local snow forecast for Niigata has just been released and they are saying we can expect up to 30cm of snow in this region before the daytime lifts close for the day this afternoon. So it looks like we are on for a snowy day and wintery conditions - it probably won't rise much about -4 degrees.
With the new snowfall conditions should be re-newed out there for the weekend which is great news. Tomorrow looks like it should be a fine and sunny one, with some forecasts less excited about just 'cloud' - as always we'll just have to wait and see.
Snow! Good morning from a Hakuba that has received a decent layer of new snow (10-15cm lower down) and in places considerably more. Check out the numbers from Cortina again who continue to impress with a whopping 65cm of fresh snow being reported by that resort in places - unfortunately at the time of writing many of the fun courses over there are not open but that may change later on (check with the resort if you are keen).
It was snowing earlier on this morning still but has eased off somewhat now in lower areas. It's a very cold -6 degrees at base today and considerably colder up top as well, so you'll need to be wrapped up good. Visibility isn't too bad looking round the resorts considering the conditions and while there's always the chance of some wind causing problems with issues, things seem pretty smooth at the moment. Goryu delayed the opening of their Gondola and top lifts but they are moving now.
Those sticking around for tomorrow should be in for a treat as it looks like we can expect bright and sunny skies so it will be a real contrast with today. Actually it looks like we will see a few days of clear conditions and then warmer temperatures come Wednesday and Thursday.
Have fun if you go to the Happo Fire Festival tonight (details posted yesterday). And indeed, if you don't too!
Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 18th February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 10-25cm of new snowfall this morning. The Gondola and Alps Daira lifts were delayed but opened just before 9:30am. All lifts operating. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 335cm; Toomi - 185cm; Iimori - 150cm
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 15cm of new snowfall this morning. All open. Official snow depth: Upper - 250cm Lower - 150cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Happo No1 pair and Kurobishi No3 pair lifts operating. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 210cm; Sakka - 140cm; Nakiyama - 110cm.
Hakuba Cortina: Look here! Corting saying they got 50cm on lower slopes and 65cm of fresh snow on upper slopes by this morning. Now won't that be fun! No4 and No5 lifts not moving at time of writing this and many of the courses not open either as they deal with the new deposit. Possibly open up more later on. Official snow depth: Upper - 410cm Lower - 270cm
Not a huge amount fell in the daytime yesterday but this morning we have another good haul of fresh snow to report from the area. The resort says 40-50cm, I would say definitely at least 30cm again to move away this morning and it is a cold start to the day. With the snowfall over the last few days though conditions are back up there so it should be a great weekend. The resort plans to have all of the lifts and courses open today.
It's going to be all change tomorrow with sun on the forecast - and generally sunny, clear and mild days up until mid-week seems to be the latest that the weather forecasting people are saying.
For today though - cold, cloud and snow. Right now as I write this it is actually fairly bright out there and visibility not too bad at all. Enjoy!
Lifts currently operating: All lifts and courses due to be open today. Official snow depth: 280cm Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2012, 10:39am
More snow to report this morning - up to about 15cm here in Naeba and Kagura is reporting 20-30cm of fresh snow on it's upper slopes. It is a very cold morning and while earlier on there wasn't much of a wind it seems to be a bit stronger now and it is unfortunately holding up some lifts mainly at Kagura (see below) as well as the Dragondola. Other than that though, Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom course aside all is open at Naeba itself.
It is continuing to snow and pretty poor visibility out there at the moment. Looks like it might be totally different tomorrow with a good chance of blue, sunny skies.
Resort Operations, 17th February (subject to change) Naeba: All open apart from Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom course. Dragondola on standby. Kagura: Mitsumata Ropeway to Kagura No1 pair lift open. Tashiro Ropeway to Tashiro No1 quad lift open. The Kagura No1 quad to Tashiro No6 pair as well as Dragondola are all waiting on conditions (as of 9:30am)
Very cold and strong winds blowing about and poor visibility on the mountain - heck, even in the village - early on. Visibility has improved in the last hour or so but it is still windy and cold out there. We have had a few cm of snowfall overnight but that will be more or less in places due to the wind. Lifts are moving though but you might experience a bit of slow down here and there. Tomorrow looks like it should be calmer.
Official snow depths (18th February 12) Utopia - 275cm Chuo - 240cm Paradise - 260cm Uwanodai - 185cm
Operating lifts (18th February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Saturday 18th February 2012, 10:52am
The big thing this morning is the blizzardy like conditions. It is snowing, it is very cold and there's a strong wind blowing it all about to add to the mix. This wind is affecting a number of lifts and gondolas around Shiga Kogen including those at Okushiga and Yakebitaiyama. Not the 'friendlies' of conditions.
Get ready for another about face though as tomorrow will probably be sunny with clear skies. That will be a real contrast for those in Shiga Kogen for the weekend! It actually seems likely that we will see clearer conditions for a number of days though it should keep cold, only warming up mid-week. There's even signs of possible rain next week, but let's keep that quiet just for now and worry about it nearer the time!
For now, with new snow out there snow conditions should be good for those braving the elements. Tomorrow should be a fine day in all respects.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family - Yakebitaiyama - Kumanoyu
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 18th February 2012 AM:
The February sun is out today, making all those -10 temperatures feel so much warmer. It's absolutely beautiful out, with plenty of breaks in the clouds making it a great day to catch a view of the Daisetsuzan Mountain Range directly across from the Furano ski resort. A few centimeters of the softest snow fell last night, so those out early this morning were in for a treat.
All that snow we've had over the last two weeks means conditions are still excellent out on the mountain, with plenty of powder for all. Things should stay pretty relatively dry today with no appreciable precipitation in the forecast, but there is always a chance for snow flurries come nightfall. Be sure to bring some goggles today, because it's going to bright out there.
Winds are light and out of the east for now. It should be a tranquil day as a we are sitting nicely on the calm side of a low pressure system situated over the Pacific Ocean. Today is a great day to be out on the mountain. Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2012, 13:51pm
Well, we have had quite the variety of weather today! This morning it was sunny. Then it snowed early afternoon, and now it is back to sunny! It's definitely winter here in Hokkaido. Yesterday the peak gates opened for a bit and the reviews from people getting out there were excellent. People were really happy with the snow (they should be after it's been closed for a couple weeks) and Moiwa brought some large smiles for the day. You had to go out of your way to try and hit others' tracks it seemed.
While the slopes are relatively safe, cornices are still large in size. With the warm weather today, they will bear more weight than can hold in most cases. If you stray near them, they may propagate behind you. This is not a good scenario and may take you for a ride.
We haven't seen any real snowfall really in the past day or so. It may get a bit icy after it re-freezes tonight. I would get out tonight and if you need a rest take the day off tomorrow. Looks like there is some snow coming in the next couple of days.
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 420cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Village: Top - 440cm Bottom - 250cm
Annupuri: Top - 450cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base 6am: -8C, trace of snow in the last 12 hours. 35cm in the last 24 hours, mostly from the passing of a low pressure system Japan Sea: Benkei Cape E2m/s, Kamui Cape wave 1.6m, pressure 1008 hpa, Annupuri 1308m Peak NE 4.6m/s, temp -18.8C. Moiwa 800m, no new snowdrift development, temp -13C, good visibility. Snowfall: Heavy snowfall and gusty winds from the passing of a small low pressure system yesterday afternoon. The snow and wind eased in the middle of the night and then no new snow drift development was observed to this morning. Snow Pit Data: A significant layer from 16 Feb is forming under the low pressure snowfall received yesterday. The 13 Feb layer seems to contain oil and tar from air pollution, its probably not good to eat. Hazard Evaluation: General avalanche risk is low. However the avalanche risk continues at coordinates E6, H8 35 degree leeward slopes where there is the possibility of a 40cm soft slab from the 16 Feb layer and the possibility of a 120cm compacted snow slab from the 4 Feb layer. Gates: Gates are expected to open today at 9.30am. Please respect ski patrols decisions. Caution: Once you pass through the gates you are not in the ski resort anymore. Beware of sudden changes in weather and frostbite. The Niseko Rules pamphlet has a topo map of the Annupuri area, take a copy you might need it in the back country. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 18th February 2012, 14:35pm
Mother Nature has been getting busy in Nozawa overnight with a huge 40cm plus dump being delivered to the resort. Had a friend call me from Tokyo last night asking if they needed chains to come up and said always carry them but should be fine. Definitely needed them today.
Have had a few come down the mountain talking of amazing face shots and armpit deep in places - it was well over the knees in the car park this morning here!
The base has smashed through the 4 meter mark again and now sitting at a very respectable 430cm up top! It is still falling heavy outside now this afternoon, as heavy as have seen it all season.
Anyone up for the weekend will be well rewarded with the powder but the visibility will be pretty marginal up high on the slopes. The snow show should continue today then tomorrow we have put in an order for some sunshine and a blue bird day is forecast.
With all this snow tomorrow is going to be something special...
After a few days of early reports, I'm running late today--not because I've been out playing in the snow, but trying to keep ahead of the huge amount of snow coming down. Seems like the Myoko glacier is being born; we're buried in the white stuff, and the walls just keep on growing!
But that makes for great skiing, of course. Just a little caution on steeps is a good idea with so much loose snow--it's easy to get yourself buried (or at least stuck) in the big fall.
It's still snowing heavily as of 4pm; hard to tell how much has fallen, but it was up to my waist earlier this morning when I first went out to dig out the cars....