It is looking like a great day on the mountain. There has been around 8cm of snow since the last report. All of the recent snow has been amazingly light and ultra dry powder. The weather is predominantley overcast with quite alot of sun hitting the slopes at the moment and excellent visibility. The main runs have been extensively groomed overnight to flatten out yesterdays mounds of powder. Read more ...
Tuesday 19th January 2010, 10:02am
Cloud, drizzle > fine
Yesterday turned out to be a fine one, with bluey-silvery skies rather than bright blue. The horror of horrors happened last night as it rained - and quite heavily in the early hours. This morning while it is generally just cloudy there is a bit of drizzly rain falling, which none of the reports seem to be reporting! Oh well, it would be best if we could forget about it.
It is very mild this morning though and our forecast has the day clearing up and ending up fine later on this afternoon and a high of 4 degrees. Actually a look at the Kagura webcam shows some blue skies up there so it is already clearing, so that is good news.
Tomorrow looks set to be warmer still with a bright and sunny day on the cards and a high temperature perhaps even approaching double figures. Once we get past tomorrow things seem set to get colder again with more snow likely by the weekend.
A warmer day today than we've had for a while. Ominous cloud is hanging around but the sun is trying hard to come out, with patches of blue sky visible here and there.
It was a cold clear night last night and consequently there was lots of ice around this morning making the walk to work a little treacherous.
The snow is still good up in the resorts. Yesterday's sun and today's warmer temperatures haven't been able to affect the quality yet. Temperatures look to be remaining higher over the next few days so we will have to see what that brings with it.
5cm of snow up at Kagura but none in the village as it was falling as sleet late last night (heard it was rain down in the Yuzawa area) but this morning the clouds ae clearing and it is turning into a fine day here with blue sky and the sun shining down on the base of Naeba. Conditions should improve as the day goes on, and then tomorrow should be even better - well, better if sunny weather is a good thing for you! Today is relatively mild and tomorrow looks like it will be positively warm. No melting of snow please.
Anyway, the resorts are open as normal this morning and not many people there just yet. Lots of fun to be had.
A bit of snow started falling across the mountains around midnight and continued through to the first thing this morning. It was mostly light snow adding about another 10cm around the mountain with more on the higher slopes. It's not quite enough to cover all of yesterdays tracks but conditions out there are still pretty good. The snowpack has been settling and is not overly deep but knee to thigh deep turns can still be found out there on sheltered slopes. Currently there is only light, broken cloud around the mountain with the sun starting to break through. Visibility is good so it's a great day to really get out and explore the mountain and get views of the surrounding region. Tomorrow is still expected to get very mild with temps at village level getting up near 4 degrees. Some snow is expected to move through the region in the early hours of the morning but will get wetter and likely turn to rain as the day progresses. Overnight tomorrow it will get colder again and snowfalls are expected then for much of the rest of the outlook.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 280 Bottom - 170
Niseko Village: Top - 300 Bottom - 180
Annupuri: Top - 275 Bottom - 190
Niseko Avalanche Info No.35
Moiwa base 6am: -5℃ with slight overnight snowfall. Coastal data: 9m/s NW at Benkei cape, 0.6m waves and 1025hp at Kamui cape. The Sea of Japan is calm. Annupuri peak wind: max 20m/s NW wind has persisted during the night and is forecasted to remain around 18m/s NW above 1100m. According to present weather state, data analysis and observations, no notable weak layer is present and the snow accumulation is stable. 10-20cm fresh snow has fallen in the mountain, and some snowdrift have developed up to 30cm. Deep conditions cannot be expected, but the snow is good, pleasant to ski. General avalanche risk is low. Respect the Rules and use the gates to access the off-piste areas. Peak gates will open at 9:30am. Correct judgment from everyone is required in the mountains. Do not duck ropes and do not ski wide open faces all at once (it could stimulate deeper layer and trigger a slide). Don’t seek fresh lines in strictly off limits areas. One track left under the rope leads other people to have overconfidence and to disregard the Rules and ending up in a tragedy. Listen to the ski patrol’s advice. Enjoy your day.
Brilliant blue skies all around again this morning in Shiga Kogen. It's not as cold as yesterday morning but still a Shiga Kogen chill in the air but weather conditions couldn't be better for getting out and enjoyin the snow.
Tomorrow will very likely be another day off similar conditions and even warmer temperatures, and then after that a good chance of snow before the weekend.
Thee's not much more to report this morning - time to get out there!
Nighta this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 19th January 10:
This morning the clouds are back in Zao. No new snow after the fine weather of yesterday and almost no wind again this morning... it's just cloudy. It is also a mild morning and while temperatures remain below zero, only just in places. It's -2 at the moment in the village and only about -5 up top, though there are reports of it snowing up there - light snowe I presume.
As with most of Japan tomorrow is going to be warmer still as this mild spell peaks, hopefully before more snow arrives before the weekend.
Since the last snowfall we've seen some fantastic conditions with Friday being the peak and freezing conditions over the last few days keeping everything fresh. Resorts have had great conditions especially the upper runs and the trees have been perfect. Freezing it was, -12 in the valley Saturday night, some of the coldest weather we have experienced for a long time. I have lived here for 3 years and it was the first night our shower hose and shampoo froze solid.
We had a bit of snow dust fall overnight, but weather reporters on the news have been forecasting a rise in temperatures this week with Tokyo set to hit March numbers (15 degrees odd), and already it is warming up here with water dripping off roofs and 5 degrees in the shade at 800m. Some precipitation is forecast for tomorrow night and looks like it may fall as rain with temperatures dropping again after that - though not as low as they've been - and snow forecast from Thursday/Friday.
Rain has become less and less of a rarity even this time of year the last few seasons, hopefully forcing even the most hard-headed to rethink their environmental footprints; but even so lets hope we get let off and don't get hit too hard or that it falls as fluffy white flakes!
Over the last 3 days the sun has been out in force and has done it’s duty in stabilizing the mountain snowpack. There are crusts due to the solar radiation on solar aspects but still very good snow at elevation on the North faces. No avalanche activity has been recorded in the last 2 days and is not expected with the present conditions. Snow tests today in the Tsugaike area have shown only Hard or moderate fractures with a resistant characteristic. This is very reassuring and has allowed for some great stable riding in the backcountry.
There is however talk of an overnight rain event starting in the evening of the 20th and turning to snow by the morning. This will definitely change the snowpack from the present good stability to a rapid decline in stability and may produce multiple surface avalanches due to water on the snowpack; especially at lower elevations. This rain is due to change to snow early the following morning (Jan. 21st) and thus things should freeze up and solidify once again. We may not see the rain at elevation and the new snow on the solar crusts may become reactive. Be ready for a mixed bag. Hopefully the rain is just a bad joke and temperatures will stay low enough to keep the precipitation as snow.
Until then all the best and watch out for cornice failure and low elevation loose avalanches due to rising temperatures.
Alpine: Considerable Tree Line: Moderate Below Tree Line: Moderate
It has been another fine day in Myoko with the sun out and clear skies after a cloudier start and it is now a fine evening. It has been a mild day and tomorrow looks set to be even milder, or should I say warmer and temperatures will likely be approaching double figures particularly down in the town area. So another fine day tomorrow but a good chance of rain in the evening perhaps turning into snow overnight. It's set to be get colder again though after Thursday and into the weekend so by then hopefully we will have had another perfectly timed topup.