Hello and good morning from Nozawa on this Monday morning.
There is a lot of cloud around this morning and while it isn't just yet, rain is forecast along with a high temperature of around 5C later on. We are still hoping for the chance of snow falling overnight tonight and early tomorrow morning and more snow might be falling around Thursday on the mountain. Whether we'll get snow down to base is another matter, we'll just have to see.
With Nozawa hoping to be able to open until 6th May, that means we have another 7 weeks left to go.
Monday 19th March 2018
Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):
Morning from Zao and it almost feels like a Monday morning.. light rain at the moment but hopefully that will clear up soon enough. Limited visibility out on the mountain as well by the looks of the early morning cam.
And then heavy rain and/or heavy snow around Thursday. Interesting to see how that is going to turn out. Of course, we all hope for the snow option there!
Lifts and course info:
- All lifts should be moving as planned - Exceptions are the Diamond Number 1 and Karamatsu lifts which are now closed for the season - All main areas apart from Karamatsu are open
Beautiful day on the hill yesterday — just all round fantastic spring conditions. Tops of 5 degrees at the bottom with clear, sunny skies and light winds. The snow softened around lunchtime and it was a spring playground, forgiving under skis and boards.
Today, tops of 5C in the morning to cool into the minuses by the evening, with some light/moderate winds and light rain for the most part of the day. Not much hopefully, just a sprinkling, but should make it a little different out there for the most part.
Tomorrow’s looking sunny, though with considerably lower temps with tops of 0C and light winds that should calm even further…
Tuesday: mostly sunny, light winds & tops of 0C Wednesday: mostly sunny with evening snow, light winds & tops of 2C Thursday: heavy rain to light snow with moderate winds & tops of 3C
Lots of cloud this morning but also some areas of clearer skies too. And unfortunately rain is expected.
I'm still looking at the forecast and wondering if we will get the snowfall that is being teased over the coming days...
'Planned closing dates' information for resorts in Shiga Kogen. Basically:
- all ski areas in Shiga Kogen plan to be at least part open until the end of March; - a bunch of resorts will be open on specific dates (usually weekends and Golden Week) once we get into April; - the remaining resorts will be open daily until 6th May and beyond that (they will close when there's not enough snow left to ski or board!)
Once we get to the end of March, I will add specific lift operation plans for the ski resorts that remain open during the months of April and May.
Planned closing date information for the ski areas around Shiga Kogen. Note that all are subject to change.
I hate to have to say it but there is a fair amount of rain coming down at the moment, and combined with +3c temperatures, the morning is going to be wet. However the temperature will slide downwards during the day and will be in the negatives by afternoon. It is overcast and forecast to stay like that for the day with a light wind. Read more ...
Monday 19th March 2018, 7:44am
Good morning from my Hirafu base.
Not the most exciting of reports as it is a rather mild morning and it was raining lightly earlier on but I am happy to report that it is currently snowing. Not the most powdery variety of course, but snow is always better than rain.
Wind might affect some top lifts today so please check with resorts before you go if that is important.
I need to get myself to Sapporo this morning, so I'll see you again tomorrow morning.
Floodlit 'nighta' operations have now finished for the 2017-2018 season.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -1°, no new snow. Moiwa 800m: -1.1°, WSW13.3m/s, no new snow. Annupuri 1150m: -3°, strong wind, no new snow. Elevation 1000m: Snowpack 440cm. Hirafu peak: -2°, strong winds, no new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape: WNW12m/s. Kamui Cape: WNW11m/s, 1010hPa, wave 1.6m.
As the low pressure front moves through it is bringing warm air and strong winds. The high pressure system to the west is causing the winds to pick up further and temperatures to drop. Above 800m the snow is not frozen, however lower areas have melted. Top gate openings are yet undecided due to strong winds. Please listen to the patrols advice. The low temperatures will continue for a while, but the danger of full depth avalanches is still present. Full depth avalanches do not only occur on warm days. Have a good day.
Monday 19th March 2018
Resort specific information (operations subject to change):
Good morning from Naeba. It's a damp start here, with some light rain starting us off for the week. There is little wind to speak of, but we can expect conditions to close in over the course of the day, leading to moderate to heavy snowfall overnight tonight. There will be little in the way of sunshine today! The air temperature will push all the way up to 7°C this morning, but again this will drop as the day presses on, with overnight temperatures being below freezing. The pistes will still be sugary and spring-like today, until the snow starts accumulating on top.
Looking forwards, we have a wet week ahead! Temperatures are expected to remain close to 0°C at the base until at least Thursday. With a moderate amount of precipitation heading our way from today until Friday, with a small respite on Tuesday, we can expect some of this to fall as rain and some to fall as snow at the base. The forecast is currently predicting moderate accumulations at the mid station and the top of the mountain. The wind will be calm through the week until Wednesday, when a blustery system will push into the valley from the south-east, bringing with it the aforementioned warm air and rain for Thursday. Fingers crossed for a nice top up of fresh snow at the top of the mountain this week. Read more ...
Monday 19th March 2018, 10:19am
Fog has slid in
Rain and gloom. Well, after a nice sunny spring day, it feels like a very Monday day. One day you can be happy to be at work, doing your part to build society while things get wet out here in the hills. It could turn to snow later, and there is that possibility of a heavy snow on Wednesday. The predicting freezing level of 1350-1600 meters kind of says otherwise, but after this year, anything is possible.
Actually pretty fun, if very slow skiing in the backcountry yesterday, at least on sun-warmed slopes. That fresh snow of a few days ago really slowed things down where it remained in shadowy areas, and you couldn’t really say it was corn…. Might even be better today with the rain lubrication. If not so much fun to be out in, though.
I’ve added closing dates, as we are getting close. Note that Akakan and Seki Onsen plan to keep going to Golden Week in May; let’s hope the snow holds!
Lotte Arai Resort: 410cm, 6.4°; Exciter and Discovery permanently closed; Mamushigaeshi and Rindou Lower closed; Funaishi-zawa, Happy Place and Benzaku-zawa in the avalanche-controlled areas open; others closed, some for the season (see website for updates); no clear posted closing date (will check!)