Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019

Niseko Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: 195cm
Lots of snow falling yesterday - as well as wind blowing - and this morning I have an additional 20cm of fresh to report from the Hirafu village area.

At the time of writing, resorts aren't open as planned with strong winds especially over at Annupuri where upper area winds of up to 23m/s reported keeping all of the lifts there from operating. At Niseko Village just the bottom three lifts are moving. At Hirafu here the top Ace 3 and 4 lifts as well as the King 3 and 4 lifts are not moving due to strong winds, and the top two lifts at Hanazono are similarly affected. And here we were thinking we might catch a break with the wind this morning! If they can't get those opening up unfortunately it's inevitably going to create some congestion this morning. And there's lots of people around as well.

The current snow is forecast to ease off during the day and leave us with just cloud. Should be cold overnight again but warm up tomorrow and we might see temperature rise to around 0 or possibly even slightly above. Hopefully there will be less wind.

We should be getting back to the cold we expect though early in the week.


OK as promised here's a quick look back at January and the numbers. And a good January it was of course. We logged (observed) 461cm of snowfall here at base in the month. The same observed number from the same spot in January last year (2013) was 443cm.

Observed snowfall since the beginning of the season (2012-2013, last season): 979cm
Observed snowfall since the beginning of the season (2013-2014, this season): 869cm

Interesting. The main difference so far being more snowfall in December 2012 than December 2013. Both pretty amazing numbers, and of course we have over three months left of the season.

Let's take a quick look at the JMA numbers recorded in Kutchan town...

January 2013: 268cm
January 2014: 317cm

As always remember that the JMA numbers are from Kutchan town and our numbers are observed close to the base of Hirafu - so there's more falling on them there mountains. And also worth pointing out that this is not a science project, just presenting them to you because we find them to be interesting.

JMA statistic for February last season (2013): 228cm
SnowJapan Niseko Now statistic from February last season (2013): 406cm

Long may the impressive snowfall numbers continue. (Oh yes... and light, dry and powdery please!)



Niseko Avalanche Report

Niseko base 6am: -7, 20cm new snow in last 12 hrs. Moiwa 800m: -12C, wind NW15m/s, poor visibility, blizzard conditions, highly unstable snowdrift and cornice development. Annupuri 1150m: -11C, wind W15-20m/s, major snowdrift development. Hirafu 1000m: -12C, 50cm snow drift growth. Annupuri peak 1308m: -16.4C, wind NW20.9m/s. Cape Benkei: NW16m/s, Cape Kamui: W12m/s, wave 2.7m, pressure 1017hPa.

The cold air flow bringing us strong northwest wind (>15m/s) and snow continues both on the coast and mountains. From current observation and snowfall trends the avalanche risk in Niseko and surrounding mountains remains HIGH. The storm is expected to calm down this morning however open steep slopes and cornice slopes above 800m should be considered dangerous and avoided. Peak gates will be closed. Please respect and follow the patrols decisions. Do not duck ropes to enter Osawa, Kozen no sawa, Hanazono cornice area or Mizuno no sawa. Any avalanche will be large. The snow is good in the trees. Dont be overconfident or rely too much on your equipment. Beware falling into cracks, dont stop at the bottom or in gullies.


Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 400cm
Base - 195cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 345cm
Base - 230cm

Top - 280cm
Base - 210cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 8:55am
Weather conditions: Clear, some cloud, overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Good morning from Hakuba and welcome to February. Where did January go?!

Around -3 degrees at 9am this morning and there'll be some hard snow conditions early this morning but it's going to warm up this afternoon with the sun out and perhaps a high of up to around +7 degrees. So expect some heavy conditions later on in the day.

Nice and bright early on with a rather overcast feel to the morning so far.

So before we get back to snow, we need to experience tomorrow of course and it's still looking like rain is going to happen during the day with a high of 8 degrees now forecast. It doesn't look like upper slopes will escape either, but we can hope.

Come Monday though it will get colder again and snow is due later in the day and through Tuesday.

The Happo Banks opening event will be taking place at 9:30am this morning - access via Sakka Kitaone Quad over at Happo-one.

Here's to a very snowy February!


Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 1st February 2014):

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall at base.
Upper - 280cm
Toomi - 160cm
Iimori - 140cm

Hakuba 47:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall at base.
Upper - 255cm
Lower - 90cm

Reporting 1cm at Riesen.
Usagidaira - 230cm
Nakiyama - 65cm
Sakka - 80cm

Hakuba Iwatake:
Upper - 200cm
Lower - 60cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Tsuganomori - 310cm
Maruyama - 120cm
Kanenonaruoka - 120cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
Upper - 295cm
Lower - 155cm

Hakuba Minekata:
60cm   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 9:14am
Weather conditions: Clear and bright, overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The snow yesterday morning didn't amount to much but it was of course better than that pesky 'r' stuff falling!

This morning there's no new cm to report, and it's a sunny morning. Not deep blue skies, but more overcast as the morning moves on. A feel good morning all the same, even though snow conditions are of course not perfect at the moment.

Local forecasts still tell us to expect it to rain tomorrow. Whether it will higher up or not is unclear but if you are out tomorrow higher up is definitely recommended. Temps tomorrow might approach double digits, so it will be very mild borderline warm.

We want cold of course and happily we can expect a return to more winter like conditions from Tuesday. Hopefully some decent deliveries of fresh snow as well.

So for now hope you have a good weekend and enjoy it for what it is.


Official resort snow depths @ Saturday 1st February 2014, AM:
Kagura (Tashiro):
Kagura (Mitsumata):
NASPA Ski Garden:
Gala Yuzawa:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Yuzawa Park:
Maiko Snow Resort:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
210cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Bright and mostly clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 135cm

I can hardly believe it!

Winter always goes too fast, though with Nozawa open into May we of course have over 3 months left.

This morning the sun is out and it is bright though it's more overcast than bluebird. No new snowfall to report this morning and it has started off quite cold. Temperatures were down to around -5C overnight and as of 9am it's still down at about -3C. It is going to warm up to around +3C though this afternoon.

Tomorrow it might even be getting on for close to +10C. Yikes. Rain seems inevitable sometime during the day tomorrow, we can just hope it is limited.

As we get into early next week it is still looking promising. Back to cold from Monday night and potentially decent snowfall Tuesday and Wednesday. Fingers and (any) other things crossed!

From today, lifts and gondolas close 30 minutes later.


Saturday 1st February 2014:

Official snow depths:
Yamabiko - 260cm
Uenotaira - 215cm
Hikage - 135cm
Nagasaka - 125cm
Karasawa - 90cm

All lifts operating

All courses open except:
Kandahar East
Kandahar West   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 9:31am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 250cm
The snow was intermittently falling for most of yesterday but only amounted to around 10cm. This morning the sun is out for a blue sky day with temps looking like they will get up to around 7 deg C by midday.

The rain that was forecast tomorrow has turned into snow for the morning (higher up anyway) but the remainder of the day will be cloudy and warm with temps forecast to hit double digits.

Snow looks set to hit on Tuesday, Wednesday with low temps before another temp rise on Thursday Friday. A bit of a mid winter roller coaster at present.

This will be creating a lot of instability in the snow pack, so caution is advised if you are thinking of heading into the BC.


250cm @ Tenjin
40m @ valley
   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 10:00am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear, overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 195cm

No new snow to report but a lovely sunrise and nice weather this morning. If we can't have fresh, let's have this kind of weather!

Cold overnight but warming up and warm to continue into tomorrow. Forecast is still saying decent chance of rain sometime tomorrow but cold and snowing from later on on Monday and for the first half of the week which would be nice.

Fireworks after nighta tonight. Be there or... miss the fireworks!


Operating lifts:

Number 1
Number 2
Number 3A
Number 2 quad
Number 5
Super quad
Number 11
Number 12
Number 13
Number 15
Moving walkway
Kids Park


All tree run courses should be open.

Nighta every Saturday night until 22nd March.
   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 10:12am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 195cm
Bit of a wild day yesterday with all of the Ropeways having a rest from the conditions and a fair few lifts as well. All a bit limiting.

All change for this morning. Lovely clear blue skies. Cold start but going to get milder today and more so tomorrow. Perhaps even some rain still according to the forecast. No, please not rain! Return to cold early in the week.

As I mentioned in previous reports this week, it's the Fire and Snow event tonight, starting at 7:30pm at Uwanodai. Should be fun and a good chance to mingle with locals and other visitors.


Official snow depths (1st February 14):
Utopia: 250cm
Chuo: 195cm
Paradise: 225cm
Uwanodai: 140cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 10:18am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny, overcast
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 140cm
Clear and sunny this morning but getting more overcast with it mid morning. Something of a contrast with yesterday. We are looking at a few days now of warmer conditions. Tomorrow possibly even into positive numbers.

They should be right back down into minus double digits by Tuesday though and a decent chance of some good snowfall to follow.

I would expect today to be busier than tomorrow as people might have been put off by the forecasts for a possibly wet day tomorrow. It seems we might avoid that now but it's all up and down at the moment and hard to read.


Official snow depth data, as of Saturday 1st February 2014, 9am):

Sun Valley:





Hoppo Bundaira:

Takamagahara Mammoth:


Ichinose Family:


Ichinose Diamond:


Okushiga Kogen:

Kumanoyu (skiers only):

170cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Saturday 1st February 2014, 10:47am
Weather conditions: Clear with high thin clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 200cm
It's a nice day in Myoko for those who like the sun, and actually seeing the mountain!

The snow is pretty good, too, as the temperatures are mostly in the minus. Tomorrow and Monday things should be a lot warmer, with that really wet form of precipitation on the forecast (blech).

So enjoy today, and go see the monkeys or Zenkoji Temple in Nagano tomorrow! Always something fun to do in the Myoko area, even if it's not on skis or a board...


Official info:

Akakura Kanko:

Akakura Onsen:


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:

Myoko Kyukamura Runrun


Tangram Ski Circus
180cm    Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
14th Jun, 10:19am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Aizu Bandai Now
31st May, 13:35
Shiga Kogen Now
27th May, 9:56am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
Niseko Now
07th May, 19:19pm
Myoko Now
06th May, 9:33am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:09
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:46
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:16
Madarao Now
06th May, 8:13am
Zao Now
06th May, 7:59
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 7:59am
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 7:12
Grandeco Now
02nd Feb, 12:34am