Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th February 2019
Wednesday 20th January 2016, 8:05am
All change again!
This morning 20-30cm of fresh snowfall across the mountain with snow still falling. Great news. 16cm is what my measuring stick says this morning though with the wind it's more and less in different places. But I think that's a decent representation of the overnight haul.
Less great is the fact that strong winds are going to preventing lifts from opening as normal at Madarao Kogen, so the day is starting off on hold. It looks like Tangram is going to be opening.
The forecast is for more snow and strong winds through the day today, so there is a chance that Madarao won't open.
As you can see on the forecast below, the snow should pass us by tomorrow with more snow forecast for the weekend.
Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts closed due to wind at the start of the day
Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts plan to be open today (unconfirmed)
Madarao Tree Run Courses:
Ninja and Kamoshika open when the resort is open - others not yet available Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Wednesday 20th January 2016, 8:06am
This morning brings cloudy skies with temperatures at the base of -3.
No snow is currently falling as I write this but we are scheduled for snow later this morning and into the evening.
Yesterday was also kind to us with another 14cm observed here and Appi now increasing their official base depth to a whopping 75cm. With the additional snow Appi has decided to make some fortunate people happy today and have opened addition runs on the mountain. The unfortunate side of too much snow... if there is such a thing... is that the main gondola yesterday was delayed from opening by 3 hours. Lets hope today isn’t a repeat of that as the only way to the top is via 4 lifts and it’s not too much fun via that route.
Yesterday was just a wonderful day out there with knee deep fresh powder and very few people to turn the hills into mini mogul runs. We’ve been waiting all season for this kind of day and everyone who was out there yesterday had smiling faces.
The next few days should bring a sprinkling of snow with winds light at around 3-4 M/s. Temperatures are also supposed to sink a little into the -8 to -10 range.
Have a wonderful day on the slopes.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad - Vista quad
Morning from Hirafu where there's just 1cm of new snowfall to report to you this morning. We were expecting and hoping for more, but shall try to not be too greedy.
Yesterday wind messed around with top lifts, with the Niseko Annupuri resort only ending up opening up late morning with the Jumbo 1, 2 and 3 lifts eventually moving by noon. Other top lifts were affected through the day as well.
So how will today turn out?
Unfortunately it looks like there's going to be less lifts open than yesterday at the beginning of the day. The Niseko Annupuri lifts will all be closed again due to the strong winds up to 20m/s over there on their upper slopes, and it's lower lifts only at Niseko Village and Niseko Grand Hirafu. The two lower quads at Hanazono are set to be both operating, but the top lift won't be.
It's not the best of news for today and somewhat challenging conditions if you decide to get out there. It doesn't feel particularly cold down here in the village but with the wind conditions I would think it will feel mighty cold if you get on the lifts.
Snow is forecast for the day today though and with less wind likely (hopefully!), conditions should be good tomorrow morning.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Just lower lifts open at the start of the day - Ace Family, Ace Number 1, King Number 1 and Holiday Number 1 pair. Gondola and other lifts not operating.
Niseko HANAZONO Resort The Hanazono 1 and 2 lifts are operating, but the top Hanazono Number 3 lift is not starting the day.
Niseko Village The lower Community, Banzai and Morino lifts plan to start the day but the Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland Chair not operating.
Niseko Annupuri All lifts not operating at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -4℃, strong northerly wind, light snowfall with snowdrift development. Moiwa 800m: -10℃, E15m/s, no snowfall but large development of snowdrifts. Mikaeri 740m: -6.7℃, W9m/s, development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -8℃, NW20-27m/s. Hirafu 1000m: -13℃, strong NE wind with large development of snowdrifts. Benkei cape: ENE17m/s, Kamui cape: E6m/s, 1003hPa, 5.5m waves.
Although new snowfall is scarce, the strong easterly wind has developed new snowdrifts all around the mountain. SW facing slopes of the valleys are covered with wind-packed snowdrifts forming unstable slabs. The wind is forecasted to shift west and the snowfall will also pick up as it does. The avalanche risk in steep slopes, knolls, under lifts and under cornices above 600m elevation is high. Gates 1 & 5 as well as all peak gates will be shut. Refrain from ducking ropes. Avalanche accidents mostly occur during and just after storms. Going to an onsen and relax until the storm calms down is recommended for today. The visibility is poor on and off the mountain, pleaser be careful on the road and drive safe. If your car happen to get stuck in a blizzard, it is best to turn the engine off and wait for rescue. Have a nice day.
Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 20th January 2016:
Morning from Nozawa where the storm has hit - wind in particular, meaning that the upper areas of the mountain are this morning closed as I write this report. Hopefully they will be able to open if conditions improve but for the moment the open lifts are as noted below and the forecast is for windy conditions for the day.
The resort is reporting 20cm of snowfall on the upper areas this morning and 15cm on the Nagasaka area. A strong northerly wind is blowing snow around making for bad visibility and also lots of drifting which in turn makes it difficult to tell just how much snow has fallen.
There's a heavy snow warning out currently and we expect more today and perhaps quite a lot too. Bring it on, I say.
Forecast is looking pretty good for the coming week too.
Official info at time of writing on Wednesday 20th January 2016 (subject to change):
I'm going to get this out early (well, I wanted to be even earlier, but I wanted at least one or two resorts to report in before getting this out).
The morning began with some very bright lightning and echoing thunder—good signs for snow—and, sure enough, some graupel (soft hail) did fall right after that. Not a whole lot of accumulation yet, probably 20cm (hard to tell with drifting). I just finished the snow blowing, and suddenly the screaming wind is back, as is another blast of fairly heavy snow, this time, again, the round pellets of graupel. Hopefully this will turn to some nicer flakes to slide on, which is often the case.
Akakura Kanko has sent out its report for the morning, which says all lifts are running, but with this kind of wind it's very likely that area gondolas and higher lifts may well shut down. The wind is coming in very strong from the north and northwest on the ocean and along the coast. I have a feeling that, if it shifts a little more west so the wind comes not off the plains to the north but directly over Mt. Myoko and the other frontline peaks, we'll see more snow. And it looks likely; the local forecast is saying upwards of 80cm through to tomorrow. Which would be a great thing right now, even if the storm slows things down a bit today.
No change in the reports; it is colder than yesterday (-4°C on the trusty car thermometer this morning), but I doubt snow levels will have changed much; Akakura Kanko did not add any to yesterday's total.
There will be pretty good wind chill if you are on the hill, so cover those noses and ears!
Depending on where you are in Hakuba (and of course it is a fairly large area) - and how easily the strong winds have got to the snow and blown it about - you're going to have different stories and numbers this morning.
All of the numbers are nice and big, so at last it is a very good 'problem' to have!
But we can only go with what we experience first hand and here they are - up to a whopping 50cm in places around Happo village area, 30+cm close to Goryu base area, just under 40cm by Hakuba 47, and 32cm from our guy over near Cortina. As I said, it's windy down to village areas today and so that is also a factor this morning... and not only with the snowfall numbers but also the lifts (more on that later).
But anyway yes, the last few days we have seen decent amounts of snow fall and today is the best of the lot. It must have been dumping good and proper while we were sleeping, so much so that I wish I had stayed up to watch. It was really coming down earlier on when I first got up, less so as I write this report though snow is forecast to continue falling for the day and probably heavily at times.
Here are the 'new snowfall' numbers that resorts are posting this morning:
An interesting array of numbers there, but again the wind has probably got hold of a few of those.
Talking about the wind, unfortunately it is affecting resort operations this morning and I have added resort specific details below.
The forecast remains good for regular snowfall through the week and more heavy snowfall perhaps around Sunday.
Being very excited about all this fresh snow is great, but don't forget to be careful especially in these conditions.
People who normally moan about shovelling snow are this morning doing their shovelling with big smiles on their faces. (Well, the ones who aren't permanently grumpy anyway).
Anyway. Once the storm moves on, I would imagine that resorts around the area will at last all be able to be operating at something like 'normal' status.
I'll try not to use the words 'at last' again, honest! ;)
Resort news as of 8:50am on Wednesday 20th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 40-50cm of fresh snowfall. Currently the Line C and Line E lifts are on hold with Route 2 and 3 not open yet as they deal with the heavy snowfall. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth: Upper: 200cm Base: 70cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 15-30cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 40cm on upper areas. All upper and Toomi areas are now normally open but strong winds this morning have the Alps Number 1 and 3 lifts currently on hold (and so the Panorama Course closed). Most courses in the Iimori area are now open. Lift info: Wind affecting the Alps Number 1 and 3 lifts at time of writing. Official snow depth Alps: 195cm Toomi: 85cm Iimori: 100cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 20cm of fresh snowfall this morning. Strong winds are preventing the upper areas of the resort from opening this morning. Good to see lower slopes available though! Lift info: Lower lifts currently operating are the Nakiyama Number 3, Shirakaba Number 1 and 2 pair lifts, Sakka Number 2 pair and Sakka Number 3 triple lifts. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 165cm Nakiyama: 55cm Sakka: 30cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 30cm of fresh snowfall. All courses except Itadaria Ridge are now open. Lift info: All lifts apart from Number 7 pair plan to be operating. Official snow depth: Top: 170cm Base: 105cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Limited to lower areas today due to lifts being stopped by wind. Lift info: Only lower lifts open at the start of the day including just the lower section of the Gondola, due to wind conditions. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 228cm Maruyama: 50cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 80cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting up to 20-30cm of fresh snowfall. Lift info: Mountain Side lifts seem to be on hold at time of writing due to strong wind conditions. Official snow depth: Upper: 150cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Official snow depth: 60cm All lifts apart from Number 8 lift and 8 of the 12 courses are open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen.
The wind continues to be the dominant feature at the moment. Things were relatively calm last night but the intensity of the breeze has cranked up again, and it is blowing moderately in the village and is very gusty on the mountain in exposed areas. The Kitanomine Gondola has again been put on hold due the wind and it is unlikely it will operate today at all. The winds will stay with us through until Friday, with Saturday promising to be calmer.
There has been no measureable fresh snowfall overnight and it is not snowing at the moment. Light snow is on the forecast today, but with the wind whipping around there probably wont be much accumulation on the slopes.
On the positive side, apart from school groups on the lower slopes the courses are pretty deserted, so if you are heading out to put in some turns you wont be dealing with crowds. Read more ...
Wednesday 20th January 2016, 9:19am
Morning from Zao.
After that huge amount of snow yesterday, this morning there's another 12cm to report.
A few lifts seem to be not operating at the time of writing, but they shouldn't affect the courses that are available and hopefully will start chugging along soon enough.
Conditions should be really great on the slopes this morning, though wind-chill will very probably be a factor this morning so wrap up good.
Regular snowfall on the forecast and so we can expect some decent top-ups in the coming week.
Information as of Wednesday 20th January 2016 (subject to change)
Today there's thick cloud cover just higher than the base area.
Good morning everybody from Naeba.
Today's weather is wintery! With 8cm of snow having fallen overnight and more falling as we speak Naeba has had a very widespread coating of snow today (though still not as much as the forecast yesterday was telling us to expect).
The wind is pretty harsh out there today so you definitely don't want to go anywhere without a balaclava and plenty of layers.
Today the bottom half of the mountain is open with the top currently on wind hold.
Still no end to the snow in sight on the weather forecast. The heaviest snow is meant to fall today and over the coming weekend.
Yesterday some of the forecasts insisted that it should be snowing all day in Yuzawa, but it was a really beautiful day with lots of blue sky. Some cloud here and there at times, especially later in the afternoon, but for a lot of the day it was blue skies and sunny.
I was waiting until the 10am Niigata report again this morning just to see what they say and pass it on to you...
Having said that, I'm not sure what it is worth at the moment as it seems to have been wrong - and sometimes totally off - for so many days this season so far. It seems that forecasting folk are having real problems forecasting correctly the weather in this particular region.
Last night I was rather excited to see that they were telling us to expect 25-40cm of snow to fall in Yuzawa by 10am this morning.
What we actually got was more a very disappointing 3-5cm. I see our guy in Naeba is reporting 8cm and the resort over there reporting 10cm, but other than that there are no official snowfall numbers to report this morning.
Anyway as of 10am the same Niigata report tells us to expect 15-20cm in the Minamiuonuma and Yuzawa areas today from now until 4pm. It is actually snowing quite heavily just at the moment so let's see if we can get the cm this time.
With some decent snowfall falling in other places on Honshu now, I think it's our turn to get some decent numbers!
Strong winds is a feature of this morning and it looks like wind is affecting some lift operations around town... only the Mitsumata area of Kagura is open and it looks like the gondola and Okusoeji lifts at Maiko Snow Resort are also affected. There may be some other lifts affected depending on the wind.
In other news it looks like the South Area of the GALA Yuzawa resort is now part open.
Resort official snow depths (Wednesday 20th January 2016) and any specific news:
All resorts in the area are now generally open for the season, though please note that some areas and courses are not yet open. Generally some steeper slopes that need more snow are still closed and some lower slopes are patchy, to varying degrees.
It's stormy again here in Shiga Kogen with more snow once again. Strong winds have blown it all around but on average I would say about 20cm of fresh.... and it is really coming down now as I sit here writing this. Great stuff. Not the kind of weather where I want to venture out on the slopes as it's heavy snow and gusty winds. It does look like some lifts are open with others on hold due to the conditions.
The last three days though has seen lots of snow fall and was just what we all needed. More numbers expected to add up before tomorrow and then regular snow through until Sunday when heavy snow is again on the forecast.
This is more like it!
Once the storm clears conditions should be really great.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Wednesday 20th January 2016):