Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 21st February 2019
Thursday 21st January 2016, 7:47am
Today is very different from the last few days. The wind has reduced in intensity and it is only a light breeze around the base area. The wind will probably stay around the same level through the day, and by Saturday we should be back to the usual calm Furano conditions.
It is partly cloudy with a few sporadic clouds and lots of blue sky, and as I sit here writing this I am in the lovely morning sunshine beaming through the windows. There has been no snowfall over night.
Kitanomine Gondola is loading cars right at the moment so it seems likely that will be running today, after being on hold due to the wind for the last few days. Read more ...
Thursday 21st January 2016, 8:11am
Madarao was able to mostly open up during the day after that windy start.
And there's lots more snow to report this morning after that snowy day and overnight - the resort is reporting 30cm of fresh and there was a good 25cm of fresh snow on the top of my car and in my back yard this morning. Yey!
Best conditions of the season so far to be had right now. Oh yes.
And... while not much snow expected now over the next few days, another dump is forecast for later on Saturday through Sunday.
Yesterday the Niseko Annupuri resort area did actually manage to get their Jumbo Number 1 quad operating late on in the afternoon, but it was generally a day of strong winds and lots of lift disruptions unfortunately. Today will hopefully be much better in that respect...
There's a new 14cm of fresh snowfall to report to you this morning.
The other good news is that there is much less wind around this morning (always good to hear that), or there certainly seems less down here in the village. I note that the Avalance Report is saying there's still some strong winds above 800m, but it looks like the lifts at all four resort areas are going to be opening as planned this morning. Fingers crossed it stays that way.
(Update since I started making this report: It seems the opening of the top lifts at Hirafu is questionable... doh!)
It is just cloudy at the moment but snow could be falling any time as those clouds are still hanging around and due to be with us into the weekend. It does look like any deliveries of snow we get will be more modest than heavy snow, and there's a chance of some clearer skies as well particularly on Saturday. Anyway keep an eye on the weather forecast (link below) for all of that.
Last chance to enter the competition to win one of the Niseko United lift tickets on SnowJapan:
Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 10cm snowfall, small development of snowdrifts. Moiwa 800m: W10m/s, 20cm snowfall and snowdrifts development. Mikaeri 740m: -7.6℃, W7.1m/s, 50cm new snow and development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -11℃, NW10m/s, 50cm snowdrifts. Hirafu 1000m: -12℃, no snowfall but snowdrifts development. Benkei cape: N11m/s, Kamui cape: N11m/s, 1014hPa, 3.2m waves.
The wind remains strong above 800m elevation and snowdrifts are continuing to develop. 80cm thick slabs are present and growing in knoll terrain above 800m elevation. The avalanche risk is high this morning, especially in upper parts, knolls and cornice slopes with heavy load of wind-affected snowdrifts. Peak gates opening is still undecided, please respect the patrol’s decision. Many of the accidents occur during and just after storms. Avalanches are natural phenomena; in Niseko, most of them are caused by collapsing unstable snowdrifts. Do not drop into snowdrift loaded slopes. Accidents can be averted by avoiding hazardous slopes. The snow in the trees is a bit shallow but in good shape, beware of tomahawking into hidden pockets of heavy snowdrifts. Avalanche mechanism related experiments are in operation around the Mikaeri cat track, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 21st January 2016:
Yesterday saw the heaviest snow storm of the season so far, it was really coming down and blowing around lunchtime. Definitely better to be inside than out just then if you ask me!
Since my report yesterday, there has been another 32cm of snowfall round my place and no doubt more in places higher up.
Light snow was falling still earlier on but there's actually a few breaks in the clouds now and the feeling is it might even clear up somewhat though forecasts do say that the snow clouds should not be too far away over the coming days. In fact, we have more heavy snow due at the weekend.
Stormy conditions aside, the last few days has been excellent in terms of the snow we have seen fall.
Conditions should be fantastic out there this morning, can't wait to get out myself. No doubt that almost everywhere should now be open though some resorts are taking their time in updating their information. A personal check seems to be required!
Hope you can get to enjoy it. Of course remember to take good care out there and don't get carried away. Keep your head on, as they say.
(Higashitateyama still have their official snow depth at 20cm! Believe me, more than that fell just during the day yesterday!)
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Thursday 21st January 2016):
Yesterday the mountain was pounded with snow and overnight we had a very solid dump. The wind meant at the base, accumulation varied between 20cm and 50cm and the ropeway is reporting 35cm which coincidentally is the increase in the snow base.
Who knows how much actually fell but its accumulating now to the tune of 2 inches per hour at the base. Big, fat, light, fluffy pow!
All snow resorts in Minakami now once again (apparently) all at least part open:
A very good morning to you from Hakuba, where there has been another 15cm of fresh snow fall by my place since my report yesterday morning.
It was really coming down hard at times yesterday. Lots of big grins on faces. It was quite funny meeting other locals, where the conversation was almost always something along the lines of 'now this feels more like normal'.
I'm a bit confused by the new snowfall numbers the resorts are talking about this morning as they are less than what fell in my back garden and seen by my own eyes. Anyway, the numbers are all in the respective places below. (Perhaps some of them are just reporting what fell overnight - which was 0cm here at base).
Wind is still an issue this morning unfortunately with only the lower areas of Happo-one open, and the top areas of Goryu/47 and Tsugaike Kogen also affected at the time of writing this report. Hopefully that will ease off and they can get open.
After all, with all this fresh snowfall everyone is very keep to get up there and start enjoying it.
Today should be a very good day.
Do check the forecast as well - heavy snowfall is expected over the weekend.
Resort news as of 8:45am on Thursday 21st January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0-5cm of fresh snowfall since yesterday. Currently the Line E lifts is on hold with Route 8 not yet open. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth: Upper: 200cm Base: 70cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 5cm 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 the Panorama and Grand Prix Courses closed. All courses in the Iimori area apart from the Snow Diving and Adventure courses 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: Strong winds are unfortunately preventing the upper areas of the resort from opening again this morning - lower lifts and courses only at the time of writing. Enough snow now for the lower slopes to be open. Lift info: Lower lifts currently operating are the Nakiyama 2, Nakiyama 3, Shirakaba Number 1 and 2 pair lifts, Kokusai 1, Sakka Number 2 pair, Sakka Number 3 triple lift, Sakka Kita One quad and Kita One Number 3. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 165cm Nakiyama: 55cm Sakka: 30cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall. Course information unconfirmed at time of writing. Lift info: All lifts apart from Number 7 pair plan to be operating. Official snow depth: Top: 174cm Base: 120cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Most of the resort is open this morning though a few lifts affected... Lift info: Gondola and top Tsuga Number 2 and Han-no-ki lifts not operating at the time of writing Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 215cm Maruyama: 80cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 80cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting up to 10cm of fresh snowfall. Lift info: Both Village Side and Mountain Side areas part open. Official snow depth: Upper: 150cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Official snow depth: 70cm All lifts apart from Number 8 lift and 8 of the 12 courses are open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen.
Today's weather is mostly over cast with the occasional break in the cloud.
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Excellent news this morning as we've received somewhere in the region of 20-30cm of snow overnight.
Conditions on piste today will be super powdery and fresh.
The snow is still falling relatively rapidly even as I type this meaning that conditions on piste should stay fresh for most of the day.
Right now the weather forecast for the coming week is looking like snow all the way through until Tuesday which is currently the only day with no snow forecast.The heaviest snow is predicted to fall on Sunday night.
Hello from Yuzawa and it is a much happier report this morning.
I have just taken measurements in three places and the verdict is... 26cm of fresh snowfall.
That's more like it! It's fantastic to a see a good new layer of snow on the ground, something that we usually take for granted here but are now perhaps leaning to appreciate all the more.
So at last, a nice decent amount of snow overnight after another day of snow falling yesterday without it making much of an impact in terms of cm. It must have been snowing pretty good overnight.
This morning here's what 'the resorts that report' are saying:
Kagura: 30-40cm of fresh snowfall Naeba: 20-30cm of fresh snowfall Maiko Snow Resort: 25cm of fresh snowfall
I would imagine most of the resorts around the valley will have all got at least 20cm of fresh on their slopes.
(Quite how Kagura get 40cm and not adjust their official snow depth is one of the mysteries that definitely needs solving!)
All areas appear to be open this morning with no wind issues.
It is still snowing this morning as well with snow forecast for the day and tomorrow too... and over the weekend as well. We have heard that before of course this season and been disappointed but perhaps this time it might be a different story. Look towards Sunday in particular for heavy snowfall.
Could this be the turning point of the season for us here in this region?
If you have not yet entered and are interested in winning a lift ticket for Yuzawa or Minamiuonuma, please do follow the link below and do so in the next day:
Resort official snow depths (Thursday 21st 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. This new snowfall will certainly have helped but we could do with more to help with base numbers.
This morning it's snowing with cloudy skies but the snow and clouds are scheduled to give way to sunny skies later this afternoon with temperatures at the base a balmy -5.
Yesterday was nice most of the day with a sprinkling of light snow on and off all day. The small volume of snow didn’t help too much with the official base depth but with the additional open runs combined with the lack of people on the mountain meant those that managed to get out enjoyed some nicely groomed runs that we’re nearly empty most of the day.
The runs themselves are in fine shape and although some suffered from the typical morning ice crud covering they we’re in good shape after 10am. 8 runs still remain closed but what is currently open should please skiers and boarders of all abilities.
Tomorrows temperatures should drop to the -10 degree range with relatively steady winds but a limited amount of snowfall.
The extended forecast into the weekend is good, if it comes to fruition, with a lot of snow coming on Saturday. Lets hope it doesn’t disappoint again.
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
New snowfall to report - up to 35cm of it on the upper slopes reported by the resort since yesterday morning - less wind and more of the mountain open.
Thanks to the fresh snowfall, Skyline is now open along with a number of other courses that were not open.
The snow depth numbers are still very low to what we are used to of course. On this day last year the official snow depth on the upper Yamabiko area was 400cm (compared with 135cm today) and on the lower Karasawa area it was 220cm (compared with 50cm today). That's actually a pretty stark contrast isn't it, even considering that last season we enjoyed a really great start.
It's the fresh snow on base that is important to us in the here and now, though with much less of a base that may well impact the length of the season. So - as if it needs saying! - we want as much snow as possible to try and catch up to the norm.
The forecast is for light snow at times today and tomorrow to be followed by potentially heavy snowfall over the weekend, in particular on Sunday. Onegai shimasu.
For the moment though, there were lots of people eager to get up on the first lifts this morning and I think I will go and join them having fun in this fresh snow.
Official info at time of writing on Thursday 21st January 2016 (subject to change):
Morning from Zao where there's 8cm of new snowfall since my last report.
There appears to be less wind today and it is just cloudy. The resort is open as normal. All is good.
The forecast has us down for light snow today and tomorrow, perhaps some clearer periods, and then colder still conditions and moderate to heavy snowfall around Sunday. So if you are planning for the weekend, Saturday might be the better choice. Or not, if you like the stormy conditions. The risk is that if it's windy there may be disruptions to the lift operations.
Over at the Ski Jump later on today there will be over 50 ladies competing. Always fun to watch. The competition starts at 5:30pm.
Information as of Thursday 21st January 2016 (subject to change)
All planned lifts operating (Karamatsu pair lift is weekend-only)
A little sun sneaking in from the east, but it's staying pretty dark up over the mountains (meaning snow, I hope/think)
All that thunder and lightning and wind paid off, as we got a pretty good snowfall overnight. No where near the 80cm the news channels were saying was likely, but at least we're seeing ski areas finally (apart from always-increasing Seki) raising there snowfall totals. That's especially good news for the resorts on the south side, which had much lower levels than the Akakuras and Seki.
Light snow continues to fall, although it's not adding that much to the 30cm or so we had here at the base level. Looking very positive for Saturday and Sunday, though.
A lot of graupel (soft hail) fell, especially high up, and the grains were pretty big. If we do get more heavy snow on top of that level, be careful until it's clear that the round stuff has bonded well with the rest of the snowpack. It's the first time this season I get to say be careful about potential avalanche danger! But, with those high winds, too, it's a good time to be a little cautious on lee slopes and most steep slopes if more snow does fall.
And at Akakura Kanko, the snow meant that the town-run Yuki Saka Ba, an igloo bar featuring Myoko's three saké brands, finally opens tomorrow night after being postponed since the beginning of the month.