Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020
Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 7:56am
With just a little snow last night (1-2cm) you may have to do some searching to find the fresh lines this morning. There should be some fresh patches here and there around the mountain. If it clears up today - which seems likely - it would be an excellent one to get out and hike in the backcountry. Or indeed stay anywhere out there.
Stability hasn't seemed to be too much of a major issue. There is a pesky sun crust layer that is allowing snow to move off it really easy. In the Nakayamatoge area, it is about 40cm down. It didn't seem to be sliding much on any aspects, just those that were very steep.
The weather is looking like it will vary quite a bit over the next few days. Sun, snow, clouds...it should all be there. It's looking like it isn't supposed to be too windy, but getting really warm. A high of 0 today and tomorrow could reach up to 2 degrees. This could ruin the lower elevation snow if it melts and then freezes on top over night. Let's hope it stays cold enough to prevent this. The higher elevations of Iowanupuri, Nitonupuri, etc should have been protected from the last warm spell.
Have fun and enjoy. If you decide to take a day off Otaru is always a good place to check out. Some good food and places to check out.
Time for an update on those interesting JMA statistics for snowfall in Kutchan town. So far in February 2012, Kutchan has seen 193cm of snowfall. We still have eight days left in February of course but that number is already more than the snowfall in the whole of Febraury 2011 (142cm) and February 2010 (184cm). February 2009 saw 235cm for the month. The most on record (since 1953) for a February seems to have been in 1988 when we saw a whopping 528cm snowfall in Kutchan, but that was a one-off and much more than the average. Again, remember these numbers are for Kutchan town and so the snowfall on the mountain resorts will be considerably more, but thought that it was interesting enough to share this info. We'll keep you updated on how February ends up this season.
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 425cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Village: Top - 460cm Bottom - 250cm
Annupuri: Top - 460cm Bottom - 240cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Status: -8C at the base at 6am. Slight snowfall in the past 12 hours. Strong wind persists for 24hours and developed snowdrifts. Coastal data: NW aam/s at Benkei cape, 2.1m waves and 1021 hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak: WNW13.0m/s, -14C. Snowdrifts are thick and heavy at Moiwa peak. -10C. Snowfall transition: Yesterdayâ€™s strong wind & snow made snowdrifts to heavily develop in the leeward slopes. The wind started to calm down and the snowpack is stabilizing. Hazard evaluation: Avalanche risk is high in the following areas; coordinates C4-D5 (Moiwa area), E6-F5(Backbowl & Osawa area) and G7-H8(Higashi-One area). Gates: Hirafu peak gate will open at 10am. Caution: Avalanches induced by collapsing slabs are still highly probable in the above-mentioned areas. Carelessly dropping into leeward open slopes or knolls is dangerous. Cornices are packed, however very weak and easily collapsible. Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 8:05am
It's another sunny day in Myoko, with a tiny bit of fresh from last night. The forecast is for some snow today, but so far the only clouds are to the east. The wind is picking up a little, but it's hard to tell (using my sophisticated, bamboo-pole-top plastic fronds) just which way it's coming from.
The snow reports are form yesterday; I'm up the hills today to do some checking on things--but not much has changed since yesterday (except the departure of yesterday afternoon's fog).
The overnight cloud cover is dissipating and we are expecting clear skies this morning. The afternoon may see some cloud cover returning over the valley, but remain clear up high as the new weather system approaches. It is a system coming from the South and will bring warmer air masses and precipitation - likely rain down below tomorrow, hopefully snow higher up.
In the valley this morning it is -2.5 C and expected to reach upto 8 C. Up on the resorts it will range from -1 C to 3 C near the bottom of the slopes and -3 C to -6 C up high. The freezing level is on its way up and will reach 1450m in the day creating soft snow conditions. Winds are Light and will flow from the SSW and SSE.
Tonight the freezing level is expected to rise to 1900m and will continue to rise through Thursday peaking at around 2450m. It will remain cloudy until the evening when we will start to see clearings for Friday. Cloudy periods will be mixed with clearings through the weekend with freezing levels lowering. By Monday we will again see clear skies and colder conditions.
Official snow depths and operations @ Wednesday 22nd February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: No new snowfall early this morning. All lifts operating. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 325cm; Toomi - 185cm; Iimori - 145cm
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 actually reporting 1cm of new snowfall this morning up top. All courses open (Line D lift not operating weekdays). Official snow depth: Upper - 238cm Lower - 140cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Usagidaira pair, Happo No1 pair and Central pair lifts should be operating today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 190cm; Sakka - 110cm; Nakiyama - 90cm.
Overnight there were moderate winds whipping around the village and some light snowfall that has left 2cm on the ground. As of this morning the winds have gone and all lifts will be operating. There is cloud just touching to peaks on the Kitanomine side, and on the Furano Zone the cloud is rolling halfway down the mountain. Kitanomine Gondola was closed yesterday which means there is all that snow from yesterday waiting to have tracks put on it. Kitanomine will be the best place to be in the morning. Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 10:01am
Blue skies, sun
Well, there wasn't any sleet or snow yesterday - not that I saw anyway - and this morning just up high at Kagura they report a sprinkling of snow. This morning we woke to thick cloud in the Minamiuonuma valley but that was low lying cloud and just above that there are blue skies. Those low lying clouds are quickly disappearing now leaving behind a fine morning both in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
It's going to be a mild day here with the sun doing it's thing and no doubt making it feel like spring skiing out there. Perhaps this week we are seeing the first signs of spring round the corner? Hopefully we will click back into winter again sooner than later but that doesn't look like it will be happening until into next week.... over the next few days it looks like it will be a mix of cloud, rain (please no!) and sun along with mild temperatures. Obviously we want to avoid that rain but it looks unlikely. We can just hope for minimal damage!
For now though, a fine sunny day and it will surely feel good to be out there sliding down the slopes. As always in situations like this, better snow conditions likely found the higher you go.
Clouds did move in on us yesterday but all I have to report this morning is a thin splattering of snowfall in higher elevations... no new snowfall down in the village and lower slopes at all. It was cloudy earlier on but now we have some lovely blue skies opening up above us and it is destined to be a very fine day - and mild too. Same lift and course situation as yesterday at both Kagura and Naeba.
Well these mild conditions are going to continue. There's no significant snowfall on the radar into next week, and we might even see rain tonight into tomorrow. Yikes, let's hope not. It could be snow. I'll let you know about that tomorrow morning.
Resort Operations, 22nd February (subject to change) Naeba: All open apart from Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom course. Kagura: All open as normal per weekdays (though it does seem that the downhill course to the Mitsumata Car Park is closed this week).
More of the same today really. Blue skies, not much cloud, mild conditions and no new snow to report. Today and tomorrow we are going to see temperatures rise into + territory and there is even a chance of rain later tonight and into tomorrow - we can only hope that it keeps on the colder side and comes down as snow, but local forecasts aren't too hopeful on that one. Mixed weather for the following few days and a chance of some snowfall but like I said generally keeping relatively mild so I don't think I'll be reporting decent snowfall numbers at least until next week. I will gladly be wrong about that though!
But the sun is out and it feels great to be out on the mountain! That's where I am headed now.
Lifts currently operating: All lifts (except 3B) and courses due to be open today. Official snow depth: 300cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 10:28am
Clear, blue skies
And another fine morning here in Shiga Kogen. Slightly lighter blue than yesterday if I was pushed to say much was different but generally it's another fine mild day. The roads are clearing of their usual snow pack covering which shows that it is warming up this week and while it has been cold overnight, the day times are warming up with temperatures closing in on 0 level.
Some snow/rain/sleet tonight perhaps but the better news is that we can expect it to get colder again around Friday and we might even see some semi-decent snowfall. That would be a good prep for the weekend of course, so all fingers crossed please!
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 22nd February 2012 AM:
Welcome to one of those days. One of those glorious days that makes you feel just so happy to be here and able to experience it. Yes, we have blue skies and Zao is looking spectacular. Yes, I know I'm sort of biased... but really, it is!
It's colder than yesterday, and was a cold one overnight, but the sun is out and it will warm up during the daytime.
Cloud is due to move in later on today though and we might see some snow higher up and even a chance of rain lower down into tomorrow morning. Hopefully that won't last long but tomorrow we are looking at temperatures rising above zero. Next snow due later on Friday according to the latest forecast, but I don't think it will be a huge snowfall and following that mixed conditions with a chance of light snow into early next week. Nothing substantial though.
Night time 'Light Up' has another 8 days to run, ending at the end of this month.
Official snow depths (22nd February 12) Utopia - 275cm Chuo - 240cm Paradise - 260cm Uwanodai - 185cm
Operating lifts (22nd February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 14:36pm
Sun shiney day
A bit of spring in our step in Nozawa Onsen today, at village level anyway - it is a pretty warm one.
Up high is still really nice with blue skies and good quality snow under feet. In the Village we are enjoying this sun and warmer weather, means a nice break from the constant shoveling we have had earlier. I know the powder hounds are getting hungry though...
Always a sure sign when you see them making kickers around the place. Some set up one yesterday, jumping over the cat track getting some amazing air.
Temps are still warm tomorrow then should drop off and bring some snow in on Friday night and then a few other top ups after that with scatterings of sunshine.
Funny but we had this little warm spell around the same time last season in February, but it was soon replaced with the Winter cold in early March. Let's hope a similar pattern happens this time round as well.
Cracking day today in Minakami with blue skies and sunshine. The groomers started the day fast and grippy but soon softened up, especially down low. Out of the wind it felt pretty warm today but higher up there was still a bit of chill in the air.
The forecast is for rain tomorrow down low as the temperatures are set to remain warm. They are supposed to drop again into the weekend with the possibility of some snow showers, though there are some fine days again next week.