Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020
Tuesday 23rd December 2014, 7:33am
Cloudy and gray
I didn't send a report yesterday (apologies, etc.)... the day was, well, sort of uncertain.
There was the possibility of some heavy snow, but we basically had a day of light fall through the day, not much accumulation, and then increasing snowfall in the evening.
By this morning, though, we had about 40cm of fresh, with a pretty strong, steady wind from the north. At the moment it doesn't look strong enough to interfere with lift operations, but you never know. The Coast Guard reports that the wind has been coming down since yesterday, and the atmospheric pressure going up, so maybe things will stabilize during the day (you thought I was just looking out the window to do these reports, right?)
No reports in this morning from the resorts, except for Ikenotaira - but these are pretty much still correct:
Madarao: 120cm, -2° No. 1, No. 2 Quad, Super Quad, No. 11, No. 12, No. 15 Read more ...
Tuesday 23rd December 2014, 8:12am
Snowfall remained half-hearted for much of the morning at least and into the afternoon, though around 2pm it started snowing more heavily... didn't amount to that much snow on the ground though. So it was surprising to see on the news how much snow had been falling elsewhere in Niigata to the north of us here - the clouds had kind of missed us out of the main event.
My friend over in Tokamachi said he had to move over 40cm off his car yesterday evening, that had fallen during the day.
So the forecast was for 50cm and over in the mountains of the region for overnight, so we were looking forward to that. Didn't quite turn out like that though. There's 15cm of snow on the top of my car this morning; I'd guess that resorts around town saw about 20cm upwards.
Kagura are reporting 30-40cm; Naeba reporting 20-40cm.
Nice to get the layer of fresh, but let's have more today ok?!
Today is a national holiday in Japan - Emperor's Birthday - so I would expect places to at least be busier than a normal Tuesday. The weekend didn't see too many crowds so just how many people will turn out for today, I don't know.
Christmas isn't a holiday here in Japan and while people might eat a cake and friend chicken on Christmas Eve (as is the 'tradition' here), for most it's just another day. Indeed you'll probably see Christmas trees taken down late on the 24th, to be replaced with New Year gear. Oh yes and lots of ski hills will get visited by Santa. Busy guy.
The forecast for today remains snow and it is snowing now, so hopefully we can get some more fresh snow on the runs. Tomorrow looks set to be milder with some forecasts telling us that we might have clearer sunny skies (others just cloudy).
Itsukamachi resort in Minamiuonuma opens from today.
A lot of snow up on the top areas of Nozawa - 35-37cm being reported by the resort on the top Uenotaira and Yamabiko areas respectively, so conditions should be great up there in particular this morning. Lower runs reporting up to 25cm, so good conditions all round and about that much since yesterday at base.
Forecast isn't for that much snow today though it is falling from the skies at the minute. The clouds may even clear and the sun say hello later on according to a local forecast. Tomorrow is due to be a bit warmer with temps rising to around 4 degrees but we should be back to snow again as we move into Wednesday.
Poor visibility at the start of the day on the upper areas in particular.
Santa was at Nozawa yesterday and he's here today as well, having a leisurely breakfast and hitting the slopes at 10am. First 100 people get a present off him as well, so give him a shout if you see him!
Today is a National Holiday in Japan for the Emperors Birthday.
Lots of light fresh snow to report again this morning from the Niseko area - 30cm outside my place - which should make for excellent conditions today.
It's not quite as cold this morning as it was yesterday, but still right down there in negative numbers and -6 degrees here in the village base area.
It's not quite as windy either, and lifts should be less affected this morning. Yesterday as conditions improved slightly most of the lifts seemed to be operating.
The peak lifts and gates are of course still not open. No doubt there's a lot of people keeping their eyes on that situation and I can imagine the rush that will happen when they do open. Be sure to check out the Avalance Report below for more information.
Niseko continues to getting busier. Christmas might not be a major holiday for Japanese, but it is of course with lots of other folk and many want to spend their holidays here in Niseko. As you would.
It's worth adding that 23rd December (ie. today) is actually a national holiday here in Japan. It's the Emperors Birthday, so... happy birthday!
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Moiwa base:-10C, 25cm of crystal snow. Moiwa 600m: -13C, 30cm of fresh in 12 hours. Annupuri 1150m: -14C, W16m/s, 25cm of fresh. Coastal data: Benkei cape WNW15m/s, Kamui cape W11m/s, 1007hPa and 2.6m waves.
The atmospheric pressure gradient is shelving, snowdrift development around 800m is slowing down and the snowpack is stabilizing. However, avalanche risk is still high especially in leeward 1100m slopes. The avalanche control in Mizuno no sawa (Niseko Village) has started yesterday and a 40cm slab avalanche from Dec 20th layer running all the way down to the bottom has been reported from the ski patrol. Stay away from south facing strictly off-limits areas. Peak lifts are scheduled to open as the wind calms down, but peak gates are yet to open. Please follow the ski patrol’s instructions. Never duck ropes to step out of bounds. The snow in the trees is even better than yesterday, but beware of branches and bushes lurking just underneath the surface. Have a nice day.
Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 250cm Base - 105cm
Niseko Village: Top - 160cm Base - 120cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 140cm Base - 110cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift. There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area.
Mostly cloudy still but expecting clearer conditions
First of all, happy birthday to the Emperor of Japan - to celebrate we all get a holiday today!
Snow still falling this morning mountain side, a bit clearer over by the roads on the other side of the valley. That's not the headline though...
Loads of snow falling yesterday and large amounts of lovely fresh snow to report this morning. Here's what the resorts say this morning for the overnight haul:
Hakuba Goryu: up to 50cm Hakuba 47: up to 40cm Hakuba Cortina: 30-40cm Hakuba Norikura: 30cm Hakuba Iwatake: 10-20cm
And the rest, I reckon. Just, lots. Enough for everyone that's for sure.
Do I need to say that conditions should be excellent this morning? :)
OK so yes snow clouds hanging on this morning but we are expecting them to clear up somewhat today and move on. Just how much it clears up remains to be seen of course but we could be on for some dramatic views later in the day.
Expecting milder weather tomorrow maybe just cloud, maybe clearer, and then back to snow falling into Christmas Day.
Lots of people arriving in Hakuba now for their Christmas break. I'm noticing lots of folk from all over the world, it's great to hear lots of different languages being spoken, even if I can't understand them.
Have fun everyone and remember, take special care in all that snow out there.
Official snow depth numbers and operations as of 23rd December 2014. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 50cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira and 20-30cm lower down. All lifts operating except Alps Daira 2&4 and Toomi Number 2 Pair lift. All courses open except Adventure Course. Night skiing at Toomi every day until 31st March.
Hakuba Cortina: Reporting 30cm of new snowfall at base and 40cm on upper areas. Lifts 5 and 7 not open - resort mostly open... Rabbit, Snake, Kamoshika, Ipponmatsu now open. Night skiing every day until 31st March.
- Upper - 290cm - Lower - 200cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now open, most notably the Uma-no-se course not yet open. Next night skiing is from 27th December through 1st January in both Kane-no-naru-oka and Karamatsu-Shirakaba areas.
There is good news to report today with fresh snow overnight that has accumulated to 5cm at village level. The new snow combined with recent snow making efforts means the resort has been able to open Spies Course, which means there are now two courses skiable from the top of the Ropeway to base level. The opening of Spies will be great news for intermediate skiers as it offers a wider and more mellow terrain than Sailer Course.
The weather is cloudy with light winds increasing with elevation and temperatures around -11c at the top. There are light snow flurries at the moment but this look like it could change at anytime back to regular snow fall. Read more ...
Tuesday 23rd December 2014, 9:22am
Cloud, poor visibility
Good haul of fresh snow this morning with over 20cm here in the village area and no doubt more than that up at higher elevations.
Fresh snow wherever you decide to ski or board this morning.
It's also blowing around a lot with strong winds and poor visibility, but looks like the resort is open as planned.
Yokokura area: From Friday 26th December until 4th January; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
December 2014: 27th-31st January 2015: 1st-4th, 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st February 2015: 1st-28th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2600 yen for adults and 1300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Tuesday 23rd December 2014, 11:33am
Snow showers throughout the day today, with winds around 30km in the Upper Mountains.
Becoming fine this evening expected clear skys for tomorrow.