Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 17th December 2018
Monday 23rd February 2015, 8:12am
We escaped rain during the day yesterday and instead enjoyed lots of blue sky and sun again, more cloud than yesterday but a fine sunny day.
And very warm. Very warm.
The temperature on the sign at the side of the Route 17 said 12 degrees in Ishiuchi and 11 degrees in Yuzawa when I went past in the afternoon. It felt very spring like. I hear that temperatures even got as high as 19 degrees in some parts of Niigata Prefecture.
A fun day though, once you accept the spring-ness of the conditions. Lots of resorts very busy too over the weekend.
More cloud did turn up last night though and light rain was falling last time I was outside. It's still falling now but forecast to clear up this morning leaving us with a cloudy day. We seem to have managed to avoid the prolonged heavy rain that was on the forecast last week. Still, not the nicest of early mornings to be out, let's hope the rain eases off quickly.
It's another mild morning though it won't be warming up as much as over the weekend.
Looks like it should be gradually getting colder this week with the next decent snow maybe around Friday. Until then a mix of cloud, possible light rain and light snow if we are lucky.
Less wind this morning and all resorts look set to be open as planned.
Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening - is available at the following resorts in the area.
Ishiuchi Maruyama: Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm) Iwappara: Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays) Joetsu Kokusai: Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm) Kandatsu Kogen: From 'all night' on Fridays and Saturdays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning) Maiko Snow Resort: Every day until 14th March (until 8pm) Naeba: Every day until 29th March (until 9pm) All night on 14th March (10pm until 6am) NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only): Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: Saturdays until 14th March (until 8:30pm)
Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season). Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.
I wasn't around last night actually so this is coming to you via others who told me we didn't get too heavy rain, just some drizzle and even a bit of sleet and wet snow as well for a while.
Niseko Grand Hirafu have added 5cm to their upper snow depth and the avalanche report also mentions some new snow as well so there's a bit up there by the sounds. Just a bit. None that I can add to my observed number though down here at base.
This morning there's a lot of cloud about, just a bit of blue sky for the moment. And happily it isn't raining. It's quite windy up on mountain though and that southerly wind is affecting top lifts at the start of the day.
We want snow of course and perhaps tomorrow we will get some with more decent potential at the end of the week.
If you take a look lower down this page you'll see the table statistics for Niseko Now have been added, as well as a link to that new interesting Observed Snowfall table and graph page. Scroll down to take a look...
Resort specific news as of 8:30am - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Top Ace Number 4, King Number 4 and King Number 3 lifts on hold at the start of the day due to wind.
Niseko base 6am: +1C, 5cm of new snowfall, heavy wet snow. Moiwa 800m: E10m/s, 10cm new snowfall, 0C, minor snowdrift development. Annupuri 1000m: snowpack 300cm. Hirafu 1000m: light winds, trace new snow, -1C. Annupuri peak 1308m: wind SSW speed unknown, -3.7C. Cape Benkei: W13m/s, Cape Kamui: SW25m/s, pressure 999hPa, wave 1.5m.
Low pressure over the sea of japan is producing warm airflow and strong westerly winds above 1200m as the front passes. Low pressure snowfall has been produced mainly on western side. Surface avalanches of about 10cm over large areas are to be expected around knolls and on open steep faces. These avalanches will be dangerous due to the heavy wet snow. All gates are expected to be open. Kozan no sawa sidewall will be unsafe to ride. The danger of full depth avalanches is increasing on south facing slopes. In Niseko full depth avalanches can start at any layer, propagate right down to the ground and run over long distances. In the past avalanches from 1100m Kozan no sawa have reached the Annupuri Northern Resort Hotel water source next to Junior course. Best not to ride in Osawa valley bottom as this is where the avalanche will run. Avalanches are a natural occurrence and only become an accident if people are involved. Make wise choices. Although the mountain looks like spring has come, winter will be coming back soon. Below 1000m the trees are good. Have a safe day.
Official resort snow depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 375cm Base - 130cm
Niseko Village: Top - 290cm Base - 170cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 340cm Base - 170cm
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
Niseko Hanazono Resort No night skiing at the Hanazono area
This warm blast of early spring like weather continues. After the very warm day yesterday, it's not as much this morning and there's lots of cloud (and fog) around. Webcams show very poor visibility up on the top areas.
It's also raining I'm afraid. But forecast to stop this morning.
A mix of weather over the next few days as we keep on the milder side of things, but we're all hoping that come Friday it'll get colder and snow will be falling once again. Like it should!
Take a look back at previous seasons... March can often deliver the goods. Let's hope this season will be the same.
Also take a look lower down on this page as you'll see a nice new table of statistics for this season and last season, as well as a link to that new page that the SnowJapan folk have put together. I highly recommend you take a look as it's very interesting indeed....
Fresh snow to report since yesterday (reported by resort):
The mild spell continues with warm conditions and sadly rain started falling yesterday afteroon and continued overnight.
Happily it has stopped now and clouds are covering the mountains so limited visibility. Combine that with the snow conditions and it's definitely not the most enticing of mornings.
The clouds may clear with sun on some forecasts for the day and a high temperature in village of around +9 degrees.
We can look towards Thursday into Friday this week for the next snowfall that will come to help us. (Really looking forward to those reports!)
The rainfall has increased the likelihood of snowslides and resorts are advising extreme caution at the moment. Stick to the resort areas and give those legs a good work out rather than taking dangerous chances.
Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Monday 23rd February 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. All courses planned to be open (except Adventure Course).
Hakuba Goryu: Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm. Hakuba Happo-one: Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm. Hakuba Cortina: Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm. Tsugaike Kogen: Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January; February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm. Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January; February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm. Kashimayari: Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm. Read more ...
Monday 23rd February 2015, 9:05am
Cloud, fog, no visibility
Can hardly see a thing out there this morning. Thick fog covers Madarao and visibility down to close to zero.
It remained fairly warm overnight and now about +4 degrees.
Yesterday ended up rather wet after the fine weather but luckily we haven't endured too much rain and it's not raining or snowing or anything at the moment... just cloudy and foggy.
Clearer skies probable tomorrow.
Colder temperatures and snow coming our way at the end of the week. Hopefully!
Lifts planned to be open:
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A Number 5 Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park Freeride Park Tree Run Courses should be open today.
Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015.
An almost invisible dusting of snow is all that eventuated overnight, however we have an almost perfect spring day with nice blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures. Snow conditions will be soft spring today with village temperatures topping out at +7c. It certainly wont be cold out there, so don't overdress, and get out there and enjoy the spring weather. Snow is on the forecast for today and the next few days with a heavy fall for Tuesday night and then Thursday night and Friday...lets hope this comes through. Read more ...
Monday 23rd February 2015, 9:20am
Well, we have a spring like day today with light dare I say it... rain. Today is a mild 3 degrees with low winds, overcast skies and some low hanging fog.
Yesterday was an overcast but mild day all day, with small showers of rain in the evening.
Weather looking like it will stay warm until tomorrow evening where it looks like we will be in for some more snow towards the end of the week.
All lifts and gondolas are open at Naeba. But the Men’s and Women’s downhill courses are both closed today, because of poor snow conditions.
The Dragondola over to Tashiro and the Kagura resort is open.
Official snow depths:
Naeba: 290cm Kagura: 370cm
0cm Naeba 0cm Kagura
This Naeba Now report started updating for the 2014/2015 season on 31st January 2015. As such, the 'observed snowfall season' numbers shown at the bottom of the report will only reflect data from that date onwards. Please read our Yuzawa Now daily reports section for more information on the first part of the season in the Yuzawa region. Read more ...
Monday 23rd February 2015, 9:35am
After the fine weekend weather it's back to cloud this morning. Did I mention the rain yesterday evening?
Yes, unfortunately we got some of that even up here.
Just cloudy now though and another warm feeling morning as we wonder when winter might come back...
The answer to that looks like --- late in the week, Friday.
Zao Onsen is fully open (* note that the Karamatsu pair lift is closed on weekdays).
Night skiing operations at Zao this season
Uwanodai area: Daily until 22nd March
Yokokura area: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
Every evening now until 28th February
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 23rd February 2015, 9:44am
Cloud, fog in places
The fine weekend weather continued pretty much until the end of the day, then last night we did get some drizzle-y rain into this morning it's a cloudy and foggy start.
Still we are hopeful for a return to more winter like weather patterns over the coming week with some decent snowfall especially seemingly on the way for just before next weekend. Perhaps some before then.
For this morning though it's still mild, a bit wet feeling, cloudy and foggy. Not the most pleasant of conditions.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 260cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yakebitaiyama: 270cm Open
Ichinose Family 260cm Open
Ichinose Yamanokami: 260cm Open
Ichinose Diamond: 260cm Open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 260cm Open
Terakoya: 260cm Open
Higashitateyama: 260cm Open
Giant: 190cm Open
Nishitateyama: 200cm Most open
Happo Bundaraia: 190cm Open
Sun Valley: 190cm Open
Maruike: 190cm Open
Hasuike: 190cm Open
Kumanoyu: 250cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge: 250cm Open
Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas:
This is one of those days where you don't really want to put up a report (more like, "Good day to see the Snow Monkeys").
Luckily the rain didn't start yesterday until just after the lifts closed, and it really hasn't been that bad today. At least for rain.
It's extremely foggy, warm and misty today. Again, a great day to do something cultural, like drinking saké and hanging around the onsen. Kampai for rain!
But one nice bit of news: see the new snowfall table/chart page on SnowJapan - linked to below. Myoko wins again! We are the snow kings! Honestly, everybody I try to go out and accurately measure the actual snowfall (ski resorts are very strange about this, usually under-reporting).
Nice to be number one, but rest assured I don't look at my ongoing totals.