Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 21st April 2021
Tuesday 24th November 2015, 9:01am
Hello and I have good news to report this morning... it's snowing.
Yes, it is feeling suitably winter-like this morning and I have measured 8cm of snow outside my place. There's going to be more than that higher up on the mountain of course, and fingers crossed it will continue snowing through the day today.
The forecast has the snowfall easing off by early tomorrow morning and then just cloudy conditions tomorrow - though it should remain cold with temperatures not rising much if any above zero. Rain is due at lower elevations around Thursday with slightly milder conditions, though it should be snowing higher up and back to snow down to base by Saturday. Hopefully!
The resorts need a decent enough base to open up and get lifts moving of course so we are not there yet...
** Originally posted yesterday:
As we wait for the snow to arrive and for the season to get going I thought it might be a good time to re-cap on how things went last season.
You can of course read through the reports via the archive links at the bottom of the page (on the main website), but below are the headline numbers for each of the months last season and the season before. 'My observed numbers' is what I actually observe here in the Hirafu base area with my own eyes. 'JMA Kutchan numbers' are the official snowfall numbers reported by Japan Meteorological Agency for the nearby Kutchan town area. As you might expect, more snow falls higher up on the mountain than both of these lower locations - the 'general wisdom' (which seems reasonable to me) estimating about 1.5 times base numbers up top. The numbers in brackets are the monthly numbers added up giving us a total snowfall number.
My observed numbers: November 2014: 30cm November 2013: 123cm
JMA Kutchan numbers: November 2014: 41cm November 2013: 99cm
My observed numbers: December 2014: 519cm (549cm) December 2013: 275m (398cm)
JMA Kutchan numbers: December 2014: 387cm (428cm) December 2013: 258cm (357cm)
My observed numbers: January 2015: 257cm (806cm) January 2014: 461cm (859cm)
JMA numbers: January 2015: 230cm (658cm) January 2014: 317cm (674cm)
My observed numbers: February 2015: 196cm (1002cm) February 2014: 178cm (1037cm)
JMA Kutchan numbers: February 2015: 167cm (825cm) February 2014: 130cm (804cm)
My observed numbers: March 2015: 139cm (1141cm) March 2014: 113cm (1150cm)
JMA Kutchan numbers: March 2015: 141cm (966cm) March 2014: 118cm (922cm)
My observed numbers: April 2015: 3cm (1144cm) April 2014: 13cm (1163cm)
JMA Kutchan numbers: April 2015: 3cm (969cm) April 2014: 24m (946cm)
Planned opening dates for the Niseko resorts:
Niseko Grand Hirafu: as soon as there's enough snow Niseko Annupuri: Saturday 28th November Niseko Village: Tuesday 1st December Niseko HANAZONO: Saturday 5th December
'Nighta' should be starting on Saturday 12th December Read more ...
Tuesday 24th November 2015, 10:03am
Complete cloud cover today.
Snowy old day today
Very white outside right now with about 7cm of snow has fallen since our last report. Earlier small flakes were falling but as it's turned to fuller daylight they've become fatter and more plentiful. Not a breath of wind. Weather system seems set in for a few days.
Photo 1 is the Furano Kitanomine gondola building and we cannot see it but expect there's a ski resort behind it. Photo 2 is a town flag demonstrating the stillness and lack of wind. Read more ...
Tuesday 24th November 2015, 10:07am
Good morning from Naeba and it's slightly colder this morning but still relatively mild for the time of year.
There's no snowfall on the mountain to report, but the man-made snow is slowly building up on that run in front of the hotel here in Naeba... just in case the real snow doesn't co-operate for the planned opening on Saturday 12th December.
The Mitsumata area of Kagura is of course now part open with the help of snow-mats (no real snow yet). I noticed an interview on the TV over the weekend with a guy from Prince Hotels saying that usually at this time of year there's around 50cm of snow higher up on the mountain, but there's none this year. It has been warmer than usual.
But not to worry, it is very early days yet. We would all feel better though if Kagura would get some natural snowfall and get open.
Rain is expected later today and over the next few days at base but a good chance of snow higher up.
Planned resort opening dates:
Naeba: Saturday 12th December Kagura (Mitsumata Ropeway): Mitsumata area now open using snow mats Kagura (Tashiro Ropeway): Saturday 12th December Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Tuesday 24th November 2015, 10:52am
Cloud for now
Things remain mild in the region at the moment and no snowfall to report.
It's set to get a bit colder tomorrow and while it will probably be raining snow is expected higher up on the mountain, and the chance of snow up there on and off into the weekend.
Nozawa has been planning to be able to open this coming Saturday, but we'll of course need a decent base of snow to arrive before any opening will be possible. Early season opening is usually just up top anyway, so all eyes on what happens this week.
The wind is alternately blowing in the fog and then clearing the skies so the peaks appear (and no snow up there just yet).
Just a quick note here as November is coming to a close, and the weather is definitely looking more wintery this morning.
It's been fairly mild and sunny the past few days; this morning the flags on top of my new bamboo wands (four-meter-long wands, set out so I don't crash into stuff once the heavy snow falls) all began to swing around from the south to the north. Now the wind is really whipping them around, with generous lashings of rain and fog. Glad the preparations are ready, apart from those snow tires (missed the reservation at the local service station...).
It's one of those typically nasty November days before things get nice and white and clean (if not much more sunny—if you want bluebird skies, mid-winter Myoko might not be your place).
Planned opening dates (may change depending on the snow; hats off to Akakura Onsen for their optimism!)
We enjoyed a bit of clearer skies since my last report but it is back to cloud and fog this morning. It's feeling colder though this afternoon, and rain - maybe snow - is forecast for this week, so holding out for some good news on that front.
I'll update the report again at the end of the week with the latest.
Zao Onsen will get the ski lifts moving for the season as soon as there's enough snow to play in! Read more ...
Tuesday 24th November 2015, 15:04pm
Cloud and fog
Here were are approaching the end of November, and it has remained pretty mild this year... not just in this region but similar stories in many areas of Japan.
It's not nice weather today here and there's rain expected this week and perhaps some snow falling in higher regions.
The season is due to start at Madarao Kogen on Friday 18th December and at connecting Tangram Ski Circus on Saturday 19th December. That gives us just over 3 and a half weeks to get that snow base going! Read more ...