Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019
Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 7:20am
Good morning from Yuzawa.
It was cold yesterday and is again this morning.
And guess what... there's more snow on the ground in town this morning. 2-3cm of it, with the trees and roofs seeing a new thin layer of snow. No info at time of writing from Kagura but we will update the report later in the day to reflect what they measure.
And there is more snow due today and through into tomorrow as well (though it is not snowing just now as the report is being written).
Very interesting weather at this stage of the season.
The NASPA Ski Garden ski hill is now closed; the small Ipponsugi and Yuzawa Nakazato up next. After that, there's a handful of resorts closing at the end of the day on Sunday. More info below.
Updated: Tuesday 2nd April 2019
* Official snow depths (where available) and resort specific information. * Information checked manually each morning at time of report.
Ski resorts in Yuzawa:
GALA Yuzawa - 250cm (official snow depth) - The Central Area and part of the Northern Area remain open - The lift connections between GALA Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen and Ishiuchi Maruyama are now closed
Iwappara - 90cm (official snow depth) - All areas remain open
And I have another 11cm of fresh snowfall to report from base. What a fine end of March/beginning of April we have been seeing. Can't recall it being often when the official snow depths have increased in April!
Light snow has been falling this morning and the forecast is for mostly cloud/light snow for the day, perhaps clearer skies tomorrow.
Official snow depths:
* Top: 375cm * Base: 240cm
Planned operating lifts - subject to change due to weather:
* Number 1 Gondola * Number 1 pair lift
- Other lifts now closed for the season
Courses & Tree Runs - subject to change due to weather:
* All of the main official courses are available * All tree runs open Read more ...
Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 7:52am
Cloud, blue skies but also...
Good morning from Niseko.
Mostly cloudy, some blue skies, some sun now but some light snow falling in places. We might just get a bit more still.
Here's my look back at March and the season so far...
A look back at the season so far: March 2019
My oh my, it is already April. I probably say this too often but... how the seasons fly by!
As much as spring can be a lot of fun though, I think this year the spring season seems to have been with us for longer than most of us would like. And there’s still over a month of it to go!
If you remember I was only able to measure and record 9cm of fresh snowfall over the last 12 days of February so as we entered March, we were all hoping that we would see a return to more winter-like weather.
Unfortunately, I was not able to add any more cm of fresh snowfall to a report until my report on 12th March. From that day there was a run of five mornings when I could report some fresh snowfall, but even with that the total snowfall for the month of March was standing at just 14cm by 22nd March.
Happily, we got a bit more snow in the last week of the month which helped us ‘save face’ a bit! And put some renewed smiles on faces. In the end, the total for March 2019 was 45cm. (Phew!)
So in the end here is the amount of snowfall that I have measured close to my Hirafu base during the month of March in each of the last seven seasons:
March 2019: 45cm March 2018: 49cm March 2017: 83cm March 2016: 109cm March 2015: 139cm March 2014: 113cm March 2013: 164cm
And here are the 'season up to the end of March' totals over the last seven seasons:
2018/2019 season up to end of March 2019: 945cm 2017/2018 season up to end of March 2018: 1247cm 2016/2017 season up to end of March 2017: 688cm 2015/2016 season up to end of March 2016: 986cm 2014/2015 season up to end of March 2015: 1141cm 2013/2014 season up to end of March 2014: 1150cm 2012/2013 season up to end of March 2013: 1459cm
The total numbers look decent, but that period between mid-February and mid-March was very lacking in fresh snow.
OK, so can we expect any/much more from now or is that it for the season?
In recent years this is how much snow I have been able to observe near Hirafu base from 1st April through until the lifts close at the end of the season:
From 1st April through the end of the season 2018: 13cm From 1st April through the end of the season 2017: 0cm From 1st April through the end of the season 2016: 6cm From 1st April through the end of the season 2015: 3cm From 1st April through the end of the season 2014: 13cm From 1st April through the end of the season 2013: 34cm
So we might get a little if we are lucky - and as always, more likely higher up than at base - but we really cannot expect much. Think of it as a bonus if it happens.
The last piece of data is the snowfall numbers that the Japan Meteorological Agency report from their observation station in Kutchan town. Here is what they have reported for the month of March over the last seven years:
March 2019: ??cm March 2018: 59cm March 2017: 90cm March 2016: 125cm March 2015: 141cm March 2014: 118cm March 2013: 124cm
I will do a full end-of-season report in my last report on or around Monday 6th May, the planned last day of the season.
I mentioned this previously but it was good to see Niseko HANAZONO extend their season from 31st March to 7th April. It goes to show we got decent snowfall in those first three months of the season.
I will be here with you a new report every day until 6th May.
Ski resort operation information: Tuesday 2nd April 2019 Subject to change due to weather conditions
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 250cm - Base: 80cm
Ski lifts operation news: - Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Morino Chair and Country Road closed - Plans to be open until Sunday 7th April Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 8:01am
Blue sky, sun, some cloud
Good morning from Nozawa.
OK so there's another 20cm of fresh snow being reported on the upper slopes of the resort and there's some snow down to base as well which is great to see. What an odd last few days it has been... though no complaints!
The sun is actually out right now but the forecast still says more snow during the day, so perhaps it'll cloud over again and we'll get more fresh. Possibly more through tomorrow morning too. Winter just doesn't seem to want to give up.
Tuesday 2nd April 2019
Fresh snowfall reported by the ski resort (since yesterday morning):
- Yamabiko (1407m): 300cm - Uenotaira (1230m): 230cm - Hikage (660m): no longer reporting - Nagasaka (615m): no longer reporting - Karasawa (563m): no longer reporting
The following lifts are operating:
- Nagasaka Gondola (8:10am - 3:30pm; last one down 3:30pm) - Yamabiko Four (8:30am - 3:20pm) - Yamabiko Number 2 Four (8:25am - 3:30pm) - Uenotaira Four (8:30am - 3:30pm) - Paradise Four (8:00am - 3:40pm
The following courses are open:
- Yamabiko A - Yamabiko B - Yamabiko C - Yamabiko D - Yamabiko E - Kokenoashi - Uenotaira - Paradise - Mizunashi - Bunabayashi - Paraside
The following courses remain available to ski back down:
Notes: - Tsugaike Ropeway is now generally open for spring operations (check for daily operation plans) - Tsuga-no-mori, Han-ko, Han-no-ki and Karamatsu remain open - Most base areas now closed - Tsugaike Kogen plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Notes: - Lifts 2 and 5 are operating - The West Mt area remain part open - Plans to open until 7th April Read more ...
Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 8:29am
It is a sunny morning with a thin layer of cloud above us filtering the sun down. A little chilly at -3c, the temperature will rise up to 0c within a couple of hours and then snow is forecast through the rest of the day. The upper mountain is firm this morning and softens up on the lower part. Still some great skiing on uncrowded slopes. Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 9:03am
Good morning from Urabandai.
3cm of new snow overnight at the base of Grandeco! It is still falling and it will probably be snowing through the day perhaps even quite heavily at times this afternoon. Please be sure that your car has snow tires.
In addition, it is very cold this morning with some wind and fog.
Good snow conditions though!
According to the forecast, snow will fall on and off through tomorrow morning, so I hope to again be able to report another new snow tomorrow morning.
The photos for today are from Nekoma (the first two) and Grandeco.
Nekoma - lift 5/5, course 11/11 open (open until there is enough snow) Grandeco - lift 4/5 include one gondola, course 8/11 open (open until there is enough snow) Minowa - lift 2/3, course 7/11 open (open until April 7th)
Alts Bandai, Urabandai, Inawashiro, Inawashiro resort, Numajiri, Listel, Family Bandai Bandai - already closed for the season Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 9:10am
Fairly fine at the moment
Good morning from Shiga Kogen and... wow, who'd have thought...
Snow yesterday morning and more snow this morning (up to 20cm in places). And with more due from this afternoon after some clearer skies this morning.
Excellent early April conditions!
Shiga Kogen resort info: Tuesday 2nd April 2019
The below information is manually checked for each report. Official snow depth numbers are as reported by the ski resorts themselves.
** Planned closing dates - all subject to change, depending on conditions **
Takamagahara Mammoth Quad lift - until 7th April; 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Tannenomori Okojo 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Ichinose Family Quad and Number 2 pair B - until 6th May
Terakoya 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Ichinose Diamond Yamanokami Number 2 pair - until 7th April Diamond pair and quad - until 7th April; 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Kumanoyu Number 1 pair - until 14th April Number 3 quad - 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May Number 2 pair A line - until 12th May
Yokoteyama / Shibutoge Number 4 pair lift - every Saturday from 1st April Number 1 Sky A and B - until 6th May Number 2 Sky - beyond 6th May Number 3 Sky - beyond 6th May Shibutoge - beyond 6th May
Okushiga Kogen Number 6 pair lift - 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May Number 1 pair lift - until 7th April Number 4 pair lift - until 7th April and then 12th, 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May Number 2 high speed pair - until 6th May Number 3 high speed pair - until 6th May Gondola - until 6th May
Yakebitaiyama Number 2 Gondola - until 7th April Number 4 romance lift - operating when the Number 2 gondola is not operating Number 1 Gondola - until 6th May Number 2 high speed lift - until 6th May Read more ...
Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 9:15am
Sun keeps poking through, but increasing cloud cover
It's been a bit of April Fool weather from yesterday into today: 35 cm of fresh? Not what you'd expect, but it looks like the snow could actually start up again after a sunny start to the morning. The white is nice, after the increasing gray and brown of melting snow walls. The new snow also means that Akakan is back up to 3 meters of snowpack; only two lifts are running, but you can ski all the way down to the base. You should be out skiing today! The season is definitely not over yet....