Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 24th May 2019
Thursday 2nd February 2012, 8:56am
Good morning and it's another snowy one in Yuzawa. There was probably about 25-30cm of snow on top of my car this morning and it continues to fall now. Visibility isn't too good down in town, never mind on the slopes early this morning so it may well be one of those days when it's difficult to see where you're going.
Kagura is reporting 50-60cm of snow and stronger winds up top with Mitsumata to the Kagura No1 pair lift and Tashiro to the No1 quad open there. Some lifts at Naeba are not open as yet though it looks like they intend to be open as normal for a weekday. Other than that, all resorts around town seem to be open as normal. There might be moderate winds up on the slopes today, though they don't seem to be causing problems around town.
We might just be getting towards the end of this prolonged snowy period. Tomorrow looks to be calmer with less snow forecast and we might even get to see some sunny conditions over the weekend. It would be a welcome break from the snow actually, and give locals a bit of a breather as well - or at least time to try and move the snow around.
For those out on the resorts though - snow should be excellent, there's lots of it and lots of it will be untracked. Just take that little bit of extra care in these conditions!
Well this morning we certainly have more snow with about 25cm in the village to report this morning. It's heavy snow and really poor visibility outside this morning. Snow, cloud and fog mean that you really can't see much of anything - a day to take extra care, or as many will likely do, take an onsen! The good thing is that there isn't that much of a wind. Temperatures remain cold this morning it was about -9 degrees when I woke up and isn't whole lot above that now, while it is -14 degrees over at the Paradise slopes.
More snow forecast for tomorrow and Saturday, though it looks like today is the peak and things should be calming down as we approach the weekend and we may even get to see some blue sky! With the snowfall of late, it should be a great weekend for Zao.
Official snow depths (2nd February 12) Utopia - 225cm Chuo - 200cm Paradise - 220cm Uwanodai - 165cm
Operating lifts (2nd February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Thursday 2nd February 2012, 9:36am
Morning. Another 10-20cm or so in Naeba this morning and, you guessed it, it is still snowing. It just isn't letting up. There's a bit of a wind out there especially higher up but apart from the Dragondola which is on standby, most weekday lifts seem to be moving this morning - though some upper courses at Naeba are closed early on. Expect things to change if and when weather permits. The No2 Gondola is moving though.
Over at Kagura they are reporting another impressive 50-60cm of snowfall overnight, but strong winds are messing around with resort operations again unfortunately. From the Mitsumata Ropeway to the Kagura No1 pair lift and from the Tashiro Ropeway to the Tashiro No1 quad lift areas are open this morning.
By most accounts today would seem to be the last of the heavy snow for a while (perhaps?!) with tomorrow and Saturday looking like there's a chance of light snow but always a chance of things clearing up more. Sun and milder temperatures on Sunday? Would make a change, that's for sure! Let's see how it pans out.
Bottom line though - fantastic snow conditions and lots of deep snow to play in.
Resort Operations, 2nd February (subject to change) Naeba: Wind affecting operations top areas not open. Kagura: Only part open due to strong winds.
The mountain has been perfectly groomed today and looks fantastic set against the deep blue sky. If you are into carving on the groomers this is your day. If you have a camera, take it with you as this is one of the best days you could hope for for photos. The temperatures remain very cold and this is keeping the snow in great condition. Read more ...
Thursday 2nd February 2012, 9:42am
After what turned out to be a snowy day yesterday this morning we have.... well, yes, it's still snowing. And the resort this morning is saying there was up to 50cm on the slopes as well. I would say 30-40cm on the cars this morning, but there's generally just a lot. A fairly strong wind is blowing snow about. It's another cold morning at -9 degrees and that's it really. Snow, snow and more snow as it just keeps on falling this wonderful winter.
I think most people would like it to stop now though - at least for a short time - and let us have some nice clear days. It looks like we might get something like that over the weekend as temperatures get milder and a chance of some sun, especially on Sunday.
Lifts currently operating: Lift No3B aside, all lifts look set to open today. Some courses may be closed during the day due to conditions.
Perhaps not as much in terms of cm as we were expecting since yesterday, when it was snowing for most of the day in most areas. I'd say about 20cm or so of new snow perhaps, though some stronger winds were mixing things up and blowing snow around.
It is another very cold morning here and snow continues to fall. Not big flakes, more like little tiny snowflakes coming down and being blown about at some speed. Visibility remains low as most parts of Shiga Kogen completely covered in cloud as the snow keeps on coming.
It does look like this cold front is going to retreat come tomorrow though and we might see a few days of calmer skies, perhaps even some blue sky and some sun over the weekend as well. We'll see how the forecast stacks up come tomorrow with more information for the weekend.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family - Ichinose Diamond
Official resort snow depths as of 2nd February 2012 AM:
A lot of snow and wind overnight and all reports are that the heaviest is yet to come. It's still snowing fairly heavily in mid-morning, but the wind has come down. Those big snow walls keep going up....
It's probably going to be pretty heavy going in the deep areas of the ski areas; the wind packed the snow pretty well during the night. If you're thinking about going into the backcountry, the best word would probably be, don't. It's going to be hard to go up, and most likely a slog coming down, too. Add on a really high probability of avalanches on the slopes steep enough to get any downhill speed on, and it's a real recipe for not good stuff.
Sorry to be negative—the good side is the excellent snowpack that's getting built up—but this is just not your normally unusual snowfall. We've moved into record-book quantities, and things will be more normal shortly. We hope.
So, as I've commented on several times: why are some of the ski areas showing very little or no fresh snowfall in this morning's reports?
What they say is what is official, but trust me: it doesn't take three hours of heavy-equipment snowthrowing to clear 20cm around my house.
Snowing moderately this morning now starting to clear
30 plus centimeters of snow once again overnight in Nozawa. It is just part of the routine now to wake up and clear a foot of snow off everything before the day begins!
Imagine waking up and the grass had grown a foot overnight - it can be hard work but snow is a lot more fun than grass!
Yesterday was pretty harsh conditions up on the mountain. Getting off the gondola at Uenotaira felt a bit like we had arrived at the base camp for a North Pole expedition. If you could get into the valleys and out of the wind and driving snow though it was pretty nice and some fresh tracks to be had on most of the less frequented runs.
The constant snow is also playing havoc with the local train from Nagano to Togari Nozawa Onsen station. It is stopped to clean snow off the lines now but should be back running this afternoon.
The forecast, believe it or not, is for a bit of sunshine amongst the snow showers over the next few days then further ahead into next week the snowatahon should continue...
Well, it has been snowing for all of February so far! Hasn't really eased off at all since the report yesterday and this morning good old Hakuba Cortina contined clocking in the most snowfall with 45cm on the upper slopes and 30cm on lower slopes. Resorts around Hakuba village were, for example, this morning reporting 20-40cm (Goryu) and 25cm (Hakuba 47) of fresh snowfall. As you can see from the numbers below, those snow depths stats have really taken a jump up in the last couple of weeks as we got the heavy snow we were all hoping for.
It's still snowing now, and cold too as the temperatures remains firmly in the negative and only about -6 degrees in the village this early afternoon. Visibility is pretty poor down in the valley, never mind up on the mountains though looking at the webcams from some of the resorts it doesn't look too bad out there - at least you can see where you are going. But snow and cloud it is with a slight to moderate wind at times in places.
When will this snowfall end? For the time being, soon according to local forecasts that tell us that we might even see the sun tomorrow with generally clearer weather conditions over the weekend and things getting milder Saturday to Monday.
Goes without saying with all this new snow some awesome conditions at the moment. Plenty to go around, especially on a weekend - no need to go hunting far to find them. Enjoy and take care.
Official snow depths and operations @ Thursday 2nd February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu reported 40cm of new snow on upper slopes and 20cm on lower slopes earlier this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Alps No2/4 lifts) Official snow depths: Alps daira - 300cm; Toomi - 160cm; Iimori - 140cm.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 reported another 25cm of snowfall this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Line D). Official snow depth: Upper - 275cm Lower - 130cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Usagidaira pair, Happo No1 pair and Central Pair operating today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 220cm; Sakka - 140cm; Nakiyama - 140cm.
Hakuba Cortina: Cortina was reporting 30-45cm of new snowfall overnight and another 10cm this morning. Limited operations today - lifts 4,5 and 7 not moving. Official snow depth: Upper - 385cm Lower - 295cm
Bit of everything today in Minakami with cloud, light snow, a touch of sun and some gusty winds. The temperatures are still down in the minuses and the wind made it feel even colder. The snow is still great though and there was another dusting today to keep things topped up.
The forecast still has Minakami down for some more snow showers into the weekend but it looks as if temperatures are on the rise so this long cold, snowy spell might be drawing to a close. Read more ...
Thursday 2nd February 2012, 19:19pm
Sorry for the late report today.
Yesterday didn't bring us much. It did get a little warm and froze overnight. There is now a pretty strong sun layer affecting most aspects, especially those that face south. Without new snow, these layers will persist to be hard and possibly prove to be an annoyance when it comes to avalanche stability.
Throughout today we have seen pretty high winds and occasional snowfall. There is still some nice snow facing North, but the Niseko area got wind affected in the spots that didn't get hit by the sun. If you look hard enough and hike far enough, you will definitely find some fresh and deep spots. These are few and far between right at the moment but they do exist!
Currently, it is snowing pretty heavily. The winds have died down a little bit. We aren't expecting a ton of snowfall tonight. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday could bring us some snowfall in decent amounts. There is a bit of uncertainty with this forecast as the local weather is displaying no confidence about it. It could mean more or less snow, but snow nonetheless. The good news is cold temperatures are supposed to stick around and any precipitation will be snow without a doubt. Take a few days and explore where you want to go so that when the snow does fall, you will be able to hit everything you want.
The snowfall numbers for Kutchan town for the month of January 2012 ended up being 290cm. That's actually a fair bit less than last year when we saw 420cm for the month, but if you remember our December 2011 was pretty good and easy beat last season. So we are still 'beating' last season overall so far up until now. May February be a snowy one! The target? Last year we got 142cm in Kutchan and so fingers crossed we beat that. Just a bit of fun. As always, remember that the number in Kutchan town does not represent the snowfall on the actual mountain resorts - which is certainly more and might be over half that amount again.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 330cm Bottom - 170cm
Niseko Village: Top - 380cm Bottom - 230cm
Annupuri: Top - 385cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Avalance Report from this morning:
Kutchan Base 6am: -8.2C, Annapuri Peak 17.8m/s temp -16.7C. Wind picked up from yesterday afternoon, peaking at 23m/s. Benkei cape NNE8m/s, Kamui Cape ENE 3m/s, 1006hpa, wave 1.4m. No new snowfall. Significant snowdrifting from strong winds. Hazard Evaluation: From 3.00pm yesterday a strong northerly wind persisted accompanied by rapid, unstable snow drift and cornice development. Coordinates C4, D5( Moiwa Bowl), Mikairi Bowl, F5, E6 (BackBowl), O-sawa cornice are unstable and dangerous. Use caution on steep slopes above 1100m there is potential for a skier triggered shallow hard slab avalanche. Drifting snow has deposited on leeward slopes, beware of a large scale avalanche on these slopes. Most accidents happen in bad weather or shortly after. Gates: Gates 2 & 3 are closed today. Gate 6 is also expected to be closed. Avalanches occur regardless of the amount of snowfall, use caution. Please respect the ski patrols decisions. There have been many cases of people getting lost recently, once you go through the gates you are not in the resort anymore. Please use caution and have a safe day. Read more ...