Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 5th May 2018
Friday 2nd February 2018, 7:22am
If you step outside right now you will probably notice that cold has been taken to a new level. It is a dry cold, -18c in the resort, but with that comes perfectly clear skies and the sun has risen and beaming warmth through the windows.There is no new snow to report but with these cold temperatures we are getting the slopes are in great condition. We may get some cloud coming in afternoon so best to take a few pics in the morning while the view is unobscured. The next significant snow isn't forecast until Monday. Todays photo was taken just after lunch yesterday...it wasn't a particularly busy day. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 2nd February 2018, 7:24am
Morning from Nozawa.
Early report today - I'm off to Nagano city this morning.
Just a small amount of snowfall to report with the resort reporting up to 5cm on upper slopes, and it looks like it will be a fine morning.
Sunny skies are expected tomorrow too, with a return to snowfall from Sunday and into early week.
It should be a good morning!
Friday 2nd February 2018
Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):
Yesterday saw good weather after a cloudy start with blue skies from mid-morning.
I actually ventured over to the mellower terrain of Kagura which was still great up top but it's a lot easier to run in the snow at Tenjin and by day end, the mountain was in need of a reset by all reports.
Fortunately snow started falling down to village level yesterday evening. It snowballs a little easier than normal here at my place and we've had about 7cm on the car park here near the base of Tenjin. Tenjindaira ski resort will publish the data from up top shortly and anything over 15cm will mean a good day on the hill.
The weather here is overcast, safely below zero at the base and the forecast and the sky looks as though we'll be getting light snow today. No wind overnight which is noteworthy.
Potential for some clear weather Saturday morning but generally an overcast and light snow weekend before the next storm cycle begins in earnest Sunday night and runs solidly through Wednesday morning.
Up on mountain, no visibility due to fog but snow is soft, about 75% reset...
Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Friday 2nd February 2018, 7:38am
Clear, blue skies, sunny
Good morning from Appi.
Beautiful clear skies and sunshine this morning.
APPI's weather fairy recommends: Bring your goggles and don't forget the sunscreen.
The forecast is looking positive for fresh snow by the end of tomorrow and through into next week so the slopes should be getting a regular reset.
The 5cm on the report today is from yesterday.
Planned lift operations (subject to change):
- APPI Gondola - Central quad - Central number 2 lift - Central number 3 lift A - Central number 5 lift - Central number 6 lift - Sailer quad - Nishimori lift
Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays
Yesterday remained cloudy for the day, getting a bit brighter at times but never really clearing up.
And there was some snowfall overnight too. Kagura and Maiko Snow Resort are this morning reporting 5cm across their areas overnight. I am measuring 4cm on the ground.
It's a very cloudy start to the day but there are early signs of some blue sky appearing and probably a good chance that it will clear up more than it did yesterday. Maybe even be sunny. Let's see.
Expect sunshine tomorrow morning to be followed by a return to snowfall by Sunday.
We thought it would be a good time to look over the season so far and see how the Yuzawa 2017/2018 season is shaping up compared with previous recent seasons.
The numbers I am mentioning here can all be found at the bottom of the Yuzawa Now report and they are on all the archive reports too. More comparisons and graphs can also be found by looking at the ‘Snowfall Analysis’ page. Click on the blue tab at the top of this page to see that.
And please remember, these numbers come from base and there is usually more - sometimes much more - snow falling at higher elevations.
This is the amount of snowfall that we have observed here at town level in Yuzawa over the past six seasons:
December 2017: 277cm December 2016: 144cm December 2015: 92cm December 2014: 559cm December 2013: 131cm December 2012: 217cm
December 2017 was pretty good, with much more than in the slow-starting two previous seasons. It’s going to take a very special year to beat the somewhat crazy December 2014 though!
January 2018: 392cm January 2017: 470cm January 2016: 143cm January 2015: 420cm January 2014: 297cm January 2013: 254cm
We had a rather dry (and unfortunately sometimes wet!) spell in the middle part of January 2018. There were stretches of no snowfall - or only very slight snowfall - on either side of the 23cm that was recorded on the 14th January.
Some regular and at times heavy snowfall in the last week of January really rescued the numbers for the month though, and we enjoyed some pleasing Yuzawa-like snowfall around 25th-26th January. The end result was a decent showing for the months total with close on 4m of snowfall.
17/18 season total observed snowfall until the end of January 2018: 683cm 16/17 season total observed snowfall until the end of January 2018: 883cm 15/16 season total observed snowfall until the end of January 2018: 386cm 14/15 season total observed snowfall until the end of January 2018: 1207cm 13/14 season total observed snowfall until the end of January 2018: 637cm 12/13 season total observed snowfall until the end of January 2018: 717cm
So up until the end of January 2018, our Yuzawa Now reports have observed just under 7m of snowfall for the season so far. That is not as much as last season at the same point (or that rather special 2014/2015 season), but it is certainly more than 2015/2016 and a comparable amount with what we observed during the 2013/2014 and 2012/2013 seasons.
Looking ahead, what can we expect from February? Over the last 5 seasons we have recorded between 151cm and 267cm; that averages out at 217cm.
February 2017: 267cm February 2016: 151cm February 2015: 228cm February 2014: 204cm February 2013: 238cm
We’ll have to see how this middle part of the season shapes up. Like last season or more would be good!
Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC exit (Route 17).
Updated: Friday 2nd February 2018
Ski resorts in Yuzawa:
Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.
There is no fresh snow to report this morning. Boo!
But, it is extremely cold and we have beautiful blue skies early on. Hurray!
I love mornings like this. Not only does it make my report easier, but I love enjoying the scenery as well as the snow. We don't get too many days like this, so it's good to get out and enjoy them when we do.
Fresh snow is not far away and should be back falling by the end of tomorrow.
I feel confident that everywhere should be opening as normal this morning so an early report, but here is something that I prepared yesterday...
A look back at the season so far: January 2018
It is once again time for me to look back at the season so far and see how Niseko has been doing. And as always before I start, I would like to remind you that all the numbers from my reports are available at any time on each of the archived Niseko Now reports. They are linked below ? and all data relative to the particular report. You can also click on that big blue ‘Snowfall Analysis’ tab at the top of this page for some highly interesting data and graphs that you can play around with. There’s a lot of information to take it in so make some coffee, prepare some oishii toast and let’s playing.
Anyway... January 2018.
Here’s the snowfall that I have measured myself here near the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu over the last six seasons over the month of January:
January 2018: 305cm January 2017: 152cm January 2016: 303cm January 2015: 257cm January 2014: 461cm January 2013: 443cm
So I observed just over 3m of snowfall at base in January 2018. Not bad at all. That is double last year (which was a bit rubbish) and about on par with other recent years.
Looking beyond the number for the month, it is worth pointing out that over half of that 3m was reported over the last 7 reports of the month. And if you check back to my report from 21st January, up until that report I had observed just 118cm of snowfall for the month.
After a rather disappointing start to the month in terms of how much fresh snow we got, we did get fairly regular snowfall over those first three weeks.
And there were only five reports/days during the month of January when I was unable to report any new cm of fresh snow. Which points to nice consistent snowfall.
But until that last week of January, they were fairly low numbers being reported and I was only able to report more than 10cm of fresh snowfall on two days.
For the full picture and a read on the emotions through the month, please read through the archived reports.
Some more numbers...
Observed snowfall at base for the season up until the end of January:
17/18 season total up until the end of January 2018: 899cm 16/17 season total up until the end of January 2017: 445cm (about 65% of the season total) 15/16 season total up until the end of January 2016: 611cm (about 62% of the season total) 14/15 season total up until the end of January 2015: 806cm (about 70% of the season total) 13/14 season total up until the end of January 2014: 859cm (about 74% of the season total) 12/13 season total up until the end of January 2013: 979cm (about 66% of the season total)
Those numbers are looking good too - 9m. Take that, most other ski resorts!
899cm is slightly over double the amount of observed snowfall reported by the same point last season - certainly not the best yardstick to compare to - and more than the most recent four seasons, which I think is a more meaningful comparison.
I would say that January has been good - especially this last week - though not quite as lofty as that extremely consistent first chunk of the season.
And as you can see, up until the end of January, we have usually observed between 62% and 74% of the total observed snowfall for the entire season. At base. That averages out at about 67%.
What to expect from the month of February
Here’s how much snowfall I have recorded in the month of February over the last 5 seasons. The numbers in brackets show the total snowfall observed up until the end of February in each season.
February 2017: 160cm (605cm) February 2016: 266cm (877cm) February 2015: 196cm (1002cm) February 2014: 178cm (1037cm) February 2013: 316cm (1295 cm)
So, over the last five seasons in February I have observed between 160cm and 316cm of snowfall.
I found it interesting to be reminded that February last year was pretty good.
Let me once again stress that my observed snowfall numbers are from base area and you can expect there to be anywhere between 25-50% more than that up on the mountain. Ask 10 different locals and they’ll probably give you a differing opinion on that. I find that folk who have something to sell usually trend towards the larger numbers! ;)
Bottom line: more snow higher up, as you might reasonably expect.
Finally, here is the data that the Japan Meteorological Agency report from their observation station in Kutchan town:
January 2018: 259cm January 2017: 160cm January 2016: 258cm January 2015: 230cm January 2014: 317cm January 2013: 268cm
17/18 season total up until the end of January 2017: 752cm 16/17 season total up until the end of January 2016: 568cm 15/16 season total up until the end of January 2015: 488cm 14/15 season total up until the end of January 2014: 658cm 13/14 season total up until the end of January 2013: 674cm 12/13 season total up until the end of January 2012: 672cm
Here's to a very snowy February.
The Chinese New Year holidays are coming up. Niseko will be busy. Regular fresh snowfall required. Fingers crossed we get it.
Someone sent in a very kind “thank you” message a few days ago. They said that now they have returned home after visiting Niseko, they are done with the Niseko Now reports until next year. Naughty!! I’ll be with you every day right through until the last lifts stop in early May, so you jolly well need to be checking my reports every day without fail. OK?
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 5am: -14℃, no snowfall, calm. Moiwa800m: -17.5℃, light breeze, no snowfall. Annupuri1150m: mild breeze, -12℃, no snowfall. Hirafu1250m: mild wind, -16℃, no snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape no wind, Kamui cape: S5m/s, 1029hPa, 0.9m waves.
The winter pressure pattern has passed, isobars are spread out, the mountains and the seas are in a calm condition. No new snow has fallen and the slopes are mostly tracked out. The overall avalanche risk is low and all gates are expected to open from the morning. Be well prepared for the backcountry, anybody can step out of the gates, however carelessly following other people’s track could make you astray or end up in a dangerous situation.
South facing strictly off-limits areas such as Haru no Taki zone is being affected by the sun and dangerous slabs are drastically forming. Riding stimulations could trigger a large slide. Strictly off-limits areas are closed for good reasons. Please respect the boundaries.
The large temperature difference during the day will form a notable surface hoar layer, leading Feb 1st-2nd layer become a weak layer in the future snowpack. Surface slab slides from Jan 25th layer are still to be expected in highly wind-loaded steep slopes above 1200m. Better avoid concave terrains in Chisenupuri and Mt Yotei.
The snow is still deep, but a little denser, good conditions continues. Beware of sudden weather changes. Have a nice day.
Friday 2nd February 2018
Resort specific information (operations subject to change):
Lifts scheduled to be operating: - All lifts apart from the Country Road Chair lift should be operating - 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola) - on February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.
Official snow depth: - Top: 360cm - Base: 240cm
Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:
Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):
* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair * Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift * Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair Read more ...
Friday 2nd February 2018, 8:11am
Good morning from Madarao.
Some early cloud this morning but blue sky too and the feeling that the sun is going to win through today. And perhaps tomorrow too.
You want the next fresh snowfall? Looking like that'll be around Sunday.
It's keeping pretty cold so conditions should be good this morning. I know where I'm heading!
Official snow depth: 230cm
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A lift Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift
Powder Wave I Powder Wave II River Line Free Ride Park Powder Theater Adventure Aisle Crystal Bowl Ninja Sawa Rabbit Kamoshika Bear
Planned nighta operations this season:
Every Saturday until 24th March 2018 11th February 2018 Read more ...
Friday 2nd February 2018, 8:14am
Good morning from Grandeco.
Snow has fallen every night from 21 January, but it didn't last night for a change so no fresh to report this morning.
There is enough snow to enjoy all the courses course and the conditions should be excellent powder snow. And not that many people around either.
According to the forecast, the next snowfall will be from Saturday night.
Another day with the thinnest possible dusting of snow on the cars outside. The sun is out to the east, while to the west it’s pretty dark and gray over the mountains, with fog down to about the top lifts (maybe snowing up there?).
Yesterday it was sunny for those climbing to the peaks, while it was gray and foggy down low—pea soupy even around 9:30.
In the backcountry, the snow is stable and settled and pretty well tracked out in the popular areas. It was getting sun crusted down low at the end of the day; that sun is hitting it right now so the conditions will be less delightful than a few days ago (we are waiting for that coming refill of fresh snow!). When the snow does come back, though, be careful about snow hiding glide cracks (where the snowpack has split and is sliding slowly down the hill, particularly on east-facing slopes). A few people did get caught in the last round of heavy snow.
Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!
Hakuba Happo-one Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen
Hakuba Goryu Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen
Hakuba Cortina Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays) Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen
Tsugaike Kogen Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 10th March Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen
There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region Read more ...
Geto Kogen Now!
Friday 2nd February 2018, 8:32am
Mainly clear skies yesterday with calm skies, and more of the same expected today. Little to no winds with tops of -2C and bluebird skies to bring us into the weekend.
We’ve almost used up most of the fresh snow we have on the mountain in the past week, but there’s still some light and fluffy stuff on the sides of the runs to enjoy. All runs will be groomed, so enjoy the groomers and ride up the sides of the runs if you want to find the good stuff, or of course head for the trees.
All tree run zones are open: Summit, Beech, Rabbit, Stream & Shooter, though keep in mind Shooter is a fair hike away from the 2nd Gondola.
The Main Gondola will hopefully be back in action from tomorrow according to the resort, so we won’t have “hiking” on the daily agenda for much longer.
Get out there and enjoy it — we won’t be having another clear bluebird like this one for a little while by the looks of things.
Saturday: partly cloudy, snow showers, light winds, tops of 1C Sunday: light snow, light winds, tops of -2C Monday: light snow, light winds, tops of -5C
Official snow depths:
Top: 460cm Base: 320cm
Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018 Read more ...
Friday 2nd February 2018, 8:36am
Good morning from Naeba! It's a clear start this morning, with blue skies and 5cm of fresh snow dusted over the valley. The pistes are well groomed and fresh, still with pockets of powder to find from the recent snow storms. The air temperature is a frosty -6°C, but in the sun it feels pleasant. There is no wind to speak of in the valley. For the remainder of the day, we should expect the clear skies to continue, perhaps with some cloud drifted around the valley later on today.
Looking forwards, tomorrow is likely to be similar to today, but without the fresh snow overnight. Sunday is when the next snow system really kicks off, with light snow starting in the afternoon, moving onto heavy snow overnight. Moderate snowfall is to be expected for the following few days until Wednesday. Temperatures will likely be around 0°C, occasionally drifted above this during the day time. This is until Sunday night, when the temperature is expected to drop, with highs on Monday night of around -7°C. On Tuesday, the cooler temperatures will continue. There is little wind forecast for most of the week.
Some very light snow is falling right now (here in Hasuike), but at the same time... there is lots of clear sky and sunshine and generally the clearer conditions are winning out. It's always odd - and very pretty - to see snow lazily falling when the sun is out!
There is a good chance of clearer skies and sunshine tomorrow as well though the chance of some light snow will be not far away.
The next decent snow looks set to move in over Shiga Kogen by the end of the weekend and over the first few days of the coming week.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.