Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 20th February 2019
Sunday 3rd January 2016, 8:26am
Mostly clear blue skies and sunny
Morning from Yuzawa.
Sometimes when the forecast is for cloud all day, it turns out to be a beautiful clear day. This morning is starting off with some lovely almost clear skies over the region and the sun is out bright and early. Looks like there's quite a lot of cloud hanging around to the north of here - similar to how things were for lots of yesterday really - and it may well cloud over later on in the day, but for the moment it's a sunny start.
And as expected it's not particularly cold either, to say the least. Temperatures did not drop below zero overnight in town and right now it's about 4C. A high of about 8 or 9 degrees is expected later on today... and tomorrow. That is not good as of course with such warmth there's going to be snow melt and we don't have enough to allow that!
Last night on the news they were talking about how this winter has been warmer than usual so far (generally for Japan) and mentioning how in some areas of the country today temperatures are going to be more like what we expect in late March rather than in early January.
They did also mention though how it should be getting colder again around mid-week with snow now expected here around Thursday. Unfortunately before then we might not escape a bit of rain later in the day tomorrow.
So we will have to play in the snow that we currently have for the moment. As has been the case these last few days, all resorts in the region are now open with most course areas also open now. There are some exceptions, those mostly being steeper slopes that need deeper snow conditions to open.
Today should be rather busy again at the popular resorts but it is the last day of the New Year holidays for lots of people and so this afternoon in particular we should see crowds getting less.
And then tomorrow may be somewhat like a normal Monday.
Have a fun day and see you tomorrow.
Resort operations (Sunday 3rd January 2016) - subject to change:
Now that everywhere is open, from Monday we'll be bringing you official snow depths at resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
Resorts in Yuzawa:
GALA Yuzawa The Central Area and most of the North Area are now open. The downhill Falcon course is also open.
Sorry, I don't have that 20cm to report to you, as it's another modest delivery of 5cm this morning since my last report.
Still, 5cm is better than 0cm. And Hokkaido regions do seem to be doing considerably better than many regions of Honshu this winter so far. It doesn't make me happy to hear of other regions struggling with snow - we all know what it's like and the more snow the better in all Japan if you ask me. Here's hoping that we all get our fair share for the remainder of the (long) season!
Anyway back to the details. Yesterday felt a bit odd in some ways. At times it was snowing quite heavily though it remained relatively mild and so the snow falling was not top quality and somewhat wetter than we are used to.
There are no major wind issues this morning affecting lifts with them all moving as planned early on.
It's currently cloudy and overcast with the earlier snow now eased off, and it might just end up being a generally cloudy day and not too cold again. Having said that, it should stay just below zero through the day.
We are expecting the snow to return overnight tonight and the forecast still has snow at times every day through until at least the end of the week.
Resort specific news/notes at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6am: -3℃, no snowfall and calm. Moiwa 800m: -5℃, W8m/s, no snowfall and light development of wind snowdrifts. 1000m: W10m/s, Annupuri 1150m: W12m/s. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW12m/s, Kamui cape W11m/s, 1012hPa, 2.2m waves.
Although no snow-clouds can be observed over the Sea of Japan, a moderate westerly wind is persisting in higher elevation. New snowfall is almost non-existent, but the wind has moderately reset the slopes around 800m. Sasa-bamboo and bushes are still thick below 500m, making route finding difficult. Gates 4, 5, 6 and 10 will open. Gate 11, Mizuno no sawa, is scheduled to open tomorrow. Please follow the patrol’s instructions.
Do not enter strictly off-limits areas (Haru no taki & Yu no sawa) to seek fresh tracks or duck any ropes to step out of bounds. The freedom to ride the out of bounds area in Niseko can only be maintained by having everyone respect the Rules.
There’s been many reports of inbounds collision injuries. Always keep an eye around you and ride within your limits. Your safety is our number one concern. Have a nice day.
Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 3rd January 2016:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 240cm Base - 100cm
Niseko Village: Top - 185cm Base - 100cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 130cm Base - 100cm
Lifts planned to be open for night skiing:
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift (There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)
Yesterday wind was preventing some areas to be open and this morning I'm afraid it's still a factor.
At the time of writing, Happo-one is closed due to the wind and one of the top lifts at Tsugaike Kogen affected. For the moment it seems that other resorts that plan to be open are up and running. One way or another, nature isn't being too kind to us this season so far...
This morning apart from that wind on mountain, there's lots of blue sky above Hakuba. There's still a fair bit of cloud here and there, but generally it is fine and sunny.
Conditions out there will probably be a bit icy early on, but as it is expected to warm up this afternoon they should quickly soften up.
Speaking of warming up, down here in the village the forecast is for a high temperature of +9C degrees this afternoon and indeed tomorrow as well. Obviously that is way too high (and we demand temperatures to drop!) Tuesday looks to be the time we can expect colder conditions and fingers crossed it will be snowing as well then. After that there's some snow on and off forecast for later in the week especially higher up so let's keep an expectant eye on that forecast and hope for the best.
Today is the last day of the New Year holidays for lots of folk and so while it will probably be busy again this morning (especially with Happo-one closed), many people will probably start making their way back this afternoon leaving the slopes a bit quieter.
Sounds like it is windy up there this morning. Do take care. And try to make the most of what we have!
Resort news as of 8:50am on Sunday 3rd January 2015 (all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All courses apart from Route 7 officially open. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth Upper: 110cm Base: 10cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Upper areas, the main Toomi course and the Soft Cream course in the Iimori area are planned to be open. The upper-lower connecting Champion Dynamic and Woody courses are unfortunately closed again due to the snow conditions. New Year nighta on Toomi until tonight. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift - on hold Alps Number 2/4 pair lift - on hold Alps Number 3 pair lift - on hold Toomi Sky Four lift Toomi Number 1 pair lift Toomi Number 2 pair lift Milky Four lift Official snow depth Alps: 125cm Toomi: 40cm Iimori: 35cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline, Kita One and Riesen Slalom areas are planned to be open with lower course areas still closed. However, this morning strong winds mean that all lifts at Happo-one are on hold at the time of writing. Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Alpen quad lift Usagidaira pair lift Happo Riesen quad Nakiyama Number 3 triple Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kurobishi Number 3 pair lift Skyline Number 2 pair lift Kokusai Number 1 lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Kita One quad lift Kita One Number 3 pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 80cm Nakiyama: 30cm Sakka: 30cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina reporting 0cm of fresh snow. Courses open - Ikenota, Ikenota Forest (upper), Mt Hieda Forest, Mt Hieda 1 (lower), Itadaira, Itadaira Forest, Ipponmatsu. Planned lifts: Number 1 pair lift Number 2 quad lift Number 4 pair lift Number 5 pair lift Number 6 pair lift Official snow depth Top: 100cm Base: 60cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Large sections of Tsugaike Kogen are now at least part open. Planned lifts: Most lifts now operating at Tsugaike Kogen. The top Tsuga Number 1 pair lift is on hold early on due to strong winds. Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 125cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Limited areas of the Mountain Side (North and East courses) are currently open. Planned lifts: Noah Gondola 3Sen North 4Sen Line East 5Sen South Line Lift Official snow depth Upper: 70cm Lower: 20cm
Good morning from Nozawa on this fine spring morning. Oh wait, it's early January?! ...kind of feeling.
As the forecasts told us, it's a mild start to the day and the sun is shining with lots of blue sky above us. A feel good day at most times, but as has been said quite a bit so far already this season we just need cold blizzard conditions rather than more sun and warmth.
It's going to warm up to maybe 7C today and possibly a bit higher still during the day tomorrow.
Clouds are expected tomorrow and they might bring with them a bit of rain later on in the day before hopefully turning into snow on Tuesday. It should at least be snowing on upper areas of the mountain anyway. There is more lined up for later in the week as well along with colder conditions so there's some hope there.
For the moment, try to forget it's early January and think of it as spring. It makes it easier!
Last day of the New Year holidays for most people today, back to fun Mondays from tomorrow!
Official info at time of writing on Sunday 3rd January 2016 (subject to change):
It's a bit wet this morning and feels more like spring...
Unfortunately we had rainfall and sleet yesterday evening and through the night. Amazingly, there was 10cm of snow at the top of the resort, though nothing new at base. Conditions are quite wet and soft this morning.
This morning it is sleet and wet snow conditions at base and occasionally snow higher up.
There is usually never any positive number temperatures in the Ura Bandai area in January, and the four lakes in the area usually freeze over in Winter but it has not happened (yet) this year. There's no snow on the roads this morning.
It's not the most exciting of conditions reports, I am afraid.
Rainbow 3500, Mint B-a, Mint B-c, Center, Lavender D-b, Basil are open - other advance courses are still closed, with the resort hoping to open them after next big snow fall.
When will that be? Well once we pass these few days of warmer conditions, there is a good chance of snow around Tuesday and then later in the week as well. So it should be with us. Let's hope lots of it.
Gondola Number 1 quad Number 2 quad Number 3 quad
(A-a) Rainbow 3500 (A-b) Rainbow 3500 (A-c) Rainbow 3500 (B-a) Mint (B-c) Mint (C) Center (D-b) Lavender (F) Basil
Welcome to our new ‘Grandeco Now' reports, exclusive to SnowJapan.
As with all our Now daily reports, it extremely important to us that the information we publish is useful, honest and correct and we’ll be doing everything we can to bring you some good info from this region. Grandeco is located in Kita Shiobara village in the north western region of Fukushima Prefecture - we are very pleased to be able to begin reporting from this region of Japan. More information on Grandeco can be found here and a Resort Spotlight on SnowJapan here. Read more ...
Sunday 3rd January 2016, 9:23am
I know it's not exactly what you want to hear, but it's a lovely mild sunny morning here in Madarao.
For those of you who may want more fresh snow to slide on, after the relative warmth of today and tomorrow (high of about 7C?), from Tuesday it is forecast to start getting colder again. It may be borderline rain at first but let's hope snow by the end of that day. There's something brewing towards the end of the week as well which looks promising.
In the meantime, almost spring-like feel to things this morning which is not something that I expect to be saying during the New Year holidays.
From tomorrow most people are starting to get back to their normal routines after the New Year, so things should be quieter and it's usually a very good time of the year to be here.
Snow/sleet/rain at times yesterday, it was borderline stuff, and this morning it's just cloudy though looks like limited visibility on the mountain.
As with many regions of Japan today, it's unseasonably mild. In that respect I suppose we can be happy that it isn't raining for the moment... though it may be later. Very hopefully turning into snow but the temperatures are set to be mild at least until the end of tomorrow.
Back to something more like cold from Tuesday. And a decent chance of snowfall as well.
Information as of Sunday 3rd January 2016 (subject to change)
Most of the lifts at Zao Onsen are now operating. Most areas of Zao Onsen are now (at least part) open. The areas that remain closed are Ryuzan, Omori and Kotan.
It is a beautiful morning in Shiga Kogen. Lovely. Blue skies. It almost feels like a lovely spring morning.
But here was are on 3rd January talking about spring. Actually it was on the national news last night about how some areas of Japan today (not here, hopefully!) will be experiencing late March/early April like temperatures. Yikes.
Tomorrow is also expected to be relatively mild here.
I do have good news though and promise of snow.
From Tuesday, we're expecting a drop in temperatures and they should continue through until at least the weekend. Something more like what we expect for this time of the year. Most importantly, snow is forecast for Tuesday and then in greater quantities on Thursday and Friday. Could it be the dump we are all waiting for? That would be good.
I will of course keep you informed.
For now though we're still running on low. Be creative and find your fun! ;)
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Sunday 3rd January 2016):
All lifts are running at Tenjin though the Gelende to the base is still not and four lifts are running at Hodaigi.
Spring weather here again just now and a repeat of yesterday by the looks of it with temps forecast at double digits in town. +2C reported on Tenjindaira at 8am, little to no wind and the base up top is shrinking albeit slowly.
The high temps of late are set to drop below zero on Tuesday (on the mountain) and snow is forecast for Tuesday night. Fingers crossed for some cold Winter weather though the rays are pretty nice too.
All snow resorts in Minakami are now at least part open:
Some lucky folk getting up on the mountain early today with the First Tracks programme. They might not have been treated to lots of fresh deep snow but they were certainly treated to some fine weather conditions.
Almost too fine really as it has been an almost spring-like day today. After a chilly start it warmed up and... well yes, it's just unseasonably warm. We are expecting more of that tomorrow as well though later in the day it might rain or hopefully snow. Tuesday looks set to be colder and bring with it some snowfall.
The end of the coming week is looking promising for fresh snowfall. Thursday onwards on the latest forecast has good potential - keen an eye on that.
Today is the last day of the New Year holidays for many and with many making their way back home, it has not been as busy today.
Naeba has announced that the planned "all night" on 9th January won't be taking place as planned.