Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 21st January 2020
Saturday 4th February 2012, 7:32am
Cloudy and snowing
It is currently snowing at about 2cm per hour and should continue with consistent snowfall throughout the day. Yesterday we saw some bright blue skies and sunshine for the majority of the day. It was quite the change from the stormy weather we have been getting. Winds have affected the ski resorts with wind packed crust on many exposed ridges and pistes. But this new dusting will help soften up the terrain everywhere.
This morning the valley temperature is -6.5 C in the valley maintaining the cold trend from this week. Freezing levels are rising over the next couple of days but will remain mild through today. We are expecting a range between -2 C and -4 C with a wind chill making it feel like -11 C. Winds will get up to 4m/s and will run from the WSW, W and NW.
5cm of new snow has been reported on the resorts this morning adding to the great 3m plus base that we have on the resorts throughout the valley. At the moment, visibility is poor and a cloud layer should stick around all day.
The forecast is looking like a warming trend for the next two days which will provide us with some sunshine. There is even a chance of some rain late Monday into Tuesday so fingers crossed we miss out on that particular event. It should be back to snow by late Tuesday and from Wednesday though, as it cools back down and a new weather system makes its way in.
HAKUBA / OTARI BACKCOUNTRY TRAVEL ADVISORY:
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible; Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
Thaw crust will be present on east and south aspects after yesterday's slight warming and strong solar radiation. These crusts will be most prominent at lower elevations and steep southern slopes. Surface hoar and near surface faceting is present on more shaded slopes where radiated heat loss was prevalent during clear skies at night and through the days due to the low temps. Areas lower in elevation that did not receive as much wind as higher elevations and close to water sources in the valley will see greater facet creation.
Today's new snow may collect enough to cause small loose slides later in the day. Stay clear of steep slopes with scouring around ridges and rocky outcrops that might have shallow areas that may be more reactive to skier and rider triggering from the persistent weak faceted melt freeze layer around the January 22nd thaw crust. Cornices have been getting big in the Alpine and at Tree Line and should be avoided. Stay to simple terrain away from steep convex slopes.
This low density surface snow combined with near surface faceting and hoar frost may produce a weak interface with the new snow falling today and continuing through to the weekend.
Expect the avalanche hazard to rise with new snow and wind affect.
There is still the possibility of very large slab avalanches at Tree Line and above. Take due care if traveling in the Hakuba and Otari backcountry.
AVALANCHE DANGER: ALPINE: Considerable TREE LINE: Considerable BELOW TREE LINE: Moderate
Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 4th February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu reported 5cm of new snow on upper slopes and a 1cm on lower slopes. All lifts operating. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 305cm; Toomi - 160cm; Iimori - 140cm.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 reported 5cm of snowfall earlier this morning. All lifts operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 236cm Lower - 130cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Happo No1 pair, Central Pair and Kita One No3 lifts are operating today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 230cm; Sakka - 150cm; Nakiyama - 150cm.
Well it snowed the most overnight last night than any night this past week. Looks like it will be a good day out there mixed with yesterday's snowfall.
It is expected to snow most of the day and for us to get a bit more snow tomorrow. The forecast is looking mixed at the moment. It's a battle between high and low pressure to see which one sticks around and brings us snow or clear skies. It looks like Tuesday could be the best snowfall day of the week.
Please keep in mind that we had a very bad layer form during our "dry spell" and any new snow will have difficulties bonding to it. These are south facing aspects largely. North facing didn't quite get hit with the sun so we may not see that sun crust layer, especially on higher elevation areas.
With a fresh blanket of snow, I expect the resort will be busy. If you get out there early, you will have a better chance at getting the fresh stuff. It's much better to push it earlier in the day and then kick back with an onsen and (insert your favorite alcoholic beverage here). Enjoy the day, stay safe, and have fun.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 365cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko Village: Top - 390cm Bottom - 240cm
Annupuri: Top - 400cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Moiwa base 6am: -9C, 20cm new snow in the last 12 hours. 35cm in the last 24hours. No new development of snowdrifts. Benkei Cape: WNW 8m/s. Kamui Cape: wave 1.3m, pressure 1010hpa. Niseko Annapuri Peak WSW 5.3m/s, temp -15.1C. SnowTransition: With the passing of a small low pressure system snow crystals have continued to fall. Afterf the wind on 3rd Feb, the 2nd Feb layer is expected to be the next significant layer in the snowpack. Snow drift development has been minimal. Snowpack stability is good from the 22nd Jan layer to 2nd Feb layer. Hazard Evaluation: The risk of avalanches must always be considered on south facing cornice slopes. Overall the avalanche risk is low. The snow from this cold low pressure system is subarashii(great!) Caution: It is always possible to trigger an avalanche from deep within the snowpack. Gates: The peak gates are expected to open at 9.30am. Please respect the ski patrols decision. Once you pass through the gates you are not in the ski resort anymore. Please re check the avalanche report before you pass through the gates. Have a safe day.
Today was definitely an improvement and the best day Niseko has seen for snow in a week or so. We saw quite a lot of snowfall today (10+cm) and combined with the snow last night, it made for a soft day here in Niseko. We should get some more snow overnight tonight, but it is uncertain just how much. My guess is not that much since the front mainly existed today.
The winds are currently picking up and it may cause things to be a bit slabby. Tomorrow we will update with the conditions of the wind and how it may have affected the snowpack. Read more ...
Saturday 4th February 2012, 9:32am
Cloudy but bright early on
This morning things have started off fairly bright and even some blue sky remaining earlier on. No new snow to report in any of the resorts around town.
While the sun is still trying to shine through some grey clouds up there as I write this, it does feel like clouds are moving in and indeed that local forecast still tells us to expect some snow today. Probably only light snow, but snow all the same.
Tomorrow still looks like it is the better bet for clearer conditions, though any snow that arrives today might well linger into tomorrow morning. If you get the impression that the forecasts are all being a bit vague right now, you would be correct! Difficult call.
Snow should be great whichever weekend day you choose though.
A look at the different forecasts for Monday doesn't look too good though as there seems to be a good chance of rain, though happily that looks soon to be replaced with snow.
After that lovely day yesterday, we are back to the mountain being covered in cloud this morning. Not quite as cold, but still well below zero, poor visibility and the best news of all being another 10cm or so of fresh snow in the village with more on the mountain. There's a bit of a wind out there as well this morning, but all of the lifts appear to be open and it's business as usual for Zao this weekend.
Looks like a few days of milder temperatures into early next week and tomorrow we might see some clearer skies again. Things should get back down colder again though as we get into mid-week.
Snow conditions for the weekend are great.
Remember the snow festival event over at the Uwanodai area this evening from 7:30pm, might be worth checking out if you are in Zao today.
Official snow depths (4th February 12) Utopia - 260cm Chuo - 210cm Paradise - 250cm Uwanodai - 180cm
Operating lifts (4th February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Saturday 4th February 2012, 9:41am
Very light snow is falling in Myoko this morning; the national weather service has forecast some pretty heavy winds and snow for the day, but so far things are quiet.
Some lift delays for snow clearance; Akakan's No. 5 lift at the top of the Hotel side of the area is delaying its opening while the towers get a good clearing. Otherwise things are pretty normal (just stay clear of those snow-loaded roofs!). It's cold, and there's a nice dusting of new snow on the runs. If the winds come as predicted, there could be some lift closings, so get out early and enjoy some really easy-skiing snow.
3cm of new snow this morning according to the resort with light snow falling. A contrast again from the clear skies we saw for most of yesterday which turned out to be a very fine one. It might be snowing but it's not like the mad snow of recent weeks though and visibility out on the mountain is not bad at all.
Tomorrow and Monday look set to be quite mild, with perhaps fine weather conditions. We may even get some rain on Monday night, hopefully not, but it will soon be followed by temperatures once again dropping and lots of snowfall from around Tuesday onwards.
Lifts currently operating: Lift No3B aside, all lifts look set to open today. Tree run courses open.
That blue sky I spoke of yesterday really opened up and we ended up with a very clear, very blue sky day out there. Great stuff. Hardly a cloud in the sky by mid-afternoon.
This morning there is no new snow to report at either Naeba or Kagura. It's altogether more cloudy this morning though and grey rather than blue. Earlier on there was still some blue sky around but that is covered up now and light snow is forecast for the day actually, so perhaps it is on it's way.
All lifts, gondolas and ropeways are open as normal this morning.
Sun tomorrow and Monday perhaps... it might even RAIN (!) later on Monday as temperatures warm up but thankfully that seems set to not last long as they drop again and we are back to snow from Tuesday. Let's no raining!
For the time being should be a fab weekend with very fine snow conditions. Enjoy!
Resort Operations, 4th February (subject to change) Naeba: All lifts operating. Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom course aside, all courses open. Kagura: Open as normal
What a great day it was yesterday! Wonderful combination of clear blue skies and great snow. Nice.
This morning we are back to clouds and snowfall. Visibility isn't too bad at all actually, but light snow is falling at the moment in, it seems, all areas of Shiga Kogen. Not the kind that will bring many cm - it's more like 'just there'.
Tomorrow and Monday in particular we look due to see milder temperatures before it getting colder once again early in the week bringing with it more decent snowfall from around Tuesday onwards.
Have a fun weekend.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family - Ichinose Diamond - Yakebitaiyama - Kumanoyu
Official resort snow depths as of 4th February 2012 AM:
Snow up high in Minakami but other places have had a bit of sun this morning though the clouds seem to be coming in again now. Not as cold as it has been recently so pretty pleasant in the lower resort but starting to get colder again now that the sun has gone. The snow is still great after the big falls of late but some of it has become a bit heavy due to the sun and you can feel it change as you ski down the hill from top to bottom.
Light snow still dominates the weekly forecast but there are a couple of sunny spells sprinkled in their too. Read more ...
Saturday 4th February 2012, 14:19pm
It's mid-afternoon and a few flakes are flying, but nothing in the way of significant accumulation so far. The snow should pick up throughout the evening, but all in all it should be a rather tame weather event. Things have been fairly dry in Furano recently, and it would be really nice if we could get a big snow event in the next few days. It's currently -9 outside, and after all those -20's we've been seeing over the past few weeks, it feels great outside. Winds are light to non-existent, and should stay relative calm throughout the remainder of the day.
The big news is a slight warming trend next week should bring us out of the freezer that's had it's hold on the area since mid-January. We're still waist-deep in winter, but with highs in the minus single digits, we may finally see some significant snows headed our way. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 4th February 2012, 14:41pm
Light snow early then blue skies now cloud rolling in
Yesterday was the goods as far as ski days go with all the elements coming together there were lots of very happy people rolling down the slopes.
We did not get any snow overnight in Nozawa for a change, which was kind of nice and after a bit of light snow this morning the sun is out once again. Not sure how long it will last though. Forecast is for the next big system to hit starting on Monday night. Though it may start off with some (shhh!) rain in the village as mild temperautes are forecast before they drop down again and hopefully quickly turn to snow down low in the village. Fingers crossed that it's snow from the get-go.
The sun yesterday was a blessing and helped a lot with the snow clearing efforts. Everyone that was not up the mountain was in to it and it is amazing what can be achieved in a day.
A big thank you to all the resort staff, lodges staff and the community as a whole for your efforts. Has been a big extra workload clearing all the snow this season but everyone worked together and greeted the guests with a smile as is always the case in Nozawa.
It should be another great day up the slopes today but a bit busy with the weekend crowd. Quite a lot of fun events ahead in Nozawa during February and March including the Jazz Festival on February 18th and then various festivals thru March, with all this snow it is going to be a great time to be in the mountains.