Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Sunday 7th February 2010, 8:37am
Moderate winds, deep powder, low visibility.
Today is going to be one of the seasons best powder days.
The gondolas are opening this morning leaving approximately half a meter of fresh powder on the upper slopes to be carved up.
The weather for today should see moderate winds from the North-west and improving visibility. So get up and enjoy some amazing powder skiing.
After possibly clear and fine weather tomorow, unfortunately we seem to have a chance of seeing at times heavy rain expected Tuesday-Thursday. So weather conditions might not be great for the rest of the week.
Let's hope that the weather man gets it totally wrong this time!
It snowed about 5cm over the last several hours, but what is really impressive is the sharp warm up we're seeing. The temperature rose from -14 to -3 overnight, bringing us the warmest day we've had in at least a week. With plenty of fresh snow bolstering all the runs (and it is not forecasted to stop for the next few hours yet) and temperatures so mild you can enjoy being on a ski lift without freezing, today is an excellent day to be out on the mountain. It should stay relatively mild throughout the evening hours, with light snow tapering off to flurries and ending in cloudy skies for the remainder of the night. The only complaint one might possibly have about the weather conditions today would be the wind, which has been whipping around rather forcefully since around 5am this morning. Read more ...
Sunday 7th February 2010, 10:44am
The blue skies didn't last yesterday and in the afternoon strong winds and heavy snow fell creating blizzard like conditions all around the resort. The heavy snow passed through fairly quickly though and was followed by a few bands of lighter snow overnight. All up around another 20cm of snow since last report. The strong winds though continued through the night and into today and have caused significant drifting on the upper mountain. Rapid loading of lee slopes is causing extreme avalanche conditions and all gates are expected to remain closed today. Temperatures have warmed considerably in the last 24 hours also, it's still below freezing and currently there it is partly cloudy with occasional snow flurries. The winds appear to be abating a little and more lifts have opened as the morning has progressed. Top lifts around the resort are still on wind hold.
Tomorrow is expected to get quite mild and the temp at village level may even get slightly above freezing. It is the warmest day in the outlook and from Tuesday temps should remain below freezing.
With no gates open and top lifts closed all inbound off-piste areas will get tracked out pretty quickly today. Hopefully the wind will abate and the gates can reopen in the next day or so.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 300 Bottom - 190
Niseko Village: Top - 370 Bottom - 230
Annupuri: Top - 315 Bottom - 210
Niseko Avalanche Info No.54
Moiwa base 6am: -6℃, 20cm of mixed hail and amorphous crystal snow. Coastal data: NNW14m/s at Benkei cape, NNE12m/s, 4.3m waves and 1014hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: NW31.1m/s. The wind at the peak has been stagnating around 30m/s north-westerly since 3pm yesterday. The snowdrift developments are drastic, up to 150cm and still developing in leeward slopes just below the ridgeline around 1000m. However, discontinuous snow layers are present within the newly formed snowdrifts due to the pause in the wind yesterday morning. These suddenly developed snowdrifts above 800m contain many weak lines within the accumulation and could potentially trigger a 60cm thick slide with the slightest stimulation. According to all data evaluations, avalanche hazard is extreme in all Shiribeshi area. All gates will be closed today. Hazardous condition will continue even if the wind calms down. Remain inbounds today.
I would say I have had to move about 40cm of snow from the car since my report yesterday, perhaps a bit more. It is another cold morning but not quite as windy as yesterday and the only Kagura and Naeba seem to be affected in a big way by those conditions... Naeba are going to open the Gondolas if they can but they were not running a little earlier. Over at Kagura, only a part of both Tashiro and Mitsumata are open (Mitsumata to the pair lift at Kagura).
At town level though other than Yuzawa Kogen, places all seem to be open including Gala Yuzawa.
It looks like the snow clouds will start to clear up later on this afternoon and then tomorrow is going to be a fine sunny day. Top conditions it will be as well for those lucky enough to get out there.
Some wild conditions yesterday at Zao and sadly the festival planned for last night was cancelled due to the conditions which was a disappointment.
The juhyo 'ice monsters' will have grown a fair bit over the last few days though which is a good thing.
Things are calmer this morning. We have about 15-20cm more snow to report, probably more but the winds of yesterday were blowing things around pretty wildly, and it is a cold morning but the snow clouds have eased off and it is currently generally cloudy. The trees are laden with snow, monsters growing quickly and very importantly of course excellent snow conditions.
The forecast is saying that things will probably clear up later on today and we might see the sun tomorrow and then a run of milder weather.
We are still in mid-winter mode this morning with snow still coming down and some very cold temperatures and accompanying winds.
It's still a bit wild out there, perhaps not as much as yesterday, but a lot of untouched powder if you're interested. Interested? ;)
Resort operations once again today affected by the conditions with Yokoteyama and Shibutoge and the Terakoya area this morning waiting to open and slower/closed lifts in other resort areas. If the wind dies down there is a chance we will see those areas opening up.
Later on today it will surely calm down and then tomorrow it seems theres a decent chance of fine weather.
No nighta is planned for this evening, I guess because of the weather conditions.
Official resort snow depths as of 7th February 10:
More snow to report this morning as this cold front brings us more goodies from the sky. Kagura is reporting 40-60cm of fresh snow and I would put the same number on how much we have had in the village since the last report. Nice.
The wind is still with us though. Not as crazy as yesterday but still enough to affect whats open.
At Naeba just a short while ago the No 2 Gondola opened but the No 1 remains closed. No 3 and No 5 quads are running along with pairs No 3 and 4 but other lifts either closed or waiting on the conditions to improve right at this moment, so it's limited operations on the mountain again.
Mitsumata Ropeway is open and the resort from there until the No1 pair lift at Kagura. From the Tashiro Ropeway to No 1 Tashiro quad lift is also open.
The forecast has the winds calming down later on today (though probably not in time for the resort to open up) and then a chance of much calmer weather tomorrow - perhaps even sunny.
A great morning with the blue skies and sunshine coming through here in Hakuba. It is going to be a classic powder day out there with accumulations up to approximately 40 cm here in the valley over the past few days.
All resorts will have fantastic conditions today, powder packed powder, and soft groomers.
The forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies and some sun as well for tomorrow. Get out there and enjoy it!
Avalanche info (as yesterday):
Due to heavy snowfall in the past few days and recent overnight winds the Hakuba mountains are growing more unstable by the hour. Temperatures are cooling and winds at ridge top are Strong to Extreme from the North West hence intense loading on lee slopes as well as cross loading occurring. Increased snow loading adding stress to weak layer at 100128 MFcr (Melt-freeze crust). Probable laminate wind slabs in HST (storm snow) resulting in surface avalanches as well as possible deep slabs sliding on the Melt-freeze crust.
100205, 1245, 1800m, NE aspect Happo; Ochikura, 35 degree slope angle, SB (snowboard) triggered Slab, size 2.5 avalanche, 80cm - 150cm Crown, 50 m propagation, 200m length, MFcr bed surface
Multiple Natural Slab avalanches, size 2 - 3, N & NE aspects in Happo Alpine and treeline area.
Travel not recommended at tree line and above due to High avalanche risk because of High winds and heavy snowfall adding rapid loading on weak buried MFcr (all aspects), creation of cornices and intense wind loading on lee slopes (S & SE aspect). Stay Below treeline on low angle slopes / simple terrain. However; Slope angles less than 30 degrees will be difficult to navigate due to deep snow and therefore travel will be slow and time exposed to possible hazards will increase. Caution is needed in these deep snow areas as if you fall you may not be able to get yourself out especially terrain trap areas like deep gullies and tree wells. Due caution on windward aspects due to creation of wind slab.
It is advisable to enjoy the great powder snow in bounds and stay out of ‘Out Of Bounds’ areas and the back country all together.
Alpine: High Tree Line: High Below Tree Line: Considerable
This afternoon things cleared up somewhat and it got much brighter after the wilder weather of the last few days. Tomorrow looks like it should be a sunny day so people able to get out there will be in for a real tread.
Last night there was an avalanche in an area of Shiga Kogen - a 30m wide section of snow slid down the mountain-side and covered some cars parked in a car park and it also pushed a coach bus into part of a hotel. Luckily there was no-one in the cars at the time and only a few slight injuries in the hotel apparently. Got to remember the force of the snow when things like this happen. Tomorrow with temperatures suddenly forecast to rise once again, we need to keep this in mind.
Official resort snow depths as of 7th February 10: