Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 18th May 2019
Wednesday 8th February 2012, 7:50am
It should be a bit windy and cold today so not exactly the most ideal for carousing around the resort. I would probably say today would be a good one to take off unless we get substantial snowfall today. We are supposed to get snow, but not a whole lot until tomorrow.
Friday is expected to be the most potential for snow. Until then we are expecting mostly cloudy weather with intermittent snowfall. It doesn't look like there is a lot of force behind it to add it up to much. Where it has been warm the last few days, the snow will become harder when it re-freezes. So we won't quite see the powder snow until it falls from the sky again (or you know where to look/hike). There's definitely still some good snow out there but in much higher elevations.
Avalanche safety will be a bit sketchy, dodgy or any other word that ends in y which tells us a certain level of uncertainty. The heavy snow seems to be forming slabs and hasn't quite had time to settle. I would advise caution if you are going into the backcountry and check all available resources to test stability.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 380cm Bottom - 210cm
Niseko Village: Top - 400cm Bottom - 240cm
Annupuri: Top - 410cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base 6am: -1â„ƒ, 20cm of wet broken snow crystals in the last 12 hours, 40cm in the last 24 hours. Benkei Cape WNW 18m/s, Kamui Cape wave 2.3m, pressure 995 hpa, Annapuri Peak WNW 13.5m/s temp -17.0â„ƒ. Snowfall: From 4pm yesterday with the passing of low pressure system a NW wind and snowfall has increased. In the Niseko area the snow clouds are not heavy. Above 800m elevation moist heavy snow drifts are developing rapidly on SE slopes. Snow Pit Data: Above the 6th Feb layer is a layer of low pressure snow crystals followed by heavy snowdrifting today. Above 800m, 80cm snow drift development on leeward slopes. Between 4th Feb and 22 Jan layers,both frost type layers, the snow is compacted and stabilised. Above the 6th Feb, a snowdrift(wind slab) layer has not stabised yet. Hazard Evaluation: The risk of fracture on leeward slopes above 700m elevation is HIGH due to the rapid snow drift development we are experiencing. Scale: Coordinates C4-D5(Moiwa-Mikaeri), E6-F5(Back Bowl & O-Sawa), H8(Higashi One 1000m elevation cornice face), the predicted fracture depth is 60cm - 80cm. Caution: It is easy to propagate an avalanche at times of rapid snow drift development. Independent of elevation, cornice faces, knolls, lift lines are all typical fracture zones. Do not ski those areas. One set of tracks into these areas can cause others to follow, increasing the chance of an accident. Do not duck ropes. The snow in the trees is good, but heavy. Gates: Peak gates are expected to closed today. Please respect the ski patrols decision. Most accidents occur during or just after a storm. Have a safe day.
It was a bit warmer today than expected, but the temps have recently started plummeting. The wind died down in the latter half of the afternoon and was matched with a lot of snow coming down. The snow we do have has been made a bit heavier by the warmer temps. However, the snow that is currently falling is pretty light in density. At the present moment, it's falling at around 3-4cm per hour. We can expect to see snow tomorrow and very cold temps (high of -15) throughout the rest of the week.
Tomorrow should be a good one, but cold. Dress accordingly and you will have fun! Read more ...
Wednesday 8th February 2012, 8:38am
The forecast seems to be spot on with grey skies and light snow falling in Minakami today. As predicted the temperature has dropped and there is a very light dusting falling all over today. This weather looks set to last for a bit which will be a nice refresher after the snow was affected by the rain and higher temperatures of the last couple of days. Bit hard under foot this morning but will soften up and should be a nice layer of fresh stuff building up.
The forecast is still saying light snow for the rest of the week with the possibility of some sunshine over the weekend. Temperatures are likely to stay pretty low for the rest of this week though might start to get a bit warmer towards the start of next week. Read more ...
Wednesday 8th February 2012, 8:46am
Yesterday is best forgotten! It was raining pretty much for all of the day and into the night as well. Can't have done the snow out there any favours unfortunately.
We've turned around though now and this morning we have a bit of snowfall to report with the prospect of some decent snowfall over the next few days. Just a bit in town with Kagura up top reporting 10cm and up to 20cm in places where the most has fallen. Temperatures are back down below zero as well after that warm day yesterday (when it reached as high as around 6 degrees), with the current temperature in town being -3 degrees. We basically have snow forecast for today, tomorrow and Friday and so hopefully we can start building up a nice new fresh deep layer.
These sudden changes in temperature of course are not good for the stability of snow layers and so extra care and awareness needs to be taken if you are going out of the official runs and in backcountry.
It is just a cloudy morning here in Zao this morning, with no new snow to report. It's not one of the coldest mornings but certainly colder than yesterday was - a day that was really uncharacteristically mild for early February. So cloudy and a moderate wind out there but not a whole lot else to report. Similar conditions seem to be on the forecast for the next few days.
The mild temperatures yesterday meant that the snow conditions were not as good as we come to expect - things got a bit heavy in the afternoon. Hopefully the temperature will remain low now and we'll quickly get a new layer of snow.
Official snow depths (8th February 12) Utopia - 260cm Chuo - 220cm Paradise - 250cm Uwanodai - 180cm
Operating lifts (8th February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Wednesday 8th February 2012, 9:01am
Rain rain go away, is that was said - and it has! Phew. We could do without rain until around April or so...!
Anyway I have better news this morning in the form of 5-10cm or so here in Naeba and the Kagura resort area reporting up to 20cm of new snowfall in places. Not that much of a wind and visibility is fair on the lower slopes but less so on the upper areas that are covered in cloud and some snow continues to fall.
This morning the Prince No2 Gondola is moving at Naeba, the Dragondola is moving and it looks like it should be normal weekday operations though on the official site it says that some of the upper slopes may be closed at times. Looks like normal over at Kagura too.
The next few days should bring snow and cold temperatures. Bring it on!
Resort Operations, 8th February (subject to change) Naeba: All lifts operating. Some upper courses closed today. Kagura: Open as normal
Yesterday we saw some snow fall but it was often borderline rain/sleet and not the kind of snow that brings with it new cm on the slopes - pretty worthless really.
This morning I have better news to report and around 20cm of new snowfall. It is back to being cold as well with the thermometer stuck well below zero. It feels like winter has returned after that brief warm and wet patch. We want cold and dry! Hopefully the next few days will bring more snow and continued cold temperatures with the next clearing seemingly due around the weekend.
According to the official site it looks like the tree run courses won't be opening today.
Lifts currently operating: Lift No3B aside, all lifts look set to open today. Official snow depth: 280cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 8th February 2012, 9:17am
Cloud, light snow
I'm glad we got yesterday out of the way as it certainly wasn't one to remember for people wanting to ski/board. Happily we are back to colder times this morning and back to something like normal. We have had a bit of snow overnight - up to 5cm or so in places - but that thin new layer is on top of what had in lots of areas become somewhat icy and hard slopes out there. The snowfall that we have forecast for over the next few days though should hopefully improve conditions once again - looks like snow clouds will be over the area until at least Friday.
It is cloudy at the moment with light snow falling. Hopefully getting heavier as the day progresses.
Lots of fresh snow please!
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 8th February 2012 AM:
Good news as this morning we have returned to winter.
Snow is falling lightly and will continue throughout the day. The Storm from SE ASia is well to our East allowing for the normal winter conditions to resume. We should see overcast skies today carrying on to the weekend.
It is currently -2 C in the valley with a high of 0 C projected for the day. Up on the resorts we are expecting a range from -4 C to -7 C with a wind chill making it feel like -14 C. Up in the alpine it is expected to reach -15 C with a wind chill of -26 C. So a drastic change from the past two days. We will receive a light breeze from the west at speeds upto 4 m/s and the freezing level will remain low.
Just a few cm of new snowfall in the village but up to and around 15cm of new snow have been recorded in the upper parts of the resorts - the most being reported at Cortina (20cm), with more projected for the day. We are expecting this system to loom around for a few days before we see clearings for the weekend so hopefully there will be more snowfall to report over the coming few days.
Official snow depths and operations @ Wednesday 8th February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu reporting 15cm on upper slopes and 3cm of fresh snow on lower slopes this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Alps No2 and No4) Official snow depths: Alps daira - 295cm; Toomi - 170cm; Iimori - 145cm.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 report 10cm of new snow this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Line D). Official snow depth: Upper - 235cm Lower - 130cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Usagidair pair, Happo No1 and Central pair should be operating today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 200cm; Sakka - 120cm; Nakiyama - 110cm.
There are great conditions over the whole mountain today with 10cm of new snow falling since the last report. Current weather is light to medium snow and there are some light winds coming and going. There are not too many people out skiing today so there will be plenty of opportunities for fresh tracks throughout the morning. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 8th February 2012, 11:51am
Light snow and some bursts of sun
Nozawa is pulling the winter jacket back on today with about 10cm dusting overnight and big flakes were falling early this morning. It has backed off a bit now and even saw a bit of blue sky, but still falling lightly.
Temperatures are back down to -7 degrees up top and nice to see after the warmish weather of the past few days. Has been handy on the snow-clearing front though. Yesterday was a huge day in the village with everyone pitching in to clear the snow off all the onsens and community centers. Amazing what some warm weather and a bit of elbow grease can achieve in a day.
I can hear the neighbours snow blower back in action again this morning though so think everyone is anticipating some decent dumps ahead. On the radar nothing huge expected but should be consistent and the heaviest is due tomorrow then a bit of sunshine for the coming weekend, which should be a busy one in town.
Yesterday had mixed reports with wet snow falling up top was certainly not the best day of the season but some said the groomers were pretty fast and fun in places. Today should be much better up there and more goodness ahead.
The rain didn't last long, and we started to get some pretty good snowfall last night that extended into this morning. Then we got some sunshine midday, before ending in more snow. Can't really complain about all that. The temperatures are also back in the minus, which we like to see.
A personal word of warning: watch out for freshly-plowed streets when you're out walking. Your reporter is a long-time snow country resident, but that didn't stop him from doing a header and cracking his cheekbone on the way home last night. It get slick out there!