Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 25th May 2020
Thursday 9th February 2012, 7:48am
The valley has been covered with 10cm of new snow overnight with some slight glimpses of blue sky this morning. We are projected to receive snow throughout the day, but the occasional clearing wouldn't be turned away.
It is currently -7 C in the valley with a high of -1 C expected. Up on hill it is expected to reach a chilly -13 C to -14 C with a wind chill making it feel like -25 C. So bundle up and be prepared for the mountain conditions. We will see winds upto 5 m/s from W and WNW direction keeping the cool weather coming from the Mainland. The freezing level will remain at sea level.
Upwards of 15cm of new snow have been recorded in the resorts in lower areas this morning with more up top - Goryu is reporting 40cm of fresh snowfall on upper slopes and Hakuba 47 is reporting 35cm this morning. We are expecting to keep receiving precipitation through Friday. All good to cover up the damage that was done with the rain the other day and encouraging for the weekend.
Monday's rain soaked the upper snow pack below 2000 metres and has since frozen with recent cold temperatures. At higher elevations, however, there is only a thin melt / freeze crust that is breakable and there is the possibility that this layer could propagate across open bowls and tight chutes. The new snow that has accumulated is increasingly unstable and will be prone to loose snow avalanches as the new snow continues to fall today and through the week. Stay to supported terrain at Tree Line and Below Tree Line, while travel in the Alpine is not recommended.
Snow is forecasted to continue falling today and through the week. All new snow will now be over riding the rain crust formed Monday night and can be expected to be unstable. Be careful of terrain traps that may be potential hazards of deep burial even with small loose snow avalanches.
Remember that recent load will continue to mean that the persistent faceted melt form crust of January 22 may still cause problems especially in the alpine above 2000 metres.
Play safe out there as the depth of new snow increases and always where your beacon when riding off piste and in the backcountry.
AVALANCHE HAZARD: ALPINE: HIGH TREE LINE: HIGH BELOW TREE LINE: CONSIDERABLE
Saturday we should see some clearings with a similar look currently on the forecast for Sunday.
Official snow depths and operations @ Thursday 9th February 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu reporting 40cm on upper slopes and 10cm of new snowfall on lower slopes this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Alps No2 and No4) Official snow depths: Alps daira - 320cm; Toomi - 180cm; Iimori - 140cm.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 are reporting 35cm of new snow this morning. All weekday lifts operating (not Line D). Official snow depth: Upper - 252cm Lower - 155cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Usagidair pair, Happo No1, Central pair and Kurobishi No3 pair should be operating today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 200cm; Sakka - 120cm; Nakiyama - 110cm.
We got a precious helping of snow overnight. With the snow that fell yesterday, there's definitely enough to be a nice soft layer again. Today I would expect that floating sensation to easily return to most people...woohoo!
The weather has been a bit crazier than normal here in the past two days. We were supposed to see temps drop, which they did, but not before fluctuating all over the place. The system we are seeing now should give us a good helping of snow today and then slowly taper off into some cloudy days mixed with intermittent sun.
The resort will have plenty of good places for snow this morning. Since the peak gates haven't been open in the past couple days, the snow behind the resort should be great as well. Just make sure to keep a heads up if you are going out there. There are some weird layers and although they open the gates, it doesn't mean everything is 100% safe. Using standard caution and going with a buddy will help ensure you don't get into any trouble and ski some awesome snow! Besides it's just much more fun to try to match the hooting and hollering of the person next to you.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 400cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Village: Top - 410cm Bottom - 240cm
Annupuri: Top - 420cm Bottom - 230cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base 6am: -8â„ƒ, 35cm of snow crystals in the last 12 hours. Benkei Cape NW 12m/s, Kamui Cape wave 2.0m, pressure 1007 hpa, Annapuri Peak WNW 7.7m/s temp -16.8â„ƒ. Moiwa Peak NW 12m/s, visibility is good, 45cm of snowfall in the last 12 hours, small amount of snowdrift development. Snowfall: A weak westerly wind accompanied by snow has continued. Above 800m elevation cornice and snow drift development has been slow. Snow Pit Data: At 800m, leeward slope: 7th Feb new snow fall(weak wind, drifted snow, broken snow crystals) 80cm. The 6th Feb layer and the 22nd Jan are still prominent in the snowpack. Hazard Evaluation: The snow in the trees is deep and good and the general risk of avalanche is starting to lower, . Coordinates E5(BackBowl), F5(O-Sawa), H8(Higashi One) the risk continues to be HIGH on 30 degree leeward slopes. Caution: It is dangerous to ski around the above mentioned coordinates. The snow drifts are starting to stabilise, however on cornice slopes it will continue to be easy to stimulate a fracture this morning. Coordinates J4 (off limits area Haru no Taki) the avalanche risk continues to increasing due to the 22nd Jan layer. Gates: Peak gates are expected to closed today. Please respect the ski patrols decision. Dont duck ropes, once you pass through the gates you are not in the resort anymore. Have a safe day. Read more ...
Thursday 9th February 2012, 8:44am
Snow, cloud > cleared up -- changeable!
Well yesterday was interesting. While we watched some really quite heavy snow fall in many parts of Niigata, especially on the plains to the north out of the mountains, it didn't really snow all that much here. At times we even saw some clearer skies open up.
This morning seemed to have been a different story as the heavy snow were falling and just before it was coming down really fast and with some impressively big flakes. According to the local forecast we are set for snowy conditions to be with us here into the weekend basically, so it looks like we should expect some significant new cm of snow.
The strange thing is that even since I started putting this report together, the snow has stopped falling, visibility has improved dramatically and the sun is out in the Mimamiuonuma valley. Don't know where that came from, but there's every chance that it will disappear once again as quickly as it appeared. Like I said the forecast is for snow. And over at Naeba a look on the webcam shows me that the skies are clearer up there as well. So who knows - we'll just have to see how the day turns out...
Up until now this morning not a huge amount with maybe 5-10cm or so I would say in places - more to the north in Minamiuonuma.
With that rain the other day we could do with a good helping of snow before the weekend to get those snow conditions back up to where they were before. Bring it on please!
Winds are affecting operations up at Kagura this morning with the Tashiro closed for the day and only the Mitsumata Ropeway to the Kagura No1 pair lift open. That means that the Dragondola will be closed as well and perhaps a few lifts at Naeba as well. Other than that resorts seem to be open as usual around town this morning.
This was a bit unexpected as the weather has been more stable and clear than we were expecting. Only a few cm of snow overnight here and I can see the mountain this morning. Snow is actually forecast for today and tomorrow with things perhaps clearing up for the weekend so all a bit vague at the moment given that looking outside I can actually see some shadows being cast onto the mountain. There is certainly snow falling in surrounding areas of Niigata and so perhaps it will soon be coming down here too.
According to the official site it looks like the tree run courses won't be opening again today.
Lifts currently operating: Lift No3B aside, all lifts look set to open today. Official snow depth: 280cm Read more ...
Thursday 9th February 2012, 9:15am
Cloud, fair, light snow at times
Not as much snow as we were expecting and hoping for really since yesterday as the heavy snow seems to be staying to the north of us and not actually getting this far into the mountains.
This morning both Naeba and Kagura are officially reporting up to 10cm of snow. Snow is forecast for the day but it's only coming down lightly right at the moment in higher areas, with some clearer skies actually over Naeba at the moment. The sun coming out even? Hmmm, really hard to say how today is going to end up, though that local forecast still tells us that it is a day of snow.
The Tashiro area is closed this morning and from the Mitsumata Ropeway to the Number 1 pair lift at Kagura is all that is open over at Kagura, due to wind conditions. The Dragondola will be closed today but the Prince No2 Gondola is moving and most of Naeba is open, the Mens Slalom course being the main one that is not accessible this morning.
Resort Operations, 9th February (subject to change) Naeba: All lifts operating. Some upper courses closed today. Kagura: Open as normal
After the cloud of yesterday, overnight we saw snow fall and this morning I have perhaps up to 15cm or so new snowfall to report in Zao. There's a moderate wind blowing things about this morning but other than that visibility isn't too bad, though the top half of the mountain is covered with clouds. One of those grey days without much contrast.
The snow continues to fall this morning and more snow due through until perhaps Saturday when we could see conditions clear up. After that a run of days with less snow and more of a chance of clearer skies, though temperatures should remain down well under zero.
With this new layer of snow conditions are better today and a few more days of snow should be good for the coming weekend.
Official snow depths (9th February 12) Utopia - 275cm Chuo - 220cm Paradise - 260cm Uwanodai - 185cm
Operating lifts (9th February 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 9th February 2012, 9:36am
Cloud, light snow
We have had snowfall since yesterday but nothing significant - at least the roads are nice and covered white again, looking much better than that slushy look a few days ago! It is still snowing but light snow and visibility out there is generally pretty decent. The snow clouds should remain over Shiga Kogen for the next few days though local forecasts seem pretty undecided about how much snow we can expect to get. If it snows like it has been the last few hours, I wouldn't say we can expect that much - although I do hear reports from places to our north that are getting considerably more and so perhaps it will set it more during the day.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 9th February 2012 AM:
The snow continued throughout yesterday and dumped another 15cm in the town and even more on the ski area itself. There were moerdate winds yesterday and these persisted through the night but have now passed and left us with a clear and calm blue sky day. Conditions are perfect powder, and all that fresh snow has been beautifully groomed. Take care out there so as not to let yourself get injured, as the snow is forecast to keep falling for the rest of the week and you certainly wouldn't want to be watching everyone having fun from the side lines. Read more ...
Thursday 9th February 2012, 10:19am
Overcast, with occasional sun
Nice snow overnight, so some nice fresh to enjoy today. We're back in the -5Â°C area which should keep the conditions good on the slopes. We had a pretty good shake here after the force 5 earthquake on Sado Island last night so it will be interesting to see if any avalanches followed.
There is the possibility of some heavy snow through today, perhaps as much as 70cm.
Great conditions today. The snow is coming down steadily and there is no wind to speak of. There has been a good build up of fresh snow from the early hours and it is about boot deep at the moment on top of a soft layer from yesterday. The cold temperatures have given us some light, fluffy snow and it would be a shame not to go out and enjoy it.
It looks to be snow into the weekend with temperatures starting to rise again from Monday. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 9th February 2012, 14:28pm
Snowing at varying intensity
Good afternoon from Nozawa Onsen where we were woken by a bit of a flurry of snow falling this morning. Almost worthy of strapping on the powder boards!
Was pretty heavy at times but the tap seems to be only on about half way at the moment. Just had one happy slider come down and said was a beautiful morning with soft snow and some sunshine filtering through.
Don't mind these little top ups as it keeps the slopes fresh and not too crazy down in the village for the shovel crew. The call has gone out for a big dump though by people who have just recently arrived in Nozawa and missed all the mayhem of the past few weeks!
The forecast is not showing anything major on the horizon at this stage but things can change pretty quickly up here in the mountains.
Big weekend ahead with the public holiday to celebrate Foundation day so there should be a buzz with events also celebrating the 100th year of skiing in Japan. Iiyama City below us has the annual Yuki Matsuri this weekend with snow sculpting and food stalls not quite as grand as Sapporo but well worth a look.