Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 23rd March 2017
Thursday 16th March 2017, 7:46am
Spring has definitely sprung at Kiroro this past week.
Cool morning temperatures (-8c at the peak) have refrozen the snow so expect firm conditions out there in the AM.
The skies are expected to stay cloudy today, with a welcome wave of snowfall due to arrive during the day. Most of the snow is expected to fall tonight and into tomorrow.
Moderate NNW winds reported at the peak, sitting around 46km/h. The wind is not expected to increase further, and if this remains the case all upper lifts will be operating today. Read more ...
Thursday 16th March 2017, 8:31am
Morning from Naeba.
And it's good news.
Yes, we have a layer of fresh snow this morning and Naeba is reporting 10-15cm and a bit less than that down at base.
The clouds are still with us and fingers crossed we might get a bit more during the day.
Here's how the rest of the season is planned for Naeba:
- open daily until Sunday 2nd April; - open on weekends and holidays between Saturday 8th April until Sunday 23rd April; - open daily from Saturday 29th April until Sunday 7th May
Nighta will continue daily until Sunday 26th March. Read more ...
Thursday 16th March 2017, 8:31am
Lots of cloud, but still some blue sky and sun
Good morning Niseko fans.
There's more cloud around this morning after a run of clearer skies. Still a bit of blue sky and the sun breaking through in places and currently it is 0C.
Light snow is possible tonight and into tomorrow - particularly at higher elevations - though I wouldn't expect much. I would of course love to be wrong on that.
We've had a run of days now without be being able to report any fresh snow and more spring-like conditions, so come with expectations set with that in mind and have fun. I am finding the current conditions a better work out for my thighs and knees than the mid-winter fluffy powder. I'm looking on that as a good thing! Let's exercise-ing.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base : -6°, no new snow. Moiwa 800m: -5.6°, W10m/s, no new snow. Annupuri 1000m: snowpack 190cm, 1150m: -8°, NNW15m/s, no new snow. Hirafu 1250m, -10°, strong westerly wind, no new snow. Coastal data: Kamui Cape: NNE4m/s, 1014hPa, wave 1.2m, Benkei Cape: N7m/s.
We are currently under influence of high pressure system, sunny with strong winds at higher elevations. Snow conditions are icy in the morning, softening up during the day. There has been no new snow and the mountain is completely tracked out. Be careful of falling in cracks and hitting trees. Peak gates are expected to be open, dependant on lift operation. Please respect the patrols decisions. Do not duck ropes to go out of bounds.
Do not wait in the valley bottoms or at the bottom of steep slopes. Even a small avalanche can bury you and be impossible to dig yourself out. Always act cautiously on the mountain. Nagoya University and The Snow and Ice Research Centre will be conducting avalanche tests in the Mikaeri ridge area this morning. At times the ridge trail will temporarily closed. Thank you for your cooperation. The mountain is moving into springtime. Have a nice day.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.
Planned closing dates Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. Niseko Hanazono plans to be open daily until Sunday 2nd April. Niseko Village plans to be open daily until Sunday 2nd April (and then from 28th April until 7th May). Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. Read more ...
Thursday 16th March 2017, 8:39am
Mostly cloudy/gas, bit of blue sky/sun starting to appear
Morning from Hakuba.
A bit more snow to report this morning - from varying amounts in base areas (none to few cm) in base areas, and up to 10cm being reported by Hakuba Cortina.
Lots of cloud/fog covering lots of the ski slopes this morning and generally a lot of cloud around, though a few patches of blue sky to be seen from village areas - and the sun looks like it's trying to break through too.
Actually forecasts seem to point towards a clear-up today.
Just a bit of light snowfall is scattered around the forecast for the coming week, but there's more sun on that forecast than winter-like conditions. It doesn't look like it should be warming up too much though which is a good thing.
Resort news as of 8:35am on Thursday 16th March 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Upper: 325cm Base: 165cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 1-3cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 305cm Toomi: 160cm Iimori: 105cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 3cm of fresh snowfall (Riesen quad top). The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 260cm Kurobishi: 325cm Lower: 125cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. The Tsugaike Ropeway is now operating for the spring season. (Climbing notices need to be filled in, ropeway charge also applies) Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 365cm Han-no-ki: 360cm Maruyama: 150cm Oya-no-hara: 130cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 135cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 3-10cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Top: 360cm Base: 220cm
So it looks like we can expect around 5-15cm of fresh snow on higher course areas this morning.
Yesterday it was raining in town in the afternoon though just slightly above town it was sleet or wet snow.
It is snowing now - wet snow - and not really the kind that is going to give us any cm on the roads... though fingers crossed there will be some more higher up on the slopes. Snow clouds are forecast to be over the area during today and overnight. Currently it is not raining or snowing just to the north of Yuzawa.
Clearer skies are expected from tomorrow and over the weekend.
Resorts on weekdays are much quieter now, though weekends will still probably be quite busy.
Happily this season we aren't struggling for snow this March and resorts will likely all be able to remain open for as long as they originally planned.
Official snow depth information as of Thursday 16th March 2017
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night' from 6pm-4am) is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. Spring nighta (6pm-10pm) on Saturdays and nighta before holidays from 7th April until 22nd April
I was a bit shocked - in a good way - to see the resort reporting up to 25cm of fresh snow this morning on the top area of the mountain... not quite as much as that down here at base, but still a fresh blanket of snow which is great to see.
It was snowing just before but has stopped now and there's a few breaks appearing in the clouds. Still, snow is there on the forecast so perhaps changeable conditions for the day today.
I'm off up to Yamabiko! Looks like visibility is limited up there still but I can't resist that fresh snow.
Yes, 12cm of fresh snow on the ground and the official report is saying 15cm. Both sound good to me.
When we get to this stage of the season, the middle of March, you always start to wonder if this snow will be the last snow of the season. I was actually a bit surprised to see that we got 90cm during March last year (50cm this year so far) and some snowfall in April too - last season the last snow I reported was on 12th April, so there you go. I certainly hope so. Here's to more snowfall!
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.
Ichinose Family: Every day until 25th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond: Every Saturday until 25th March and 19th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Kumanoyu: Every Saturday until 25th March, and 19th March (6:30pm-9pm) Read more ...
Thursday 16th March 2017, 9:06am
Good morning from Grandeco.
Just a dusting of snow but not enough to record any cm this morning, but it is keeping cold and so snow conditions are keeping good for March.
According to the forecast it will be snowing today but it's not snowing as of 8:30am.
Snow is expected to be falling on and off until tomorrow and then the weekend will be cloudy with perhaps some clearer skies.
18-20 March is a three-day weekend in Japan and the weather will be good but the ski resorts will probably be crowded. Some ski grounds in the Bandai area will end their ski season after this three-day weekend.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift - Number 4 quad lift
All courses now open
Official snow depth: 300cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: dry Goshukinuma through Grandeco: snow and icy in areas Read more ...
Thursday 16th March 2017, 9:44am
Good news on the snow front with moderate precipitation and 4cm accumulation on the ground in the village. Conditions are low cloud this morning and this is causing variable visibility on the mountain when combined with the snow. Temperatures are mild but it sure feels cold due to the moderate wind whipping around the village. The winds on the resort itself are varying between moderate to strong and are interferring with lift operations. See below for the lifts that are on hold.
FURANO ZONE Furano Ropeway 8:30am-16:00pm. Furano Downhill Romance #2 chairlift 8:45am-16:00pm - on hold due to wind Furano Downhill Romance #3 chairlift 9:00am-16:00pm - on hold due to wind Prince Romance chairlift 8:30am-16:30pm. Downhill Swift Lift #1 9:00am-19:30pm - on hold due to wind
KITANOMINE ZONE Kitanomine Gondola 9:00am-16:00pm - on hold due to wind Kitanomine Swift Lift #1 8:30am-19:30pm Kitanomine Romance Lift #2 8:45am-16:00pm Link Lift 9:00am-16:00pm
(Actual operation and times may change without notification and be different from the above information). Read more ...
Thursday 16th March 2017, 11:18am
That nice weather yesterday did indeed turn to snow later in the day. Just as the Niigata Prefecture forecast called it, we got about 15cm of pretty wet snow, but nice all the same. Looks like snow showers will continue through the week, too, I would guess thanks to the big low pressure cells sitting off the Pacific side of Japan. It's brightening just a little to the south at the moment; maybe a little break before we get some more snow?