Hakuba Now daily snow and weather - Tuesday 27th March 2007

Hakuba Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Hakuba & Otari region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 9:16am on Tuesday 27th March 2007
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Light from the west
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Tuesday 27th March 2007, 9:16am
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Archive report: Posted at 9:16am on Tuesday 27th March 2007
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Under an overcast sky there was a considerable amount of small bird fluttering as I walked out to do the morning weather observations. I guess spring is definitely here in a form other than just a date on the calendar. The temperature did not get below 3 C last night ( 2 C the night before). What crust that formed was weak. Yesterday morning it was snowing at 1,400 m a.s.l. and above. When the clouds cleared in the afternoon there was wind transport of snow observed. At upper elevations the skiing quality acceptable.


The Hira Kawa Snow Study Plot (830m a.s.l.) 0700 hr. reading is:

Sky: Overcast
Temperature: Present: 6.0 C
Maximum: 9.0 C
Minimum: 3.0 C
Wind at surface: Very light from the west
Winds aloft: Moderate from the south-west
Precipitation: Nil
Barometer and trend: 917 hPa and rising
Height of new snow in 24 hours (HN24): 0 cm
Total depth of snowpack (HS): 39 cm
Water: 2 mm
Foot penetration: 5 cm
Surface: melt freeze crystals , 8 mm crystals
Density of surface snow: not observed
Crust: 10 cm, weak
Cloud ceiling: 2,000 m a.s.l.



Above tree line: Moderate

Tree line: Moderate

Below tree line: Moderate

N.B. The hazard is heavily dependent on the degree of day-time warming and wind transport of any available snow(at higher elevations where it has not gone through a crust forming air temperature [as opposed to a direct solar created melt freeze]rise and fall). Yesterday afternoon it was quite windy at upper elevations with considerable wind transport observed at ridge top even as the sun was setting.

Travel Advisory:
Similar to yesterday: with a suspected moderate freeze above 1,400 m a.s.l. there are probably pretty good travel conditions (i.e. low ski penetration). Right now visibility in the main range is limited above 2,000 m a.s.l. With the forecast temperatures the hazard, especially in the isothermal snow pack, will increase throughout the day. The cornices have not increased appreciably in strength so be aware of the threat from above, especially when you can't see it. With the wind transported snow there should be slabs formed on lee slopes. Micro-terrain management could mean the difference between a "good ride" and a "bad slide". At lower elevations the isothermal snow pack with little or no strengthening crust could well fail to ground where the ground cover is smooth (e.g. rock slab, dirt, grass).

Archive report: Posted at 9:16am on Tuesday 27th March 2007
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Hakuba Now ski lift operation notes:

Most resorts operating. Minegata Lift Company is closed. Goryu is planning to keep their Tomi and Iimori areas open til May 8th and the top Alps Daira open til May 6th.

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