Zao Now daily snow and weather - Friday 31st January 2020

Zao Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Zao Onsen region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 9:11am on Friday 31st January 2020
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Snow clouds
Base temp:
-2°C

Top temp:
-7°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Snow
wind condition
Moderate NW
visibility condition
Limited higher up
PLEASE READ THIS
This report
Friday 31st January 2020, 9:11am
0cm
Thursday 30th January 2020, 13:20pm 0cm
Wednesday 29th January 2020, 10:29am 0cm
Tuesday 28th January 2020, 10:08am 1cm
Monday 27th January 2020, 8:53am 0cm
Sunday 26th January 2020, 8:24am 0cm
Saturday 25th January 2020, 9:22am 0cm
Last 7 reports (total): 1cm
Last 14 reports (total): 46cm
Current month (January 2020) total: 88cm
2019/2020 season so far total: 147cm

Archive report: Posted at 9:11am on Friday 31st January 2020
The latest Zao Now report can be found here

Morning from Zao.

Lots of cloud around this morning and snow falling at times, though no new cm to report. I imagine there will be higher up though, where visibility is currently limited.

Lifts appear to be operating as planned with the four rested this morning, according to the official source.

We might get some over the next day or so but beyond that the best potential for good snowfall is around Tuesday next week. Going to get real cold around then.

The resort is currently declaring itself to be 'hobo (almost) all open'. There are some limitations and it needs to be noted that we are still of course low on snow.

---

All lifts are now normally operating apart from the following:

- Zao Paradise Number 3 pair
- Astraea Number 3 pair
- Karamatsu pair
- Yokokura Number 2 pair

Official snow depths (as reported by resort):

- Summit area: 85cm
- Paradise area: 70cm
- Chuo area: 80cm
- Utopia area: 90cm
- Uwanodai area: 40cm
- Oomori area: 25cm

---

Another message from SnowJapan

This general message is being posted on all our daily reports.
It is not specific to one report or region.


Thank you to everyone who contacted us after the general message we posted in these reports a few days ago (and can also be found here)

It’s great to hear from people, and of course it makes us happy to hear so many messages of support. In the feedback, some questions and comments were brought up—and we would like to answer them in public. Here goes:

About 'official snow depth'

The “official snow depth” numbers displayed on our site come from the ski resorts themselves. The resorts provide their figure to a service, and SnowJapan has an agreement with that service so that we can display these figures. The numbers come as is - without details or explanations - and we have no control over them.

As far as we know, there are no rules or guidelines dictating where the ski resorts take their number from. The top? Middle? Base? Some spot where the wind piles up snow? We just don’t know, so, basically, we all must rely on their honesty.

Over the years, we have learned that many ski resorts are honest in their reporting, with realistic numbers and good information on other conditions. We like and respect that.

Other are…let’s be positive and say, “too optimistic”. There is a lot of exaggeration, if not outright falsehoods. We don’t like that.

A reader recently reported that, while our official number from a resort said 70cm, they discovered on arrival that there was just one run open with artificial snow. Of course, we are very sorry to hear that, and we know how upsetting that is. As we have previously noted, we’re skiers/boarders, too.

Our policy is to always be honest in what we do. With the official figures we’re reporting what you’ll see on each resort’s website and the figures posted by local tourist office and other organizations. That’s why we always tag them as “official snow depth”.

So, what is SnowJapan doing about this?

You’ll note that our reporters filing the Now daily reports do sometimes comment when the official figures are a bit questionable.

We think that the official figures do have meaning and value and we can’t be selective in which resorts we post. It’s all or none. We take them all in and provide them to you.

Perhaps think of them as a suggestion, to be taken with a healthy dose of salt. Take a look at other areas in the region and compare - knowing, though, that the terrain and location can make for very different snow conditions in relatively small areas.

Furthermore, it is often quite interesting to compare the official snow depth numbers with other seasons.

Observed snowfall

The ‘observed snowfall’ figure is 100-percent SnowJapan. Our reporters get out there and measure the snowfall they are seeing at base level. Not at the top of the hill or in a secret stash.

People in slightly different areas (in the same region) are sometimes going to see differences. That’s natural and unavoidable; and we’re not claiming that our reports are definitive or perfect.

But we stand by all our numbers.

Requests for specific recommendations

People often write to ask questions such as, “Should I cancel my planned trip to A and change to B?”

Because we wish to remain unbiased and fair, we strongly feel that it is not our place to make this kind of recommendation of one resort over another. Our independence is what lets us give you solid, unbiased information. We keep that kind of opinion to ourselves.

There is limited advertising on SnowJapan. Our website is an extremely effective place to reach large numbers of skiers and snowboarders who are interested in good information about Japan. But any company or organisation who joins us in that respect is told very clearly upfront that doing so gives them no editorial influence. There’s no exceptions to that and it is a fundamental part of our concept.

Requests for detailed information

People write in often - sometimes more than 50 mails a day - to ask about specific ski resorts, transportation, ski schools, accommodations, etc. Sometimes they are detailed requests to assist with bookings of hotels or ski lessons, or requests for detailed bus and train timetables. (And sometimes, I might add, without even a please or a thank you!)

We simply can’t provide this kind of information. Local tourist associations, booking firms, etc. are all geared to providing information and helping match your needs with services and organizations. We simply aren’t. Just running our website and collecting information from across the Japan ski world and posting it for you is more than a full-time job. (It feels like even more so than usual in this low-snow year!)

As we note on our Contact form, we can’t answer specific questions. We certainly don’t mean to be rude when we don’t answer to questions sent to us, but we aren’t able to respond and still be unbiased…. or get our work done!

Anyway, that’s it for now. Thanks again and we hope you will keep reading SnowJapan and letting others know about us.

Comments are welcome - we’re always trying to improve and it’s just good to hear from you, even if it’s just a quick ‘hi’.

---

Night time operations:

Nighta in the Uwanodai area is scheduled daily until 1st March 2020 and then 7th, 14th, 20th and 21st March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.

Nighta in the Yokokura area is scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through 7th March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.

The Zao Ropeway opens in the evenings on the below dates for 'Light Up' sightseeing purposes - to go and see the Juhyo monsters (not for skiing or boarding) on the following upcoming dates:

January 2020: 29th-31st
February 2020: all days apart from Tuesdays

Note: there is an extra charge for this night time Ropeway operation.

Archive report: Posted at 9:11am on Friday 31st January 2020
The latest Zao Now report can be found here

Zao Now ski lift operation notes:

Zao Onsen is open - see above

<
Thursday 30th January 2020
This report
Friday 31st January 2020
Saturday 1st February 2020
>
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Japan snowfall data
(updated daily during winter)
Zao Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Zao Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 31st January 2020
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Zao Now reports up until Friday 31st January 2020
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
Zao Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent season comparisons
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 31st January 2020
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the Zao Now reports during same period over the last three seasons
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
  2019/2020
*as of Friday 31st January 2020
2018/2019
Season
2017/2018
Season
31st January 0cm 2cm 1cm
30th January 0cm 0cm 13cm
29th January 0cm 21cm 14cm
28th January 1cm 0cm 0cm
27th January 0cm 4cm 24cm
26th January 0cm 0cm 12cm
25th January 0cm 23cm 24cm
Previous 7 days total 1cm 50cm 88cm
Previous 14 days total 46cm 91cm 161cm
November observed snowfall total 8cm 7cm 66cm
December observed snowfall total 51cm 218cm 193cm
January observed snowfall total 88cm 145cm 275cm
February observed snowfall total - 91cm 195cm
March observed snowfall total - 66cm 24cm
April observed snowfall total - 72cm 12cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 147cm 599cm 765cm
Zao Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 31st January 2020
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the Zao Now reports for each month and total season accumulation
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
  October November December January February March April May
2019/2020 season - 8cm
[8cm]
51cm
[59cm]
88cm
[147cm]
- - - -
2018/2019 season - 7cm
[7cm]
218cm
[225cm]
145cm
[370cm]
91cm
[461cm]
66cm
[527cm]
72cm
[599cm]
0cm
[599cm]
2017/2018 season - 66cm
[66cm]
193cm
[259cm]
275cm
[534cm]
195cm
[729cm]
24cm
[753cm]
12cm
[765cm]
0cm
[765cm]
2016/2017 season - 11cm
[11cm]
98cm
[109cm]
241cm
[350cm]
105cm
[455cm]
65cm
[520cm]
0cm
[520cm]
0cm
[520cm]
2015/2016 season - 22cm
[22cm]
96cm
[118cm]
211cm
[329cm]
83cm
[412cm]
45cm
[457cm]
3cm
[460cm]
-
2014/2015 season - 20cm
[20cm]
281cm
[301cm]
118cm
[419cm]
181cm
[600cm]
103cm
[703cm]
0cm
[703cm]
0cm
[703cm]
2013/2014 season - 12cm
[12cm]
179cm
[191cm]
111cm
[302cm]
166cm
[468cm]
107cm
[575cm]
4cm
[579cm]
0cm
[579cm]
2012/2013 season - 3cm
[3cm]
150cm
[153cm]
243cm
[396cm]
218cm
[614cm]
21cm
[635cm]
22cm
[657cm]
0cm
[657cm]
  October November December January February March April May
Zao Now reports before Friday 31st January 2020
Zao Now reports from the same period last season
Zao Now archived reporting
View previous reports posted to Zao Now by clicking on the month