Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 22nd February 2019
Thursday 17th March 2016, 8:00am
Really clear and blue out there
Another sunny day, but this one without the high, thin clouds. It's genuinely bluebird in Myoko today.
It's also really spring, but that seems to be true all over the country.
Things are going to be really warm today, then possibility very wet late in the day tomorrow, with heavy rain forecast. There was a big drop in the snow around the house yesterday; we could see the rocks along the driveway slowly emerge through the day as the brush on the slopes around here started to pop up from the snow.
We never did get an official report from the town; I'll pull from the online listing today again. Just note that the snow levels haven't changed in some cases (which isn't possible) and reported temperatures are not consistent - look at around 5°C at the base of Akakan at 8:30 as a more accurate base.
Fine blue skies and sunshine for most of yesterday and that is probably what we are going to have today, and tomorrow as well. It is indeed a beautiful morning here with clear blue skies all around and the sun already making it's mark. It is already above zero and temperatures like I mentioned yesterday are forecast to approach double digits this afternoon and tomorrow as well.
I would expect icy conditions at the start of the day, getting softer as the sun warms things up. There's going to be some melting going on.
Light wind here at base this morning but it sounds as though stronger winds are persisting higher up. And like yesterday we start the day with most top lifts on hold.
Compared with yesterday, it looks like there's slightly more potential of snowfall from Sunday on the 6-day forecast, though I really wouldn't be expecting anything significant at all. (But, stranger things have happened...)
There's not much longer to go for the night lights to be on here in Niseko. 'Nighta' operations at Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri plan to continue through until Monday evening. Why a Monday you may ask - it's a national holiday here in Japan.
Talking of night skiing, it sounds like a crevice has appeared in an area by the Alpen course at Hirafu. The resort are going to be performing some course maintenance over there and as such that area is going to be closed for nighta tonight (officially the Ace Number 2 quad and Sennoki and Alpen courses).
Have fun and take care out there.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to wind conditions.
Niseko Village The top Wonderland Chair lift is on hold at the start of the day due to wind conditions.
Niseko Annupuri The top Jumbo 4 lift is on hold at the start of the day due to wind conditions.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -3°C, no new snow, light winds, sunny. Moiwa 838m: -1.2°C, N2.5m/s. Annupuri 1000m: snowpack 300cm. Annupuri 1150m: -2°C, W15m/s, snow surface hard frozen. Hirafu Ridgeline: -2°C, light winds, no new snow, snow surface hard frozen. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:W5m/s. Kamui Cape SSW13m/s, 1014hPa, wave 1.8m.
Atmospheric pressure gradient is leveling out, seas are dropping, however at higher elevations strong winds continue. Yesterdays melted snow has frozen overnight and conditions are hard this morning. As the day warms, ski conditions will improve. There is no new snow, from observation except for small scale slabs, the risk of surface avalanches is low. However with rising temperatures the risk of large scale full depth avalanches is increasing. If you are caught in one of these you will not be rescued. Do not carelessly ride in the valley bottoms or traverse slopes. If you are taking a rest, do not do it in the valley bottom.
Cracks are opening on many leeward slopes especially under cornices and knolls, take care they are difficult to see from above. There are many dangers in the mountains. If you are careful most can be avoided. All peak gates are expect to open. Have a good day.
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 17th March 2016:
Beautiful clear blue skies above the mountain this morning.
It's getting warmer too and it will be warmer still tomorrow, so we feel like we are very much back into spring territory now.
Warning of some rain later tomorrow possible into Saturday morning but once that clears from Sunday it will be getting a bit colder once again (though not much sign of potential snow on the forecast really).
Anyway, it's a beautiful morning to enjoy being out today. Don't forget the sunscreen!
Good morning from Grandeco and we have clear blue skies above us once again.
A beautiful contrast of blue and white.
There was a strong wind forecast for this morning but it's not too bad at the moment - however all lifts will be operating at a slower speed.
According to the forecast, unfortunately there may be some rainy late tomorrow into early Saturday, but temperatures should be going down again from Sunday... maybe even a sprinkling of snow around Monday?
All lifts operating
All courses open except [H] Center 33 and the Snow Park
Ski resorts around Mt. Bandai are announcing their planned closing dates:
Listel Ski Fantasia - already closed (on 12 March).
Numajiri / Inawashiro resort / Inawashiro and Minero ski resorts - until 21st March
Alts Bandai / Urabandai ski resorts - until 27th March.
After 27th, resorts that remain open in the region will be Grandeco, Nekoma and Minowa.
Nekoma will be closed between 19th-21th and 26th-28 Apr but these resorts all plan to be open until 5th May ---- but whether they can do that or not will totally depend on the snow levels of course, which are less than usual and less than expected. We'll just have to see how things develop over the coming weeks. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 17th March 2016, 8:40am
Clear blue skies and sunny
Morning from Nozawa and it's another fine day with blue skies and sunshine from early on.
It was keeping pretty mild overnight, just about dipping below zero, and as of 8:30am it's already getting on for +4C here in the village with the resort reporting a temperature of 0C up on the top Yamabiko area. Today and tomorrow we'll probably warm up to 10 degrees and perhaps slightly beyond.
Rain is looming on the forecasts for later on tomorrow, hopefully it'll be short-lived. Colder temperatures look set to be back by Sunday and into next week and there's even a bit (maybe just a bit!) of snowfall on the forecast for Monday.
Right now though, I need to get out and make the most of this weather!
Official info at time of writing on Thursday 17th March 2016 (subject to change):
A fine and sunny day yesterday but some thin cloud hanging around. This morning there's not a cloud in sight, it's just blue skies all around.
It's going to get warm too, as we have been expecting. Temperatures down here in the village might rise to around 12C degrees and more of the same is expected tomorrow. Later on in the day tomorrow and sometime into Saturday rain is still on the forecast. Let's hope not too much.
Starting Sunday it will be cooling down once again a bit though not much sign of snow on the forecast just now. Perhaps a bit on mountain later Sunday...
In the meantime, today is a beautiful day to be out on the spring slopes.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Thursday 17th March 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses set to open this morning. The Tree Riding Zone is open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 190cm Base: 80cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses open apart from Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 251cm Toomi: 120cm Iimori: 60cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall again this morning. Happo Banks and the Kurobishi Off-Piste area are both open. Parts of the lower areas of Happo-one are now closed due to insufficient snow. Upper mountain remains all open. Night skiing has now finished for the season. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 175cm Nakiyama: 50cm Sakka: 20cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall again this morning. All courses open apart from Itadaira Ridge, Itadaira Forest and Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 160cm Base: 90cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses are generally open. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 19th March. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is now generally open for spring season (extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 217cm Maruyama: 60cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 55cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Insufficient snow means that only limited areas of Village Side remain open - by3, Shinden connecting. Sunny Valley and Paradise remain part open. Parts of the Mountain Side that are closed - View A, View B, Kamo 4, Dangan, Sonezawa, Five Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 120cm Lower: 40cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Closed courses are Kamoshika, Highway, Snake, Expert, Skyview and lower part of Satomi Ridge. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Norikura. Official snow depth: 85cm
As expected, it's a warm morning. The sun is out and there's clear blue skies in all directions.
It's a beautiful spring morning and if you are up for some spring skiing or boarding a very fine day to be out there enjoying it.
Back to the warm bit. 6C as we approach 9am this morning with a high of around 12C forecast. Tomorrow should start sunny, get a bit warmer still, and then some rain forecast for the end of the day and into Saturday. Not what you probably wanted to be reading I'm afraid...
If the forecast comes off, Sunday would be the pick of the weekend this time round as the rain should have stopped and it will be starting to get colder again.
Some lower slopes around town increasingly suffering now with snow melting away and ground and bushes poking through - but higher course areas are still enjoying snow cover.
One of the photos this morning is from the upper Okusoeji area of Maiko Snow Resort and the groomers are looking very inviting.
Resort official snow depths (Thursday 17th March 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
Spring. Sadly, snow melts and unfortunately melts faster when there's less of a base. There are now some patches of ground on view on some lower slopes around town now, some more than others. Some courses at resorts are now closed due to the snow situation. If you are coming, recommended to check with the individual resorts for their up-to-date details.
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma. Subject to change due to snow conditions.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
Blue skies all around and a strong sun shining down on us. Sunscreen is required if you're going to be zooming down the slopes.
Rather mild too, though compared with down in the valley much cooler/colder. We might even get a bit of snow tomorrow evening where rain is forecast for places lower down than us. Fingers crossed for that.
The forecast also shows some colder conditions returning starting Sunday as well which is good to see. It will be great if we can get some snow along with that.
For today though, a beautiful spring morning to enjoy some riding.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Thursday 17th March 2016):
Sun Valley 60cm Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)
Takamagahara Mammoth 120cm
Tannenomori Okojo 120cm
Ichinose Family 120cm Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Well today looks like it's going to be a warm one with a temperature of 1 Celsius recorded as of 09:00 this morning.
Conditions on piste today are going to be pretty smooth and hard in the morning and potentially slushy in the afternoon depending on how high the temperature gets.
Later this week the weather forecast is not looking so good at the moment. Friday through to Sunday a fair amount of rain is expected to fall. Afterwards a small amount of snow is then expected for Monday onward.
Well the temperatures are certainly rising here with a forecast low temp of Zero at the summit. It wil surely make for another slushy day on the mountain.
Yesterday was absolutely fantastic if you’re in to taking scenic pictures with clear skies and very little haze to contend with the panoramas from the summit were breathtaking. The skiing unfortunately was not. Ice in the morning followed by slush in the afternoon and a breezy day all round. The good news though was a relatively barren mountain with not too many adventurers out there willing to try what we had.
The forecast is unpleasant with rapidly rising temperatures and rainfall anticipated in the next few days. If you want to get a few last runs in today and tomorrow may be your best bet, even with the slightly slushy conditions.
Sunscreen and Spring clothing a must for today.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - T Bar - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Vista quad
Morning from Zao and it's clear blue skies along with warm conditions today.
Lots of snow melting from around my place already and yesterday up on the slopes I was noticing a lot more 'thinning' going on (what seemed like all of a sudden).
Spring is here. Just how long we can last with the skiing and boarding is another question!
My recommendations are to try and get out in a morning rather than afternoon... it was pretty hard work out there yesterday, though good for my leg muscles!
Looking ahead to the weekend and after a very warm day tomorrow, unfortunately we might get rained on overnight into Saturday. But it'll be starting to get colder once again from Sunday. Maybe even a little bit of snow around Monday. Though fresh snow seems something of a stretch as things are at the moment.
From 21st March (Monday), 'spring season' lift tickets will be available:
4 hours - 3500 yen (500 yen cheaper than main season) 5 hours - 3700 yen (800 yen cheaper than main season) 1 day adult - 4100 yen (900 yen cheaper than main season) 1 day senior - 3800 yen (600 yen cheaper than main season)
Information as of Thursday 17th March 2016 (subject to change)
Yesterday saw a major melt go on around the village with snow on roofs disappearing at a fast rate and footpaths turning to slush. The slush was still there late last night with water streaming down the streets. Overnight it did freeze but morning temperatures were already well above 0c. Spring skiing is here today! There is a moderate breeze blowing in the village but it doesnt feel at all cold.
There is some possibility of very light showers today in the afternoon. Tomorrow will be even warmer than today. The good news is that the rain forecast for Friday evening is now much less than the forecast was previously showing.