Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 20th January 2021
Monday 19th March 2012, 7:44am
Winter has returned!
It is cold out and there was some snow overnight. We got about 10cm of snow and it is still snowing. It's a cold one at the peak today, as the low pressure has moved in strongly. Today and tomorrow should be the heaviest snow. We are looking at late afternoon today being heavy snowfall, which may come with winds and shut down some lifts.
Backcountry travel should be avoided unless you are skiing treed runs and mellow pitches. Slides will occur with any new snow on anything steep. We have had poor bonding layers and the new snow will need some time to consolidate.
Yesterday we saw the front move in with some grey weather and wind. It has passed through and the cold air can once again be felt in Niseko. We didn't see any snow yesterday overnight, but that will change over the next 48 hours as local weather is predicting a fair bit of snow.
I hope everyone has a great day and gets another taste of winter. It won't be around much longer so let's enjoy it while it's here!
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 410cm Bottom - 205cm
Niseko Village: Top - 440cm Bottom - 180cm
Annupuri: Top - 480cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -7C, 10cm of broken particles snowfall in the past 12 hours and no drastic development of snowdrifts. Costal data: NW11m/s at Benkei cape, 1.6m waves and 1007hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak: NW14.8m/s, -16.8C. Annupuri 1000m: 480cm snowdepth. Snowfall transition: A winter weather pattern is making cold air to inflow towards Japan. Wind and snow picked up since last night and made snowdrifts (wind-affected slabs) to develop relatively drastically up to 60cm thickness in leeward slopes around 800m altitude. Hazard evaluation: Newly formed snowdriftsâ€™ surface slabs are still unstable and are likely to slide in typical avalanche terrain, such as around knolls and cornice. Maximum thickness can reach up to 60cm, sliding from March 18th layer (re-crystallized snow layer). Beware of avalanches in leeward slopes with heavy snowdrifts above 800m. Caution: Steep slopes covered with new snow should be avoided today. Avalanches are most likely to occur during or just after storms. Developing slabs are very unstable and instantly transmit stimulation through a large area. Gates: Peak gates will be closed today. Un-groomed slopes along the pistes have been reset, though still shallow. Remain prudent and in controllable speed. Have a safe day. Read more ...
Monday 19th March 2012, 9:30am
After a relatively mild weekend, temperatures have tumbled back into winter figures and are well below freezing. It is forecast to stay like this until the end of the week with almost daily snowfalls predicted as well.
There has been a light snowfall overnight of 1cm in the village. There is a light wind currently blowing and cloud is rolling down the mountain. At the moment the cloud is halfway down on the Kitanomine side and almost to base of the Furano side.
The Spies Course in Furano Zone will be closed on March 25 for ski competions.
March 25 is the final day of the season for the Kitanomine Zone. The proposed closing date for Furano Zone is May 6. Read more ...
Monday 19th March 2012, 10:28am
Dusting of snow falling in Minakami this morning giving the the groomers a bit of a refresh. Cold temperatures and a strongish wind making it feel colder still. Good conditions on all of the slopes with the snow supposed to keep falling on and off for the rest of the day.
This light snow is supposed to continue for the first half of the week with cold temperatures persisting. It will get warmer on Thursday and stay that way into next weekend. Read more ...
Monday 19th March 2012, 10:44am
Snow is falling! Not just a bit, either, but a pretty good fall of freshâ€”probably 20cm or so, at least here at the base level. There's a bit of wind, too, and drifting, so it's a little hard to tell just how much has fallen. But it's a nice change from the rain and fog of the last few days.
After that weekend-to-forget weather wise, I have much more encouraging news this morning from Yuzawa - in the form of some fresh snow! Yes, so much better than the wet conditions we had over the weekend and 5-15cm of new snow is not on the slopes around town. Kagura reporting the most with 10-15cm since last night. I think some people who were in Yuzawa over the weekend might not be too pleased to hear about that!
It is just cloudy now as I write this report at 11:30am but is snowing in places higher up on the mountains. It is keeping quite cold with a high or just around +1 today. Quite bright too at the moment, but a bit of a strong wind is forecast from this afternoon. Looks like it is going to be a cold night with temperatures down to around -5 degrees followed by clear and sunny weather tomorrow and a high of around +5.
So while it's not deep conditions, it is certainly an improvement this morning.
I have got to admit it really was a quite miserable weekend weather-wise. No doubt some people came and will have got on and enjoyed things, but it is always sad to have rain fall over our beloved slopes. Probably the worse weekend of the season because of that.
This morning I have some better stuff to report. And it's white. Oh yes, we have actually had that snowfall that we were hoping for. Both Naeba and Kagura share the prize by reporting around up to 15cm of fresh snowfall. Hurray! There's a price though and that price is a strong northerly wind blowing about meaning that the Dragondola and some other upper lifts at Naeba are closed and some restrictions over at Kagura as well though they will try to keep as much going as possible depending on the wind situation - one of those 'fluid and need to get in touch with the resort' situations.
It's just cloudy really now with light snow fading out, and perhaps even things will clear up a bit later. Clearer conditions are forecast for tomorrow after a cold night tonight.
Resort Operations, 19th March (subject to change) Naeba: Wind affecting operations Kagura: Wind affecting operations Official snow depths Naeba: 280cm Kagura: 380cm
You remember how yesterday I said that there might be good news today? Well, there is! 20cm or so of it! Yep, we have been on the receiving end of a nice new layer of snow here in Madarao as conditions greatly improve overnight. Of course, that snow is on top of the damaged surface from the rain over the weekend but enough to make a huge difference out on the experience this morning. Such a contrast.
It is colder as well with the temperature currently hovering around 0C after a cold night. It's good to see that there's some winter left in the season.
It has been clearing up and now just cloudy with some light snow falling up top but it should be just cloudy for the rest of the day really. We will probably have the sun above us tomorrow though happily it seems set to remain cold - at least for a few days, before getting milder again later in the week.
For now though, a good Monday!
Lifts currently operating: All lifts and runs due to be open today Official snow depth: 260cm Read more ...
Monday 19th March 2012, 12:18pm
Cloud, clearing up
A very good morning to all shredders and skiers in Hakuba and everyone interested!
We have some good news in the valley and mountains to report this morning. Those rain clouds from last night turned into snow around midnight, and kept snowing with NE wind till this morning. It was still snowing mid-morning, but the forecast is saying that we are going to get some sun this afternoon and it is indeed looking like it is clearing up. I can see some blue sky up there now. Temperatures are helping us today by keeping colder than they have been.
Good reports from the slopes. Goryu and Happo One got up to 20cm of new snowfall, Corntina has 20cm of new as well, but the wind was a bit strong this morning around Otari Valley, so there might be some wind deposits here and there and it should seem deeper in places.
This strong wind, however, can cause windslab, plus there is the distinct possibilities of wet avalanches. The warm weather and rain that has fallen over the past few days has been creating a weak layer of sugary snow crystal. Travel in the backcountry area is not recommended today.
The weather forecast saying that we are going to have cold temperatures overnight tonight into tomorrow but a generally fine day tomorrow. Fingers crossed temperatures remain cold and actually the forecast says that conditions should remain calm with 0 to 600m of freezing level until around Thursday. We might see more rain clouds around Thursday night with high freezing level. For now though let's ignore that and enjoy the new snow conditions!
Official snow depths and operations @ Monday 19th March 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu reports 5cm on lower slopes and a good-sounding 20cm up top. All lifts and runs scheduled to be open today. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 265cm; Toomi - 145cm; Iimori - 110cm
Hakuba 47: All courses open, all lifts except Line D operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 248cm Lower - 152cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Usagidaira, Happo No1 pair, Central pair and Shirakaba No1 moving today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 220cm; Sakka - 70cm; Nakiyama - 80cm.
Just a few cm of new snowfall to report this morning but it is definitely colder than it has been - it was about minus six when I left home this morning - and more of a wintery feel. The snow clouds have given up their snow and it is just cloudy now. I can see the top of the mountain from base though and at the moment the sun is even trying to peek through from behind some clouds up there casting some dramatic shadows on some of the lower slopes at the moment.
The next few days we might see some more sprinklings of snow though nothing major is expected. It is going to keep colder as well with temperatures rising around Thursday.
From Wednesday this week (21st March), the resort is introducing it's lower "Spring Ski" lift ticket pricing. For example normally a one-day adult lift ticket costs 4800 yen, but from Wednesday that will be reduced to 4000 yen. A ticket for a child is reduced from 2500 yen to 2200 yen. Tomorrow will also be the last night of 'nighta' at Zao for the season.
There's still a lot left of the season though with some upper slopes hoping to be open for skiing and snowboarding through until 6th May.
Official snow depths (19th March 12) Utopia - 260cm Chuo - 220cm Paradise - 240cm Uwanodai - 170cm
Operating lifts (19th March 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao due to be open. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 19th March 2012, 12:35pm
Cloud and more blue sky as the day goes on
So, the weekend was definitely not one of the best of the season - the worst? - in terms of weather conditions that we just don't want to see, but there was better news overnight with some new snowfall in Shiga Kogen to enjoy today. Not a massive amount but enough to cover the roads and give us a fresh layer to play in.
Those clouds have moved on from the region though for the most part and now the sun is making it's appearance and there are increasingly blue skies up above with it turning into a fine day. It has been a cold morning as well with temperatures back down to something more like winter. They should keep quite cold as well over the next few days and we will probably be seeing a fair bit more of the sun as well. Not much really in terms of snow on the horizon - perhaps a bit around Thursday?
The slopes are very quiet today - but I'm sure the people getting out there will be enjoying the new snow.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
- Ichinose Family - Ichinose Diamond - Kumanoyu
Official resort snow depths as of Monday 19th March 2012 AM:
The Snow Gods have blessed us again in Nozawa with a nice foot of fresh being delivered overnight. We were expecting a fair bit up top but it has fallen in the Village too and coated everything in a crisp blanket of white. Doesn't matter how many times you see it a good fall of fresh snow is always magic.
It is going to be pretty awesome today and one happy soul has already raced down late for his train but ecstatic about the knee-deep powder up top! Will be a nice contrast to the last two days. Temps are back down as well with a good cold winter feel in the air.
The outlook is good with some sun and snow tomorrow and the next day then will warm up again Friday before what may be an epic snow system churning in from the 25th of March. With very few people gracing the slopes, March is confirming to be our favourite month of the season again.
Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:
Current Lift operations: Whole resort is operational