Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 17th April 2020
Saturday 1st December 2012, 9:26am
Welcome to the weekend and guess what... it's snowing. It tends to do that a lot here, for which we are all very thankful! Since my last report around 10cm of fresh snowfall to report here and that's being reflected by Hirafu who now have 185cm up top and 80cm at base. So this morning it is snowing lightly and it's also very cold. Earlier on it was just under -5C and it's almost unchanged a few hours later. Going to be a cold day for sure.
Today of course sees Niseko Village open and this morning they have the Community Chair and Banzai Chair lifts operating. I have noted below which lifts are operating at the three open resort areas below.
Lifts Operating (at time of writing)
Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair Ace Quad No2 (Center Four) Ace Pair Lift No3 King Hooded Triple Life #3
From today until 14th December, the lift tickets are set to the normal 'off-season' prices.
Weather forecast? Cold and snowy today and then things might just clear up somewhat tomorrow and not be quite as cold. Monday night into Tuesday is looking like it might bring us warmer conditions and also rain to the region before cold and snow returns again on Wednesday.
Now that we are into December, let's take a look at the JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency) Kutchan town snowfall numbers. If you take a look back over the Niseko Now reports last season, we were comparing the snowfall month by month over recent seasons in the Kutchan town area. Here are the numbers for the month of November over the last five seasons:
November 2008: 80cm November 2009: 102cm November 2010: 40cm November 2011: 82cm November 2012: 98cm
Please note that these numbers are not the snowfall on the mountains themselves, and we are simply mentioning them out of interest. As you can see in our reports here, a fair amount more falls on the mountains (think around 1.5 times the amount is a good ballpark). We'll keep an eye on these numbers throughout the season and see how things compare. By the way take a look back at December 2011 in the Niseko Now archives - it really was an amazing month for snowfall and December 2012 has a big target!
Looking back at our own reports here, around 120cm of snow has fallen in the village area since that first snowfall.
It started snowing in the early hours of the morning in Hakuba. We have fresh snowfall of perhaps between 3-7cm (and counting) across the valley at the moment. Wind speed is about 5m/s, it is a very grey sky out there and vision is poor with the cloud covering all nine resorts. Taking a look at the webcams though it looks like some decent snowflakes are falling up there.
The good news is that it is still snowing and the prediction for today is well into the evening with powder snowfall later on. With present temperatures of -1 and 1 degree up to the early evening, Hakuba should have a nice amount of snowfall to keep people occupied this weekend.
From today more of Happo-one is open again - they have the Kokusai No3 pair and Panorama pair lifts moving again for the weekend and also the Alpen quad lift - but other than that there do not seem to be any changes in resort operations just as yet. They will certainly be looking to open up more just as soon as they can though. For now... top bits!
The weekend of course brings traffic from many parts of Japan and the roads were a little congested on main arterial routes earlier on. Take care driving.
Good morning and welcome to the Nozawa Onsen season! Yes this morning just a few hours ago the first lifts took eager skiers and snowboarders up the mountain for their first Nozawa flavoured slides of the season.
Lifts operating Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko Four Yamabiko No 2 Four
Courses open Yamabiko A Course Yamabiko B Course Yamabiko C Course Yamabiko D Course Yamabiko E Course Kokenashi
So basically it's the top area of the resort that is open.
And what better weather to have than snow falling. We have a few cm in the village this morning and probably a bit more up top, but it is still snowing and the Yamabiko area is reporting a snow depth 60cm of snow for this first day of the season. Hopefully that will be more by the end of today.
It looks like things will clear up tomorrow and Monday but we can expect a return to snowfall on Tuesday.
From now until 21st December, lift tickets will be at special prices - 3000 yen (adult), 1500 yen (up to 15 year olds) and 2000 yen (over 60s).
It's snowing this morning at Kagura. Not a huge amount of snowfall to report though as yet, just a few cm, hopefully I'll have some numbers in tomorrows report as it continues to snow and looking good for the day. Cold too, hope all those people lining up to get on the Ropeway this morning were wrapped up good!
More of the mountain open this morning as mentioned in the report yesterday.
Tomorrow should keep cold but the snow will have eased off and Tuesday might be a sunny one. After that, more snow around Tuesday.
Have a good weekend!
Official resort snow depth: Kagura - 100cm
Planned opening dates: Kagura (Tashiro) on December 8th Naeba on December 8th Read more ...
Saturday 1st December 2012, 10:27am
It's snowing here in Yuzawa this morning with a few cm of snow on the ground once again. If the forecast is correct we should be seeing snow fall for pretty much all of the day and hopefully into tomorrow so fingers crossed it might bring us a decent 'result'. It is actually getting colder as the day goes on and we are now hovering around 0 degrees and destined to get down colder into the afternoon and tomorrow. The snow will likely ease off by tomorrow though and then we are on for a milder Monday before a chance of more snow Tuesday. The weather still can't make up it's mind, it would seem.
If you aren't already, do keep an eye on our Naeba Now reports with the latest details from the Kagura and Naeba area of Yuzawa.
The other day we had more snowfall and there is about 20-30cm or so on the runs of Madarao Kogen. Good to be walking on snow once again.
A bit of resort news for you. This season Madarao will be opening up two new courses.
'Powder Theater' is a 600m tree run course connecting the Powerline and Crystal courses. Looks like you'll be able to see it easily and plan your lines from the No13 single lift.
The other new 380m run is called 'Adventure Aisle' up at the top of the mountain. They are not actually referring to it as a course it seems, it's more like a connecting run making it easier to get onto get onto Powderline. Should be great views up there though.
Can't wait to give them a go!
It's snowing this morning so lets hope we get enough for the 'pre-open' next weekend. Full official opening planned for 15th December. Read more ...
Saturday 1st December 2012, 14:57pm
Another page turned on the calender, and another wintery day in Furano. We're seeing scattered snow showers at the moment, leaving behind more of the white stuff every time the winds change. Overall, we've seen around 10cm of new snow since last night, and the flurries promise to fly for the rest of the day and on into the night. December is looking good, with snow in the forecast everyday for the next week.
The big news today is that Sailer Course is now officially open for skiing from top to bottom. This is a welcome announcement, as there is plenty of fresh powder on the lower half of the mountain just waiting for the first turns of the season.
It's currently -4 with light snow. Winds are light and variable, making it a perfect Saturday to get out there and enjoy all that new snow.