Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th January 2021
Tuesday 20th March 2012, 6:55am
I am probably writing too early--the weather does like to change in the morning--but I'm pretty confident that the perfect blue skies we have right now are going to hold, at least for the morning. It's beautiful out there, with the sparkling white of yesterday's snowfall shining in the sun. The mountains are perfect--and you have a national holiday on which to come up and enjoy them! No excuses today; just go skiing.
No official reports yet, so I don't know how much they are adding to the snowpack; I gave us 20cm+ of pretty heavy spring powder yesterday, so we'll just hold the figures until tomorrow. It's a ton of snow anyway, OK? I'm out to enjoy a hike....
Good morning to all and a nice wintery one at that. We've seen about 20cm overnight and there's more snow coming down as we speak. It is still cold and the wind is still going quite a bit. Last night showed us some very strong winds and it is still windy this morning, which will be affecting lifts.
Yesterday brought us the front that moved through and is when it started to snow. It will be enough by the end of the storm to cover up that crust that was left by a long period with a freeze-thaw cycle and no fresh snow.
Traveling into the backcountry is probably not a wise decision today. It will be easy to lose your bearings with the wind and poor visibility. Today is a much better day to ski in the resort, since they will be largely uncrowded. The snowpack is very unreliable and the moment. North facing is probably going to be the best bet since the south facing will not accomodate the new snow very well and east facing will be fairly windloaded.
Local weather forecast is saying tomorrow should clear up a little bit and then it is possible we may see some more snow after. It's really uncertain at the moment, as it depends which airflow becomes stronger. Currently, it's hard to say. It will either be clear and warm or cold and snowy! So let's just sit back and see what happens, hoping for the latter.
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 410cm Bottom - 205cm
Niseko Village: Top - 450cm Bottom - 190cm
Annupuri: Top - 480cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -7C, 20cm of broken particles snowfall with snowdrift development in the past 12hours. Coastal data: WNW13m/s at Benkei cape, 3.1m waves and 1004hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak: WNW17.1m/s, -15.1C. Annupuri 1000m: 480cm snowdepth. Snowfall transition: A strong NW wind with snow has persisted for 24 hours and made snowdrifts to develop drastically in all Niseko area. A westerly wind of around 15m/s is forecasted to remain during the morning and will make snowdrifts to grow even thicker. Hazard evaluation: Avalanche risk is high. Newly formed snowdrifts are yet to stabilize and surface slab avalanche of up to 80cm thickness is highly likely to occur in coordinate F4-5 Osawa cornice area and other similar condition slopes. Traversing across to the other side of the valley from gate 8 can be very risky. High hazard is also to be expected in coordinates C4-D5 Moiwa-Mikaeri bowl and H8 Higashione area. Caution: Avoid gully and valley bottoms. Do not duck ropes to seek fresh tracks. One track left under the rope can lead many others to do the same and unnecessarily increase the chances of accidents to happen. Gates: Peak gates will be closed today. Please follow the ski patrol's instructions. Most accidents occur during and just after storms. The snow in the trees next to the pistes looks in good shape. Have a nice day. Read more ...
Tuesday 20th March 2012, 9:10am
From mid morning onwards yesterday the snow really started to come down. This has left us with 25cm of additional new snow...and it is powder. Late season skiing just got even better. It is going to be fantastic powder skiing on piste this morning although visibility will be limited at times. The cold temperatures will persist through the week with Thursday morning warming a little. There is more snow to come during the week.
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 ...
Tuesday 20th March 2012, 10:40am
Clear, clouding over
Good morning from Hakuba. After that nice new layer of snow yesterday, things cleared up over the village and it got brighter though a band of cloud remained over upper parts of the resort areas.
Earlier on this morning it was nice and clear with blue skies on show, but since then wispy like clouds have gradually formed and it's much a greyer look to the skies now - those getting out early will have enjoyed the earlier conditions, I'm sure. It's amazing how sometimes it can change so quickly. Having said that, still nothing is falling and visibility out there on the mountains is good.
There has been no new snowfall since yesterday, but the temperature stayed cool enough. Since today is actually a national holiday in Japan, the slopes are looking much busier than usual for a Tuesday - though still not like a busy weekend and things should return back to normal again from tomorrow.
Light breeze of 3 to 5 m of NW to W wind all day. The temperature this morning was around -2C at 9am and down to around -8c up on the top areas, but it will probably rise to around +4 later on this afternoon.
It's looking good for more snowfall to be over the Hakuba valley from around Friday and over the weekend and so hopefully we can look forward to another new layer for the weekend.
The recent snow fall and strong winds from the west have loaded the east aspects at tree line and in the alpine. This snow is over riding the melt forms (rain crust at elevation) of the weekends rain event and the bond to this melt layer is variable. Natural avalanches are not expected, but human triggered slides are still a definite possibility. Today's clearer skies and warming temperatures will add to the load and stress at the surface on solar aspects.
It is advisable to take due caution travelling in the backcountry today and stay away from cornices and unsupported slopes with variable depth of loading and strong solar radiation.
Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 20th March 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: No new snowfall this morning at Goryu. All lifts and runs scheduled to be open today. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 260cm; Toomi - 140cm; Iimori - 110cm
Hakuba 47: No new snowfall at 47 this morning. All courses open, all lifts except Line D operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 242cm Lower - 152cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Happo No1 pair and Central pair moving today. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 210cm; Sakka - 70cm; Nakiyama - 80cm.
Good morning from Yuzawa on this national holiday.
Yesterday we did see the snow on and off during the day, though it didn't really amount to much in terms of cm on the ground - the resorts will have seen a new sprinkling though. No new cm to report though this morning around town as we started the day with the sun out and nice clear conditions. Cold to start the day off, but gradually getting warmer this morning. The skies have also gradually started to haze over, with thin wispy clouds appearing up there and giving it all an overcast kind of look as we move into late morning. The forecast for the day though is generally just clear conditions with a high of around +5 degrees expected.
As it is a national holiday today we can expect there to be more people around than a usual quiet Tuesday in March, though having a look around town lifts seems to be moving smoothly. Back to a normal weekday tomorrow.
It should be a fairly cold night overnight and a chance of light snow on the forecast for tomorrow.
After that great start to the day yesterday, I don't have any more new snowfall to report this morning. I am hearing that there is still some nice untouched out there this morning, especially in the tree run course areas. Got get them, while stocks last!!
This morning when I got up it was clear blue skies up there. Has clouded over a bit since then. Not thick clouds... 'thin' being the way I'd describe them. I'm sure there's a more cloudy-scientific term than that but it's not popping into my head right now. Anyway the nice clear blue has been replaced by a more hazy thing going on.
Was a cold night dropping down to around -6, but this morning things have warmed up a bit and it's about +2 now.
It should keep cold the next day or so, but starting to get milder again Thursday and Friday. Snow for the weekend? Possible. We shall see.
Lifts currently operating: All lifts and runs due to be open today Official snow depth: 260cm Read more ...
Tuesday 20th March 2012, 11:07am
Cloud, light snow up top
A snowy start to the day in Zao. I have a bit more snowfall to report, perhaps 2-3cm in village and hopefully a bit more than that out on the upper slopes, and a cold start to the day. Poor visibility on the mountain as well with only the lower parts of the slopes seen from the village and the upper areas all covered in cloud.
It was around -4 degrees earlier on this morning and I doubt that it is going to be rising much and will stay cold.
Taking a look at the forecast we can expect clearer conditions tomorrow and Thursday perhaps, but a return to snowy conditions from Friday and actually into next week with the potential for a decent snowfall. Which would be very nice.
Like I said yesterday, it's officially spring ski time from tomorrow with those cheaper lift ticket prices. Still a long way to go though. Let's hope the snow holds up good for us.
National holiday today and so busier than a normal Tuesday but not at weekend levels.
Official snow depths (20th March 12) Utopia - 260cm Chuo - 220cm Paradise - 240cm Uwanodai - 170cm
Operating lifts (20th March 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao due to be open. Read more ...
Tuesday 20th March 2012, 11:14am
I have just come back from an early morning stint at Kagura and it was really great up there. Quite busy as it's a national holiday in Japan today (and often Kagura does get busy in the spring months as people seek the best conditions higher up) and the sun was out with a blue sky backdrop. By the time I came down though just before, it had somehow managed to quickly cloud over and become grey. Didn't notice that happening!
Anyway, it was cold last night down to minus double digits even, but it has warmed up somewhat already. The sun not out right now though will probably keep it down and in a way that's good as the snow won't be melting and keep the snow in decent conditions.
Resort Operations, 19th March (subject to change) Naeba: All runs open apart from Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom. All gondolas moving today. Kagura: Normal operations Official snow depths Naeba: 280cm Kagura: 380cm
Continuing on from sunny spell yesterday, early this morning we were greeted to beautiful blue skies above Shiga Kogen. It has clouded over quite quickly since then though it's not as bright now. Nothing coming down from the skies though and keeping quite cold after a cold start to the day. The roads are clear of snow again.
Next snowfall due around Friday-Saturday-Sunday if the forecast has it right. Thursday looks like it will get fairly mild out there but generally we will hopefully see temperatures remaining cold.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 20th March 2012 AM:
The light snow from yesterday kept falling for most of the day and into the night, adding up to a decent little covering. It was sunny this morning but has clouded over a bit now although the sun is still trying to fight its way out. It's a great day out there and even better because it is a national holiday. Bit of a breeze around but great snow and good spring condition.
The snow should be back tomorrow and then we are forecast a blue sky day on Thursday. Precipitation on Friday and with the warmer temperatures coming it might mean a bit of rain but it should be back to light snow for the weekend. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Tuesday 20th March 2012, 13:14pm
Stunning start to the day here in Nozawa and nice cold air when sat outside for a cup of tea this morning. Fairly blue skies with a bit of increasingly scattered cloud as the day moves on with the mercury is slowly rising with the sunshine.
Snow conditions still excellent with the fresh from the previous day. Yesterday was a good one up there with the foot of fresh over the whole resort and it snowed for a good part of the morning. Everyone was beaming when they tumbled down the hill late yesterday.
There is a bit of snow forecast for tonight then a couple of mostly sunny days. Looks like we will see quite a lot of snow over the weekend for the top at least. So anyone sitting behind their desk in Tokyo or where ever considering a mountain escape may want to start waxing the boards!
A fair bit going on in Nozawa this weekend too with the Spring Festival on the slopes of Yamabiko on Sunday and a Snowboard Cross contest on at Hikage should be fun.
Donâ€™t forget Ma Chan and his Japanese Folk music tonight at the Nakao Community Centre always a mesmerizing evening with the local community.
Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:
Current Lift operations: Whole resort is operational