Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019
Friday 21st February 2014, 8:05am
I remember saying it would probably build up during the day in my report yesterday.
Well, this morning I do have a very nice delivery of snow to report. Over 25cm here outside my place, and a quick glance at the Avalanche report below shows some bigger numbers still on the mountain.
It's cloudy, it's snowing and it's around -5C. (Having said that, there is actually some sunlight shining down in places over the town area as I write this report). And there's not much wind either. Tol lifts and gates will all be open.
So there's lots of fresh snow about and very fine quality snow it is too - conditions should really be top notch this morning. There's lots of people already itching to get up there and waiting for the lifts to open. It's going to be another really great (and busy) day in Niseko!
Looking ahead after snow today and perhaps tomorrow, after that clearer conditions are currently on the forecast from Monday through into midweek.
As regular readers will know, we sometimes take a look back at how much snow has fallen and compare with previous seasons. Just for the fun of it, nothing more than that. So let's take a look at the current situation.
As of 21st February 2014: - 1022cm of snowfall in the Hirafu Village area (observed in our reports) - 163cm for the month so far
As of 21st February 2013 (ie. last season): - 1313cm of snowfall in the Hirafu Village area (observed in our reports) - 334cm for the month so far
The Japan Meteorological Agency statistic for the whole of February in Kutchan town last season was 228cm, and 216cm the season before that. This February so far they have recorded 110cm (not including today).
Remember the JMA Kutchan readings are taken in Kutchan town, and our readings are observed in the Hirafu Village area - and it's generally thought that you can add another 50% or so to the number to get an idea of what might have fallen higher up on the mountain.
Snowclouds generated by a small low-pressure is mostly covering the west side of the Niseko range, dumping 40-50cm of crystal snow. The snow is fluffy and light in the mild wind. Looking at the snowfall transition and observations, the avalanche hazard in regular terrain is moderate, however still considerable to high in typical avalanche terrain. Peak gates will open from the morning. Steep open slopes such as the Backbowl’s sidewalls remains very hazardous. Better not ride all the way down to the bottom from the Annupuri second bowl (F5-E4 of Niseko Rule’s map). Avalanches strike from above. Higashi-One cornice slopes are equally hazardous (H7-8). 50cm thick surface slab slides are to be highly considered in the strictly off-limits Haru-no-taki area. DO NOT enter these off-limits areas. Cracks are lurking underneath fresh snow, attentively observe the hubbles on the slopes. Falling in those cracks can lead serious consequences. It is recommended to stay in-bounds or close to the resort today. The snow is great, overhead blowers, light and deep. Beware of getting stuck in the forest. Always be conscious of the hazards of backcountry skiing and stay prudent.
Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:
It was cold through the day yesterday with the sun making some extended appearances, and while there was no new cm of snowfall it has kept good conditions due to the continued cold temps.
This morning there has been a light snowfall in places with Hakuba 47 reporting 2-5cm and Cortina up to 5cm.
Visibility is ok on the lower slopes but it looks like most of the runs this morning to start off with at least covered in cloud/fog with poor visibility. While it isn't snowing here in the village right now, I heard that snow is coming down on the roads around Tsugaike and some of the resorts are early on reporting snowy conditions up there. Most forecasts have us just down for cloud for the day though perhaps the odd snow shower in the first part of the day.
From tomorrow it's looking like a run of clear and sunny days. Hopefully it'll keep cold over the weekend but there's a good chance that warmer conditions will prevail early in the week and temperatures nudging into positive numbers down at base.
Should be a good weekend. After the traffic chaos last weekend, all being clear I would expect some people wanting to make up for it this coming weekend... expect popular places to be very busy! Early start recommended.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 21st February 2014):
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Upper - 280cm Toomi - 180cm Iimori - 160cm
Hakuba 47: Reporting 2cm of new snowfall at base and 5cm up top. Upper - 265cm Lower - 100cm
Morning from Yuzawa. It didn't get that cold overnight last night, only down to around -1 degree and that's where we are now at 9am. Some snow overnight - up to around 10cm in some places around town - and it wasn't snowing just a while ago but has started up again. There's a moderate northerly wind at the moment too.
Snow is forecast for the day and on and off through tomorrow as well though the cold front is weakening and there's a chance of clearup. What does look clear is that from Sunday onwards and into next week clear conditions will be what we see most along with milder temperatures especially as we get into next week.
Last weekend lots of people couldn't get to Yuzawa due to the disruption to trains and expressways. There should be none of those problems this weekend and so it will be back to a busy Saturday. The car parks will be filling up early! If we can get some more snow out of the clouds today, conditions should be really great too.
Light snow falling this morning after another haul of 10cm or so on the mountain. Limited visibility again as the mountain is covered with cloud, though still we are expecting conditions to start to clear up today.
Clearer weather is due over the weekend and into early next week.
Operating lifts (planned):
Number 1 Number 2 Number 3A Number 2 quad Number 5 Super quad Number 11 Number 12 Number 13 Number 15 Moving walkway Kids Park
It was a clearer start to the day but has closed over since. A moderate wind and it feels cold at about -6 degrees a bit earlier on, -11 degrees up top.
No cm of new snow to report but we might get snow falling today. Wouldn't expect much though. Similar conditions probably for tomorrow too. It will surely be a much calmer and less crazy weekend than what we experienced last week!
Official snow depths (21st February 14): Utopia: 310cm Chuo: 260cm Paradise: 300cm Uwanodai: 180cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 21st February 2014, 9:30am
It has been a cold start to the day here in Shiga Kogen.
Snow is falling again which is a contrast to the weather we had yesterday. Quite bright though in some parts of the area with the sun trying to show through thin clouds at times.
I was just over at Kumanoyu. Very quiet indeed. Hardly anyone about. It probably goes without saying but if you can get here weekdays rather than much busier weekends you're in for a treat. I know, not possible for many. But I'd go as far as saying worth taking the days off work to get the ski runs to yourself!
We are expecting mostly clearer weather for the weekend and into next week too, but it should keep cold for the next few days at least.
Official snow depth data, as of Friday 21st February 2014):
Hello and good morning from Nozawa where light snow has been falling from the skies this morning.
The resort reported 15cm of fresh on Uenotaira, and about 7cm on the top Yamabiko areas overnight, with an additional 1-5cm across the mountain up until just after 10am this morning. So just a dusting down at base really but more fresh to be found higher up. I wouldn't expect much more in terms of cm today looking at what the forecasts say - which is mostly just cloud for today.
One things the forecasts do seem to agree on though is that there's hardly any snow forecast for the coming week past tomorrow and the potential for lots of sun. We haven't seen a whole lot of the sun of late so it will be good, but lets just hope it doesn't warm up too much. Around Tuesday temperatures are due to be into positive numbers. Should keep cold for the weekend though.
Expect Nozawa to be very busy this weekend! Hope you can come and enjoy the current conditions.