Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th January 2021

Niseko Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 7:44am
Weather conditions: Cloudy and snowing lightly
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning and a cloudy one at that!

Yesterday we saw some really heavy fog in the morning and it warmed up substantially with the sun. The south facing aspects became very heavy and anything under 900m or so was pretty well sun-baked. North facing aspects will be your best bet for good snow today. High in elevation, it is still entirely possible to get really good snow out there. There are also many backcountry spots that have good snow as well.

If you are going out please remember it is hit or miss on avalanche danger. Some places are entirely safe while others are not. Some things you want to look out for are heavy windloaded pockets, areas that face south with heavy snow on top, and north facing slopes that are wind slabbed. Go with someone who knows.

Local forecast is saying it could possibly snow again with cold temps tomorrow, but others are saying partly cloudy with a bit of warm temps. It's better to be prepared for either at the moment and let the surprise happen. That's pretty much weather here in Niseko everyday, anyway.

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 415cm
Bottom - 195cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 450cm
Bottom - 200cm

Top - 480cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -2C, light snowfall. Coastal data: NW11m/s at Benkei cape, 1.2m waves and 1014hPa at Kamui cape. Anupuri peak: NW14m/s, -9.4C. Annupuri 1000m: 480cm snowdepth.
Snowfall transition: Atmospheric pressure gradient is small as the low-pressure moved further east. The wind below 1100m is calming down, however a NW wind is forecasted to pick up temporarily above 1100m altitude and will make snowdrifts to develop in leeward slopes.
Hazard evaluation: The general avalanche risk is small, however a thin but wide surface slab slide is to be expected in SE facing slopes under 1000m as the sun comes out and the temperature rises. Those slides would run very fast, caution is required when riding steep open slopes. The snowdrifts formed on top of Mar 16th layer has reached 100cm thickness in 800m leeward slopes. The bottom 80cm is rounding and stable. A notable (March 21st) hoar layer is seen to form at the surface. Avalanche risk from deeper layers remains in E6 Backbowl sidewall 1200m area and H8 Higashione NE facing slopes.
Caution: Riding valley bottoms and gullies should be refrained in order to avoid the dangers of spring ground avalanches. Keep ample space between skiers when traversing large slopes or gully terrains.
Gates: Peak gates should open at 9:30, however is subject to lift operations. Do not duck ropes to access the out of bounds areas. The snow is in good condition.
   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Warm and grey outside today with nothing but clouds overhead. The forecast is for precipitation later which will be rain down in the valley and at the base of the resorts. Will have to wait and see how it falls a little higher up. The snow is OK at the moment though a little soft lower down. It's likely to get quite sugary by the end of the day if it stays this warm.

Temperatures are supposed to drop by the end of Saturday and we are predicted light snow all the way though until Monday night. A fine day is expected Tuesday before the light snow starts again in the middle of next week.   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 9:24am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is a nice clear day in Furano and we have been blessed with a nice top up of 4cm of new snow overnight. It is still snowing lightly at the moment but visibility is perfect and the sun is out. More snow is forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

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 ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 9:57am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa. It's a cloudy start to the day here and right now about 4 degrees. Just cloudy is good for the moment and let's hope it stays that way because rain is due and looking inevitable today... so the more we can hold off on that the better. I'm thinking it's going to be soon though.

Visibility is maa-maa ok out there I suppose, but all very dull and grey.

Tomorrow, stuff should be falling from the sky and hopefully it will be snow. It's going to start getting colder from tomorrow and so we can be hopeful about that.

In the meantime, have fun out there - and I'll bring you the latest tomorrow morning.

Official resort snow depths @ Friday 23rd March 12, AM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:
220cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 10:02am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Morning. It's just cloudy and foggy here this morning at the moment - a bit milder than yesterday and still the prospect of some rain later but not quite yet. Even if we get that though, it should be snowing tomorrow, at least as the day progresses and it gets colder with snowfall due into Monday.

Last nighta of the season is tomorrow night, so... let's nighta!


Lifts currently operating:
All lifts apart from 13A and runs due to be open today
Official snow depth:
250cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 10:10am
Weather conditions: Bright, clear with thin cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is a fairly bright morning here in Zao with an overcast kind of look as some wispy clouds are up there in the sky. It was down to about -3 earlier on when I left my home this morning but now hovering around the 0 degrees mark in the village. Good visibility out on the mountain and I can see the top from base at the moment.

Where's this snow you were mentioning not so long ago? Still on the cards by looks and perhaps later this afternoon it will be snowing and a decent snowfall very possible tonight. Temperatures should drop and then get colder still Sunday onwards into next week. Strong winds likely tomorrow so need to keep an eye on that...

Official snow depths (23rd March 12)
Utopia - 260cm
Chuo - 220cm
Paradise - 240cm
Uwanodai - 165cm

Operating lifts (23rd March 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
Most lifts operating.
All the runs at Zao scheduled to be open.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 10:24am
Weather conditions: Cloud, rain > snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Morning from Hakuba. It has been raining this morning unfortunately, but that is as we were expecting really. BUT!! As I have been writing this report though, good news - turning into snow down in the village even so it should be snowing higher up right now. Whether it can keep doing this or not remains to be seen, but.... more of it please!

Yesterday we had some very strong winds blowing around, the 'haru-ichiban' - a strong wind that always get when spring has arrived. The winds have now calmed down for today.

Temperatures are remaining warmer, and it looks like it will keeping fairly mild into tomorrow but it will drop down and get colder again over the weekend. You want snow? Looks like we are going to be on the receiving end soon enough, probably today high up as the rain continues in the village but we should be seeing snow at village level as well sometime tomorrow. If the forecast has got it right we may actually be getting a decent amount of new snowfall by the end of the weekend and into Monday. (You can tell I wrote those last few sentences before it turned into snow falling in the village just now - but there's every chance it will revert back! Borderline stuff at the moment!)

Cloud covers all of the village and mountains this morning, so pretty poor visibility out on the mountain.

It's very quiet at the moment in Hakuba but with the weekend tomorrow no doubt things will liven up for the weekend. If you are visiting, take care and have fun out there. Spring-like conditions out there for the most part right now - think granular (zarame) - but tons of fun to be had. The new snowfall forecast over the next few days should see conditions improve, so collective finger-crossing everyone...


Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 23rd March 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
No new snowfall at Goryu this morning. All lifts (apart from Alps daira No2 and No4) and runs scheduled to be open today. Alps daira lifts open tomorrow.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 235cm;
Toomi - 135cm;
Iimori - 105cm

Hakuba 47:
No new snowfall at 47 this morning. All courses open, all lifts except Line D operating.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 223cm
Lower - 145cm

Ski lifts/courses:
Some top lifts (including Grat quad, Kurobishi No2 quad and Skyline No2 pair not moving at the time of writing but plan to be operating.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 200cm;
Sakka - 70cm;
Nakiyama - 70cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 270cm
Champion - 190cm

Hakuba Cortina:
No new fresh snowfall at Cortina this morning. All planned lifts and most courses open. No5 and No7 lifts now closed.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 335cm
Lower - 210cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Village Side (lower slopes) plan to be open until 1st April (upper slopes open well beyond that date).
Official snow depth:
Upper - 155cm
Lower - 55cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
Now closed for the season   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 10:43am
Weather conditions: Snow, cloud, foggy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It had been a cloudy start to the day here in Shiga Kogen today. Cloud and fog, with fairly mild conditions around 0 degrees.

I bring encouraging news though.... it's snowing. Yes, white flakes are falling now and we are all hoping that they will continue to fall. Coming down quite nicely too as well right now as I look outside the window here in the Maruike part of Shiga Kogen.

The forecast is looking pretty good too with snow lined up today through until Monday along with temperatures dipping. How much will we get? Hope to bring you decent news there in the next few reports.

Strong winds going to hit us tonight and perhaps into tomorrow as well.

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Friday 23rd March 2012 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
240cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 10:51am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
We're still riding our luck this morning. It's cloudy and grey, but no rain falling here. Perhaps later, or even snow? Would be good. (The snow bit!)

So just cloudy really, with hardly any wind and a temperature here at base of around +1 degrees.

Some resort news.

Naeba have announced that the Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom courses both have some dangerous cracks in the snow and so they will be closed now for the rest of the season.

In other good news, Naeba are going to be open longer than expected. They have announced that they will be open on 14th/15th April and also on 21st/22nd April - previously the last day of the season was going to be 8th April, but they have extended by deciding to open the following two weekends. Let's Naeba!, as they say.

Of course, Kagura will be going on well into May. With lots of snow this season, it will be interesting to see how long Kagura gets to stay open.

Hope to see you on the slopes this weekend!

Resort Operations, 23rd March (subject to change)
Some weekday lifts rested but all courses apart from Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom open.
Normal weekday operations, most of Kagura open.
Official snow depths

   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 23rd March 2012, 13:01pm
Weather conditions: Overcast with percipitation
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Fairly grey warm morning in Nozawa and as expected we are getting hit with some rain in the village, but the resort is reporting snow up top.

With the freezing level up pretty high it will be a bit of a tale of two mountains for the next two days with rain down low but snow up higher. Until Saturday night when the freezing level will drop and snow is expected in the village too.

The forecast is now for heavy snow tomorrow up top, which is great to see. With the temperatures on the way back down, there should be some pretty good powder about.

Yesterday was not a bad day in the mountains. March is always a good time to strap on the skins and head off into the beautiful surrounding terrain. Better weather and still plenty of snow making for some fun tours. Yesterday a few of the gang headed North all the way down to nearby Sakae Village - nice ski, great outdoor onsen and a mountain picnic... always enjoyable.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
Whole resort is operational

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
18th Jan, 10:43
Zao Now
18th Jan, 10:30
Hakuba Now
18th Jan, 10:10
Furano Now
18th Jan, 9:43
Kiroro Now
18th Jan, 9:31
Myoko Now
18th Jan, 9:29am
Madarao Now
18th Jan, 9:28am
Shiga Kogen Now
18th Jan, 9:05
Yuzawa Now
18th Jan, 8:59am
Niseko Now
18th Jan, 8:33
Nozawa Onsen Now
18th Jan, 7:54
Geto Kogen Now
18th Jan, 7:44
Minakami Now
13th Jan, 10:10am
Naeba Now
27th Nov, 11:21am
Aizu Bandai Now
26th Nov, 11:22