Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019
Sunday 25th January 2015, 7:29am
Looks like another great day ahead. The resort is surrounded by blue sky and there is no wind around at the moment. The sun should be present for most of the day. Snow conditions will be firm in the morning but will soften with exposure to sun. Read more ...
Sunday 25th January 2015, 7:50am
Cloud - clearing expected this morning
I made a small update to the report yesterday because very soon after it went up the skies started clearing and the sun was out.
That clear-up continued and it ended up being a rare clear day with a brilliant sun shining down and blue skies. Rare this season anyway, as we have got very few of such days in the first half of the season.
It's going to be interesting to see how the rest of the season turns out.
Anyway, it was a really beautiful day yesterday. Snow conditions were better in higher areas and not perfect on lower areas, but the weather probably made up for that... for many people anyway!
Overnight we got a bit of snowfall and there's 2cm or so of rather wet snow on the top of my car outside. Looks like the resorts that report such things early on are all reporting just a thin layer of new snow.
Lots of cloud around and webcams around town show limited visibility on the mountains, but there's some sun on the forecast for later this morning - perhaps we will see a beautiful clear up like yesterday? We'll just have to wait and see.
It is 0C as we approach 8am but a high temperature of +5C expected this afternoon - which is actually warmer than yesterday. Slightly warmer conditions expected tomorrow too... so we're going through a bit of a mild patch at the moment.
Come Tuesday we're forecast a return to snow, which may be preceeded by some more rainfall in town.
Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening - is available at the following resorts in the area.
Ishiuchi Maruyama: Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm) Iwappara: Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays) Joetsu Kokusai: Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm) Kandatsu Kogen: From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning) Maiko Snow Resort: Every day until 14th March (until 8pm) Naeba: Every day until 29th March (until 9pm) All night on 17th January; 14th February and 14th March (10pm until 6am) NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only): Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: Saturdays until 14th March (until 8:30pm)
Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season). Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.
Beautiful day yesterday with those blue skies and sun over the region.
A slight dusting of snow overnight by the looks and still cloud over the mountain at 8am and early morning fog there too, though the forecast today tells us to expect some more sunny conditions later on. Perhaps with more cloud than yesterday.
And similar kind of general weather conditions tomorrow, with slightly warmer temps.
By then we'll be ready for lots of fresh snow and that still looks due Tuesday through Wednesday. We might have to put up with some rain before it turns back to snow, hopefully that will be shortlived!
Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday afternoon:
Good morning from Hakuba and it's a fairly mild and cloudy start to the day.
Yesterday was a real beauty. Deep blue skies, bright sunshine and just a bit of cloud here and there for most of the day. It eventually got cloudy with them covering the mountains late afternoon and we have had some snowfall overnight.
Resorts around the valley are reporting up to 10cm of snowfall - as noted in the areas below where that information is available - and there's up to 5cm on the ground here at base this morning as it eases off.
Back to this morning and cloud hanging around and the last of some light snow lazily falling early on. A few areas of blue sky are already showing through from behind clouds and we're basically expecting a fine day here again with more sunshine today.
Looking ahead, tomorrow's forecast is for warmer temperatures - rising up to around 6 degrees - with the chance of rain going into Tuesday. With temps dropping it should be turning into snow; straight into snow on upper slopes.
I'll let you know how that goes.
In the meantime, should be a fine day today. Enjoy!
Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Sunday 25th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 5cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira and 2cm at Toomi. All courses open (except Adventure Course).
Hakuba Goryu: Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm. Hakuba Happo-one: Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm. Hakuba Cortina: Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm. Tsugaike Kogen: Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January; February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm. Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January; February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm. Kashimayari: Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm. Read more ...
Sunday 25th January 2015, 8:40am
Cloud, fog > clear up later?
What a great day it was yesterday. Maybe not absolutely perfect powder conditions, but the weather was amazing and I can't imagine people not enjoying it out there. Check out the photo below that the resort posted. Beautiful.
This morning, it doesn't look like that! Not yet anyway.
It's cloudy to start with. A thin layer of snow overnight - resort report 5cm - and cloud hanging over the mountain.
Might it clear up and the sun appear again? It might, says some local forecasts.
Tomorrow milder temps are due but by night it should cold down again and snow to fall on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Rain might come before that, but let's just hope the forecast is wrong on that score!)
Take care and have a good Sunday.
Lifts planned to be open:
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A Number 5 Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park Freeride Park Tree Run Courses should be open today.
Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015.
It's a busy Sunday morning out there already, but weather-wise a calm start to the day.
Up above it's a mix of cloud and blue sky, and I can see the sun too just now but it's playing a bit of hide and seek behind the clouds. Just a bit of new snowfall to add this morning, around 5cm with up to 15cm on mountain being reported.
Don't know about you, but I'm all for a bumper 40-50cm of beautiful dry light new snowfall kind of day. Next one of those please... this week would be great! Onegai shimasu.
All resorts and lifts are open as planned and it looks like all the gates should be open this morning as well. Let's Sunday!
On a more serious note, please be sure to check out the Avalanche report this morning (below)... found a few things mentioned in there interesting.
One change to the report that I want to make a note of.
Until now, for the 'official snow depth' number on the report, we have been making a note of the 'lower' number from Hirafu (I mean the 'Current snow' number that you can see towards the top right of this page).
It's not actually really that important as within every single report that I put up here I do make a clear note of all of the upper/lower snow depth numbers for each resort area, but we do think that it is probably better to change it to the upper number.
The upper number is also the number that is shown on the resort pages of our site, so it will now tie in with that.
So from today that is what we'll be using - the official 'upper' snow depth number at Niseko Grand Hirafu.
A few people mentioned this to us in comments sent in during the Prize Draw (thank you), so I hope this will meet with general approval. Sorry for the mid-season change.
* Sadly the jump from 145cm to 360cm does not mean that we have suddenly got 215cm of fresh snowfall overnight. I might even dust off the word 'epic' (with a capital 'E') if that happened!
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Looks set to open as planned this morning. 'Early Morning' lift available daily until 1st February (for 500 yen, Ace Quad Number 2 lift from 8am until 8:20am).
Niseko base 6am: -5C, light dusts in the last 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: mild wind and 10cm of new snow. Annupuri 1150m: mild wind, 15cm of snowfall. 1000m snowpack 250cm. Hirafu ridge: mild wind, light snowfall, -11C. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW6m/s, Kamui cape WNW3m/s, 1026hPa, 0.6m waves.
A calm morning as a high-pressure system is dominating the area. The snowdrifts are stable and the avalanche risk is low. Beware of collapsing cornices. All gates will open from the morning. The snow is in pretty good shape.
Intruders to Haru-no-Taki off-limits area never seem to decrease. Everyone should realize that the freedom to ride out of bounds in Niseko is protected in exchange of having those strictly off-limits areas closed at all time. The gate system would fail if people cannot respect the Rules and end up in closure of all gates and restriction of all out of bounds riding.
Whoever violating the off-limits areas will be banned from using all resort facilities. Haru-no-Taki may eventually open in the future, but we strongly demand everybody to respect the Rules until then. This area is a ski resort and the Rules exist to protect the freedom of out of bounds riding and the minimum safety of all resort users.
Official resort snow depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 360cm Base - 140cm
Niseko Village: Top - 270cm Base - 180cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 255cm Base - 180cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
Niseko Hanazono Resort No night skiing at the Hanazono area
Hello from Zao Onsen and after the clearer skies of yesterday we are back to cloudier skies this morning. It's calm though with not much of a wind and fairly mild temperatures both here in the village and up on the mountain.
Local forecasts give us a chance of clearer weather this afternoon.
Back to snow from Tuesday.
It was on the news last night about how the Ice Monsters are doing really well this year... and earlier than usual as well. That's what a fine start to the season gives you. If only we had more clearer weather days to enjoy the views.
Light up operations planned for every night now through until the end of February.
It's the Zao Juhyo Festival coming up on Saturday 31st January. 7:15pm until 8:30pm at the stage area by the Base Center at Uwanodai - be there for some traditional snow and fire themed festival fun. Below I have posted a rather scary looking photo from the festival last year!
Zao Onsen is fully open (though note that the Karamatsu pair lift is closed on weekdays).
Night skiing operations at Zao this season
Uwanodai area: Daily until 22nd March
Yokokura area: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
Every evening now until 28th February
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Sunday 25th January 2015, 9:40am
Blue sky, some cloud, sunny
Earlier on when I first got up there was lots of cloud around but now there's more blue sky and we're set for another fine day I'd say. The sun is out! Cold start but should warm up during the day, but still remain cold.
A return to winter conditions - colder and snowfall - is still there on the forecast going into Tuesday.
Until then, another fine day to wrap up the weekend and maybe similar again tomorrow.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 210cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yakebitaiyama: 200cm Open
Ichinose Family 200cm Open
Ichinose Yamanokami: 160cm Open
Ichinose Diamond: 200cm Open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 160cm Open
Terakoya: 200cm Open
Higashitateyama: 200cm Open
Giant: 160cm Open
Nishitateyama: 160cm Most open
Happo Bundaraia: 160cm Open
Sun Valley: 150cm Open
Maruike: 150cm Open
Hasuike: 150cm Open
Kumanoyu: 185cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge: 180cm Open except for Jumbo Course.
Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas:
We started out with some fine snow (tiny round ice pellets, really), some fog high on the mountain and generally gray conditions.
Now the sun is out and it's getting warmer - tomorrow the freezing line will go way up the mountain, with a possibility of rain (maybe even heavy) toward the evening.
Well, the strange weather we're talked about continues. The Coast guard into from the coast shows a southern, offshore wind in the area closest to us (possibly flowing down the mountains and across the Takada Plan to the coast?) with the winds calming and a rising barometer.
I'm thinking about taking the safe course tomorrow, and going wakasagi (smelt) fishing in Lake Nojiri tomorrow.