Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 7:52am
Weather conditions: Fine, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 330cm
No new snowfall to report this morning - makes for a change!

A nice start to the day, some cloud but quite a bit of blue sky and early morning sunlight shining down. As expected it's a fairly mild morning.

After that prolonged blast of winter, it looks like the next few days may verge on being 'spring-like'. We can just sit here and hope things don't warm up too much - would be such a shame to spoil all that lovely snow. Most of all we hope we can avoid any (say it quietly...) rain.

Up and down temperatures increases the level of avalanche risk as well and so real care is needed especially if you are tempted to go out of main course areas.


Official resort snow depth:
Naeba - 330cm
Kagura - 390c   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 8:28am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 330cm
Good morning from Hakuba.

So yesterday we had that lovely bluebird start to the day. By early afternoon some fine wispy clouds had started to form and it gradually became more overcast and by late afternoon the sun was being blocked by cloud and we had a lot of cloud cover.

It snowed a bit overnight with a few cm at village level and resorts in Hakuba and Otari reporting up to 10cm of fresh snow on the slopes this morning.

This morning we start off cloudy and overcast, with some light snowing in some areas early on, and a current temperature of around 0 degrees. A high of around +5 is forecast today for Hakuba and so it's going to feel mild especially after the cold of the last week or so. Not much of a wind this morning at all. We are told to expect the skies to clear up as the day progresses today.

Milder conditions and clearer skies are forecast over the next few days and especially on Friday when rain is looking probably unfortunately. Temps forecast to drop soon after that warm though with snow likely overnight into Saturday. Hopefully any damage can be limited.


Official snow depths and operations @ Wednesday 27th February 2013 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
5-10cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba Goryu since yesterday.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 330cm;
Toomi - 170cm;
Iimori - 150cm

Hakuba 47:
10cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba 47 since yesterday.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 290cm
Lower - 180cm

Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 300cm
Nakiyama/Shirakaba - 160cm
Sakka - 160cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 380cm
Lower slopes - 180cm

Hakuba Cortina:
3-5cm of new snow reported by Hakuba Cortina since yesterday.
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 440cm
Lower slopes - 285cm

Hakuba Iwatake:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 230cm
Lower slopes - 95cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Minekata:
170cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Mostly blue skies, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 300cm
To make for a chance I have no new snowfall to report this morning from Madarao Kogen.

This morning we have mostly blue skies above Madarao with just a bit of cloud here and there. It's basically just a lovely calm and bright morning.

We're going to see a warming up pattern over the next few days. We might get to see some worryingly warm temperatures especially around Friday when we may also get some rain. The good out of all this is that just after that a new cold front is chugging along making it's way here and should hopefully be bringing us snow and colder temperatures in time for opening on Saturday.

I'm not a park kind of guy but it seems the resort has a new item in their Free Ride Park - 'Side in 5m down rail'. That make sense to anyone? Doesn't mean much to me but that's what it is apparently. If park is your thing, go check it out and let me know!

Lifts planned to be operating:
Number 1
Number 2
Number 3
Super quad
Number 5
Number 11
Number 12
Number 15
Kids Park
FreeRide Park
Powder Wave I
Powder Wave II
Powder Theater
Adventure   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 8:47am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 490cm
Sapporo was fun. It's a great city and a visit is highly recommended. And yes, the beer of the same name is fine too.

Enough of that. Back to Niseko!

Just a few cm of snow to report this morning since yesterday and it's a mild morning. Fairly calm too here where I am in Hirafu, but I can see that the flags waving about excitedly over at Hanazono on the webcam. Even so, they are reporting wind speed of up to 5m/s, and all resorts on the mountain are preparing to be fully open as normal, so wind doesn't seem to be an issue today.

It's cloudy at the moment with the chance of light snow showers during the day, but certainly nothing major. Similar weather conditions are likely tomorrow, maybe with some stronger winds.

Today, the JMA snow fall number for Kutchan Town stands at 216cm which is exactly the same as was recorded in the month of Febraury 2012. Another 20cm and we'll 'beat' the numbers for Febraury over the last 7 seasons. Yes, they are only numbers, but when it comes to amounts of snow we always want bigger ones. Doesn't look like we'll manage that in the end but a respectable number anyway for sure. Next up will be March which sometimes throws us some delights and surprises.

The forecast for the first days of March is actually looking very positive with the potential for heavy snowfalls this Friday into Saturday and a return to more suitably colder conditions on the mountain late weekend.


Official Resort Snow Depths

Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono
Top - 490cm
Bottom - 240cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 390cm
Bottom - 250cm

Niseko Village
Top - 450cm
Bottom - 250cm

Avalanche Information:

Niseko base 6am: -6C, 5cm of snowfall in the past 12 hours, calm morning. Moiwa 800m: SW5m/s, no development of snowdrifts, -10C. Annupuri peak: SW7m/s, -11.1C. Coastal data: S4m/s, 0.8m waves and 1015hPa.

According to all data and observations, there are no snowdrift developments and the snowpack is stable. The general avalanche hazard is low. This morning's snowfall is typical of pre-low pressure system and will potentially become a trigger layer in the future snowpack. Deeper layers are stable, however caution is always required in 1200m area knolls and 40°slopes under cornices. It is strongly discouraged to stimulate those kinds of slopes during high winter season. Traversing under cornices and knolls is a very bad idea. Peak gates are scheduled to open at 9:30. Listen to the ski patrol’s instructions when stepping out of bounds. Do not duck ropes/nets.

Skiing under Hanazono 3 lift is prohibited. Do not ignore the announcements. The mountain is mostly tracked, but the snow is still in good condition. Do not overestimate gears and skills. Snow & wind is forecasted to pick up in the afternoon, visibility will turn bad, beware of cracks. Think safe, have fun and have a nice day.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fine
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 280cm
As expected, it's a mild morning here in Yuzawa.

+2C at the moment and likely to rise to around +6C later on in the day. There's lots of cloud still around but we expect conditions to clear up by the afternoon. Indeed it looks like there are blue skies above Naeba already.

A chance of rain or sleet at town level overnight tonight before a clear and sunny day tomorrow, according to the forecast. Followed by likely rain on Friday along with the warmest temps. All a bit of a let down after such an awesome run of days in the last week, but we're still doing very well for the end of February. Hopefully there's a few more heavy snow blasts in the season.

The likely rain on Friday is due to be followed by snow into Saturday. We'll see how the forecasts change as we approach the weekend...

Official resort snow depths @ Wednesday 27th February 2013, AM:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Gala Yuzawa:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Yuzawa Park:
Maiko Snow Resort:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
260cm   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 9:41am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 410cm
Good Morning from Minakami and it's a mild start to the day here.

At the moment +1C in the town area and likely to rise to around +7C later on in the day. It's cloudy, but conditions are expected to clear up this afternoon.

Tomorrow is going to be milder still with sunny conditions and there's a chance of rain on Friday. From Saturday we can expect colder days with snow.    Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 10:43am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 405cm
It is a warm day here in Nozawa Onsen, one of the warmest in some time with positive temperature right up to the peak of the mountain. The feeling of spring is definitely in the air for at least the time being. Wildlife sightings are become increasingly frequent with birds, groups of Kamoshika and even occasional sightings of black bears. But winter is not quite over yet with another dump of powder expected on the weekend. And remember Nozawa is usually open into May, so tons of time left.

At the moment we have mostly overcast conditions, light winds and even lighter crowds. It will be a fun day for skiing with firm and fast pistes early that will become slushy during the afternoon.

Yesterday was a picture perfect day. Clear blue skies and cool temperatures lasted the afternoon. The visibility was simply excellent with perfect views of the Japanese Alps and even the Sea of Japan out to the west. Skiing was also excellent with plenty of deep fresh powder on offer through the trees, especially in the morning. Crowd levels were exceptionally low.

Looking at the weather predictions we should see these spring temperatures persist until Friday night. Tomorrow should be a clear bluebird day, classic spring conditions. We expect some wild prefrontal weather to pass over on Friday with some rain possible, but luckily/hopefully it will only last a short time.

A moderate dump of snow of at least 20cm, possibly more is looking likely for Friday night. Light snows and cold temperatures should continue till around Monday.


Lifts operating:
All lifts operating except
Yunomine Pair
Mizunashi Triple
Challenge Pair
Utopia Pair
Hikage Number 2 Pair B line

Courses open:
All courses open except
Grand Prix

Official snow depths




180cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 10:49am
Weather conditions: Partly sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 390cm
Thanks to the Snow Japan team for helping out over the past two days - and, yes, I have some interesting information, following our report for today.

The bad news first: it is raining very lightly right now. Hardy enough to dampen a coat, really (makes that snow nice and smooth, too), but it is definitely going to be getting warmer over the next three days or so. Probably be turing back to snow by the weekend, but in the meantime let's hope the sun stays out and we can just pretend that it's fun spring skiing for the time being. Winter is definitely not over yet. Not much wind at the moment, either, so it could be a nice day for a ski.

I've been out for two days because of a rescue operation here in Myoko. A very experienced guy - somebody like a lot of good, solid backcountry skiers - just got too close to a cornice. Following all the snow and wind we've had, the cornices on the local peaks are huge and very unstable. He was more than two meters away from the edge, and the whole thing came down, taking him and a lot of snow with him. He hit a tree, started sliding headfirst, got himself into a better position (legs downhill), and rode down several hundred meters in what became a small avalanche. And then he dug a snow cave and stayed there for two days, because the winds and snow and logistics made it impossible to get a group out faster. He was lucky; he had the right gear, a radio, good clothing, and came out with a broken rib, a contusion on his leg, and some mild frostbite on his fingers (he'll be hurting in a few days, but he won't lose his digits).

It was a happy end, but it reminds all of us who go in the backcountry the the rewards are high, but there are risks we can't afford to ignore. If you're going off the groomed slopes, even "just over there", you need to have avalanche gear on you, excellent clothes in case you get stuck, and some good friends to keep an eye on each other. We see too many people with no gear, no sense and cotton clothes all skiing/boarding at the same time in questionable terrain. Anything goes wrong, they all go down together.

As a wise older guy here said, you can talk about taking responsibility for yourself, but the instant you get hurt or worse, you're no longer responsible - somebody else has to help you. Snow rescues are tough, hard work, and this time left a few rescuers with frostnipped fingers and faces (my neighbor's cheeks turned dark brown, and are now peeling off).

Don't stop going in the backcountry; do be safe, do it right and plan ahead!


Operations and official snow depths)

Akakura Kanko (Akakan)
390cm, 1C

Akakura Onsen
380cm, -3C

280cm, -2C

280cm, -1C

Seki Onsen
560cm, -1C

500cm, 0C

Myoko Ski Park
425cm, 0C

270cm, -1C

300cm, -4C   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 12:20pm
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 340cm
After a cloudy start now at lunchtime the sun is out and there is a lot of blue sky above Zao Onsen. No fresh snowfall overnight and a mild temperature hovering around 0C at the moment. No wind.

So tomorrow more of the same and Friday even warmer with temperatures nudging above zero, perhaps alarmingly so. Hopefully back to snow by Saturday morning, though strong winds seem likely as well. Interesting forecast at the moment, let's see if it adjusts before we hit the weekend.

Official snow depths

Chuo Area



190cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 12:21pm
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 180cm
It is a crisp clear day with little wind and great views all around. Temperatures will rise during the day due to the clear conditions and sunshine. There is no new snow to report overnight but all runs are in great condition after extensive overnight grooming.

There is the possibility of some light snow fall later this evening.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 27th February 2013, 12:30pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Here we go, after all that snow and mid-winter conditions, we are set off on an almost spring like run of days all of a sudden. Temperatures hovering around the 0 mark this morning and set to poke their head above into positive territory. Hopefully we can avoid rain, and by late Friday the current forecast is for a drop in temperatures.

Some slush on the roads and tarmac visible as the snow melts, something we haven't seen for a while.

It's cloudy at the moment with a bit of sun at times. Clearer conditions expected tomorrow.

Nighta operations planned for tonight at the following resort areas:
Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 27th February 2013 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
270cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Nozawa Onsen Now
12th Oct, 11:47
Yuzawa Now
07th Oct, 16:14am
Aizu Bandai Now
03rd Oct, 9:26
Hakuba Now
30th Sep, 16:20
Niseko Now
30th Sep, 14:01pm
Shiga Kogen Now
30th Sep, 13:56am
Myoko Now
30th Sep, 8:24am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:16
Madarao Now
06th May, 8:13am
Zao Now
06th May, 7:59
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 7:59am
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 7:12
Grandeco Now
02nd Feb, 12:34am