Right now, it its sunny out with light snow and some clouds hanging over. The snow piles on the roof tops of the cars are around 5cm, however, there isn't much snow in the parking lots around the resort. Also, it is expected that there will be new snowfall of around 20-40cm by this time tomorrow.... it looks like snow has started falling in the main Yuzawa town and so may well be with us soon - it just keeps on coming!
Kagura is reporting 15-20cm of fresh snow this morning with a expectation of strong wind this afternoon which may affect resort operations. However, as of now the wind is stable.
In Naeba, it is still expected to snow on and off all the way until Saturday, when it is expected to be clear and sunny to start off with at least with snow coming back in the evening. Winds are very light right now and visibility is good, and there's good views of the mountain to be had right now. Temperatures are average with a top of -5 degrees expected with a windchill of -11. Both the temperature and windchill are predicted to drop to a bottom of -11 and -17 respectively.
At Naeba, the Prince Gondola #1 is still closed, but will resume operation tomorrow. The Men's Slalom course is closed for today, and maybe tomorrow, as there are ice cracks. But all of the other usual courses are open.
I'm glad I waited half an hour to post todays report - it has gone from being bright blue skies over Yuzawa to dull, grey, low clouds covering most of the mountains and looks set to start snowing anytime now.
Rewind a bit to yesterday, when it also started off with clearer conditions but the clouds moved in and by early afternoon was snowing.... wet snow to start off with but by 4pm there was about 5cm of snow on the top of the car and then by 11pm another 5-10cm or so. So this morning I would estimate about 10-15cm of snow since the report yesterday down at town level.
Kagura are reporting 15-20cm of fresh snow this morning so I would expect most resorts around town to have seen perhaps 10-15cm since yesterday.
It is currently 0 degrees in town and not much wind at all so feels fairly mild. So not quite snowing yet this morning but it looks like it could be any minute now.
Looking forward, more chance of light snow showers tomorrow with cloud and then perhaps a chance of a clearer start to Saturday but the snow will not be far away with heavy snow forecast for Saturday night.
Edit: The first flakes of snow have just started to very slowly fall as I finish up this report!
Official snow depths @ 27th January 2010 AM
Gala Yuzawa: 310cm
Yuzawa Kogen: 320cm
Yuzawa Park: 190cm
Yuzawa Nakazato: 200cm
Kandatsu Kogen: 220cm
NASPA Ski Garden: 230cm
Ishiuchi Maruyama: 260cm
I know exactly when it started snowing this morning because it was just after I posted the report....so, 10am. It was wet snow at first but by this afternoon we have seen some really very heavy snow fall in Yuzawa. It is still snowing now and there was at least 40cm on the car by 5pm this evening. So that's 40+cm since lunchtime today!
Many roads are covered in snow and the evening traffic is moving slowly with some hairy conditions out there at the moment - quite a few locals and people going back home are going to be a bit late I think.
It goes without saying that conditions are going to be fantastic once again out there tomorrow. But will it stop snowing by tomorrow? The local forecast has us getting another 20-40cm of snow tonight from now until 9am tomorrow morning and for light snow to continue tomorrow. It doesn't look like we are going to be able to enjoy a clear bluebird day for a while yet as the snow clouds are never going to be far away, so it seems.
Look to next week for milder conditions and perhaps clearer weather. Read more ...
Thursday 27th January 2011, 10:06am
Fine now though clouds looming
Yesterday brought us a bit of everything weather-wise. A clear start to the day with some clouds up high over Tenjin and it looked like we were in for a respite from the snow. Not to be though as the clouds came in and the snow was falling again by mid afternoon.
Today seems to be heading along the same path, with blue sky already this morning though now it seems as if it will be overcast. The forecast is for snow all day, and looking out of the window the first flakes are already starting to lightly fall.
The snow looks set to continue for the rest of the month and it will be interesting to see the figures for January compared to other years as it has been a great month for snowfall. Read more ...
Thursday 27th January 2011, 10:25am
Cloud, part clear
No new snow to report this morning but I can report that I can actually see the sun! It hasn't happened that much this season until now but it has been a fine start to the day in Zao. There is still a lot of cloud around but blue patches visible - it is bright and the sun shining through at the moment.
The forecasts seem to be really all over the place at the moment if you ask me though - so all I can say is that over the next few days it looks like we can expect a mix of cloud / sun / snow. Conditions are changing quickly each day and it is difficult to predict what is coming up the next day! According to one local forecast we are going to see heavy snow tonight... so we'll just have to see.
Whatever, it is a fine start to the day. No fresh snow but there's still a lot of untouched out there as well as the groomers which are also generally in fine condition. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 27th January 2011, 10:52am
We did get some snow yesterday but nothing significant and this morning is has been a mixed bunch of conditions over the area that is Shiga Kogen. For example, just a little earlier the Ichinose area was reporting fine weather, Giant cloud and Yokoteyama snow.
The clouds have arrived though and it is now snowing and there has actually quite quickly been a few cm of fresh snow build up on the cars parked outside. It's coming down pretty heavily right now as I write this. The wind isn't too strong but blowing the snow around outside and it feels colder than it actually is out there, or did to me just before when the thermometer was telling me -6 degrees.
We might be on for a few days of clearer weather from tomorrow before some promised moderate to heavy snowfall on Saturday night into Sunday.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 27th January 2011 AM:
We had a freaky little system roll in late yesterday and we had a 20cm dump in about 2 hours. It was pretty cool, I parked the car, went inside for a beer and came back and the car was covered!
Cleared through the night but it was snowing again lightly this morning. It has turned to pretty heavy now and a few people are coming down saying it is blizzard-like conditions up top on the mountain and also cold.
The outlook is for the snow clouds to be hanging around until around Tuesday, with a good chance of some heavy snow conditions around Saturday night... then some much anticipated sunshine should come our way next week.
So should continue to be some great skiing ahead.
All except the following Kandahar Hachiman Uenotaira Half Pipe Karasawa Wave Park
Another of those days where it started out with a pink sunrise illuminating Mt. Myoko, just enough time to clear the driveway of yesterday's snow, and then it started snowing again. Looks like we're going to have another day of good, steady snowfall...
The snowfall began with some fairly gusty conditions, but as of noon things are pretty quiet outside.
Tomorrow looks like it will be pretty cold (although this whole month has seen consistently cold temperatures) so bundle up a bit, especially if you're heading up into the mountains. Some wind chill is also predicted, so be ready for that. Otherwise, things could hardly be better. No sun- or wind-crust in the snowpack, so things are looking very stable. Good conditions on the courses, powder in the trees....
Snow ended up falling gently throughall through yesterday - enough to coat jacket and pants on riding the lifts. Visibility was pretty terrible at altitude but a lot of great snow and clear definition in the trees at least. Lots of powder on the edges of the resorts and great conditions on the groomers as well.
We are having fairly similar conditions today here in Hakuba. The sun is burning through a bit here in Wadano as I write this but visibility at altitude is much the same as yesterday, so no views to be had today!
Goryu are reporting 10cm of fresh snow on top and 2-3cm at the bottom this morning. It is cold up top today with a temperature of around -10 on Usagidaira but it's a relatively mild -1 in the village; light S/SW winds even at altitude today not picking up too strong.
It looks like the weather we've been seeing for however long it has been now will continue for at least a bit longer - clouds with gentle snow picking up at times. We may even see the mountains again next week!
Official snow depths and operations @ Thursday 27th January AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Overnight Goryu reported 10cm up top and just a few cm down below this morning. The Iimori Snow Park is also now open. Night time operations from 6pm until 9:30pm. Alps daira - 350cm; Toomi - 160cm; Iimori - 140cm.
Hakuba 47: The resort and park at the resort are fully open. Snow depth (upper) - 198cm.
Only a dusting of snow overnight and this morning. Today though has cleared to a bluebird day and temperatures are quite mild with light winds. An absolutely beautiful day really except that we'd all prefer snow rather than sun at the moment. Snow is expected to start tomorrow with good falls through the weekend so hopefully we'll have some nice, soft powder turns again soon.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 310 Bottom - 160
Niseko Village: Top - 300 Bottom - 180
Annupuri: Top - 245 Bottom - 200
Annupuri peak 6am: -13℃, NNW15m/s. The wind picked up from 3am and snowdrifts and cornices are slowly developing in leeward slopes. The snow condition above 1100m is variable from wind-scraped rippled surface to hard-pack and some wind-drifted soft snow patches. Moderate avalanche risk is present in south facing gully and steep terrain with dense snowdrifts or new deposit of drifted snow on top of crust/light snow. The gullies sidewalls in eastern area around 800m are also relatively unstable. Be aware of the potential risks and ride carefully. Peak gates are scheduled to open at 9:30, though subject to chair-lift operation.