Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019
Tuesday 27th January 2015, 7:57am
Mild spell alert! Mild spell alert!
We always get one or two each season, and we're in one now.
Around +3 degrees now here, with rain the headline of the day today unfortunately.
BUT, it will be turning to snow hopefully sooner than later as colder conditions come back.
Snow forecast into tomorrow, and then a break until Friday when some more decent snow is still on the forecast.
A plentiful refresh is called for, onegai shimasu.
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.
Things really warmed up yesterday... very mild conditions.
The temperature shown by the side of Route 17 was saying +7 degrees when I went past at 10:30am, even heard people saying how it was a bit 'like spring'. It's way too early to mention that word yet of course, I prefer calling it something like a 'temporary mild spell mid season'. Yes that sounds much better!
Still it was the first evening this year when I didn't reach to put the heater on.
The sun was out through the day though it kind of got overcast in the middle of the day before clearing up once again later in the afternoon.
A fine day to be outside though for sure, though we are now ready for some fresh snow to freshen things up.
I heard some rain late last night but this morning it's a generally cloudy-overcast start to the day, and currently around 4 degrees. Very light rain falling on and off. During the day today we might have some rain down at lower levels, but we I am happy to report that we should be back to snowfall by tonight and snow is forecast for the day tomorrow.
After a break from snow the day after, some potentially heavy snowfall is on the way late Friday and on Saturday.
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.
I like rain a lot when it feeds the plants and trees in my garden, and cools us down a bit on a hot summer day (yes, it can get quite hot here even in Hokkaido)... but not when it falls peak snow season!
Enough of my sad talk because it's not going to continue forever of course - or even that long, as yes we are still looking forward to snowfall today.
It looks like it is snowing already higher up on the mountain, though I seriously doubt it's the light powder that we love and expect in these parts - I don't think I'm going to try and find out.
Currently it is +3 degrees here after a very mild overnight in the region but temperatures will be dropping during the day today and that horrid rain turning into snow; and then we should be having snow falling through tomorrow as well so fingers crossed for a nice new layer to report tomorrow.
Weekend onwards it's looking positive as well for snow.
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Looks set to open as planned this morning, some lifts maybe opening a bit later than normal. 'Early Morning' lift available daily until 1st February (for 500 yen, Ace Quad Number 2 lift from 8am until 8:20am).
Niseko Village: Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland Chair on hold early on due to weather conditions. 'Early Morning Gondola' available Saturdays and Sundays until February 8th (for 1300 yen, Gondola open from 7:30am until 8:30am).
Niseko base 6am: +3C, Moiwa 800m: ESE10m/s, thick fog and 10cm of wet snow with snowdrifts development. Annupuri 1150m: SW15m/s, 0C, wind & snow with snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei cape WNW8m/s, Kamui cape SW12m/s, 1002hPa, 1.2m waves.
Warm air is flowing in due to the passing low-pressure system. Rain is falling at the base and thick fog lies up high. As the cold-front passes this afternoon, the temperature will drop and snow & wind will pick up. Cracks are forming in south facing slopes. Those cracks are the result of the snowpack’s tension release and usually won’t immediately slides, however it can be the trigger of a large avalanche in steep/cliff terrains, especially hazardous in Haru no Taki off-limits area. Cracks cannot be seen from above, beware not to fall in them. Intruders to strictly off-limits areas never seem to cease, but we will not ignore this situation. Violators will have their lift passes confiscated and will be refused to further use the resort facilities. Good condition will come back soon. Better call it a day early and head to the onsen today. Have a good day.
Official resort snow depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 350cm Base - 130cm
Niseko Village: Top - 270cm Base - 180cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 260cm 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
Light rain overnight at lower elevations and some negligible snowfall but shaping up to be a clear day and the forecast is for a return to proper Winter temperatures starting from around noon with snow this evening.
Not a breath of wind around either.
Looks like the last chance for Spring skiing this morning before the Winter switch gets flicked.
No new snow on the ground in the village but some resorts reporting some fresh, as I have noted below. We could really do with a more significant all-mountain refresh though now, with the snow conditions on the heavier side brought on by the generally mild conditions at the moment.
It's another mild start to the day here and as I write this currently just cloudy with some foggy conditions in places on the mountains.
Happily, a return to colder conditions should be happening later on today and it should also be snowing by the end of the day. There's a good chance of significant snowfall going into the weekend as well, so that refresh is hopefully imminent.
In the meantime, look on current snow conditions as a challenge and a good work out with the softer fluffy variety coming soon!
Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Tuesday 27th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 15cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira, 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 ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Tuesday 27th January 2015, 8:51am
Morning from Nozawa.
Spots of rain this morning and cloudy on another mild morning here in Nozawa as we wait for the return to winter. Limited visibility on the upper parts of the mountain - or perhaps I should say on most of the mountain - with a thick fog up there. Hopefully some snow falling as well.
OK so proper snowfall is due later on today as temperatures take a dip and through the day tomorrow as well.
It's looking promising (as is into and over the coming weekend as well), so let's just wait and see what nature brings.
Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday afternoon:
Right now we are sweltering in warm temperatures that are hovering around +3c at the resort base and melting the roads and footpaths around the village. There is light precipitation coming down which has been varying between snow and rain, but is currently back to rain. The temperatures are forecast to get colder today though and there is some significant snow forecast for later today through until tomorrow. For now fingers crossed that this snow comes through and it doesn't turn into rain. Read more ...
Tuesday 27th January 2015, 9:28am
Mild weather conditions prevail this morning. It's actually around +4 degrees now in the village which is very rare for January. At least it isn't raining!
Just cloudy really, and mild. No wind.
So winter... when you coming back?!
It will be getting cold again from tomorrow with perhaps some snowfall. Should keep cold from there but not a significant amount of snow on the weekly forecast just for the minute.
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!
Up to 10cm of wet snowfall in some areas of Shiga Kogen overnight (Kumanoyu report 10cm), but it's a warm morning - well, warm for us, with the thermometer showing the temp to be around 2 degrees now.
Still, it is snowing here in the Maruike area. Not the fluffiest of powder, but snow all the same and with the temps set to drop during the day we're hoping for some nicer snow to report tomorrow... should be continuing snowing through tomorrow too with another wave following up as we get into the weekend.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 230cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yakebitaiyama: 200cm Open
Ichinose Family 210cm Open
Ichinose Yamanokami: 210cm Open
Ichinose Diamond: 210cm Open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 180cm 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:
Welcome to the report for late March - well, that's the way it felt this morning.
Things were warm and even a bit sunny earlier, with a light south wind; the wind has now shifted to the northwest along the coast and here as well; fairly heavy rain started to fall; and now is colder, still raining, foggy and generally miserable. Even the official weather map for today has most of the country marked as "Fog."
No sense in sugar-coating it. Not a day to be outside.
Hopefully, though, this increasing cold will bring some snow with it. We could use it; the lower snow levels are nice around the house, but not so great on the hill.
Still a solid base out there, of course; we just want something light to ski in.