Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 20th January 2021

Niseko Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 7:35am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It's sunny out at the moment. Blue skies ahead it seems. Yesterday was mostly cloudy with no real sun patches and just grey overcast. It wasn't perhaps the best day to be out and around, but still enjoyable of course. Today should be a bit warmer with sun which should bring us some invigorating energy with the first proper bluebird day in a while.

Backcountry travel should be heads up but not dangerous. Everything seems to have settled well. It will be a great day to get your bearings as everything should be in good sight around here.

The forecast is looking the same as yesterday. Warm weather until Monday or Tuesday, then it looks like a big shift. A storm seems to be lining up and if it can stay cold we may get snow come Tuesday. Let's keep our fingers crossed but in the meantime take advantage of the blue skies and shining sun.


Time for a JMA snowfall in Kutchan update for the month of February 2012. In the end the number for Kutchan was 216cm for the month, meaning that we had more than last season (142cm) and the season before (184cm). Not a blockbuster month for snowfall for sure, but not bad either. On to March, and last year March brought us a healthy 201cm of snowfall in Kutchan. March is always difficult to predict and sometimes varies widely - some years the numbers are quite low like in March 2008 when we only saw 38cm. So let's hope that March 2012 is more like last year!


Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 410cm
Bottom - 210cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 460cm
Bottom - 220cm

Top - 470cm
Bottom - 230cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -4C, slight dusts falling in the past 12hours and 24hours, snow surface is mostly frozen. Coastal data: N7m/s at Benkei cape, 1.5m waves and 1020hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak: N14.6m/s, -13.3C. Moiwa 800m: -8C, no new snowfall and frozen surface.
Snowfall transition: The previous low-pressure system only brought warm air without snowfall. 5cm from the surface has melted and refrozen in altitudes lower than 1000m. Re-crystallization is observed in areas above 1000m due to high temperature change. New snowfall is very slim in all altitudes.
Hazard evaluation: New-snow surface slab avalanche risk is low, however possibilities of a hard-slab slide (up to 15cm thick) of the surface crust layer is present in SE facing slopes above 1100m. Be careful of slip-drops in the Backbowl sidewalls (coordinate E6), surface is hard-packed. Thin surface snow slides are to be expected in steep slopes due to temperature rising during the day. Thick & big scale avalanche risk is also to be considered in south facing strictly off-limits areas at this time of the season. The surface should be crusty and difficult to ski in the trees during the morning until it starts to melt. Be careful not to hit trees.
Gates will open at 9:30.
Cornices are huge, heavy and deadly if they collapse on someone. Be conscious of the risks involved in going out of bounds. Have a nice day.
   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 8:26am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday those lovely blue skies didn't last too long as it fairly quickly became overcast and we ended the day with a grey cloud cover. It went down to about -1 degree overnight and this morning we start the day with just cloud. The forecast for the day is a chance of snow in higher areas and a chance of rain down in town. I'll post another report on this Yuzawa Now report page this evening with the latest on how things went today and how things are looking for the weekend...



Well, it hasn't been the best day today, though we have largely held off the rain. There has been a lot of cloud covering the mountains around town today and snow has been falling in places higher up, and at times spots of rain down in town. But nothing too damaging I don't think - it could have been much worse.

Let's look forward - the Niigata forecast that was published at 4pm tells us that this region can expect up to 15cm of snow between now and 9am. Then again, Kagura is calling for 'just a dusting'. It somehow feels like it is going to be touch and go how much we get tonight, but I would say that 15cm is sounding optimistic. Just keep that in mind!

So anyway weekend here we come. After the mild period we have had in recent days, come expecting early spring-like conditions in most places and you should be fine with having lots of fun.

We should be relatively clear over the weekend with a higher chance of sun on Sunday.

You might want to try and avoid Monday or Tuesday though as it looks like we are going to be hit with rain early in the week.

Anyway, have a fun weekend!
   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It's a grey day in Minakami today with threatening clouds hanging over us. The forecast says we might be in for a bit of rain, turning to snow in the afternoon. It was a cold night last night with a bit of ice around this morning and the groomers are a bit hard at the moment but will soften up later. Snow off the side is a bit heavy and could do with a top-up so hopefully this snow materialises.

The forecast is for snow this afternoon and into Saturday with finer weather on Sunday. Monday is still looking like it could be a pretty wet day and the warmer temperatures could continue into the middle of next week.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Morning everyone.

It is a mild morning here in this part of Niigata - just -1 degree up at the top of Kagura and about +3 here at the base of Naeba. No new snow to report after an evening that wasn't particularly cold and for now it is just cloudy. You can almost feel that we are in March. Not to worry though (I think) as we might get a bit of snowfall today and really hoping to avoid the rain that seems likely in lower areas.

The weekend looks like it might bring a sprinkling of snow (tonight into tomorrow morning) and then clearer conditions on Sunday. After that, still looking like Monday will be warmer again and a good chance of rain unfortunately. We are going to have to wait until at least mid-next week for things to get colder and the chance of decent snowfall it would seem.

For those wanting an early start at Naeba, a bit of news - from tomorrow and until the 1st April, on Saturdays and Sundays the No3 quad lift will be starting moving from 7am.

In the meantime have a fun Friday and weekend for those of you making your way tonight!

Resort Operations, 2nd March (subject to change)
All open apart from Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom course.
Open as normal - top Kagura No5 lift now open.
Official snow depths
380cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 8:57am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
A really good day yesterday though it clouded over as we got into the afternoon.

There is no new snow to report this morning and a mild feel to the air here, it's about +2 degrees at the moment. Hmmm, just a cloudy start to the day really and not a whole lot of things to report! Ah the potential good news being that we might get to see some snowfall later on today which would be a great way to prime us up for the start the weekend. Tomorrow should be colder but apart from the chance of some snow every now and again, just cloudy and/or clear at times. That's what the forecast says anyway, with a clearer Sunday on the cards.

After that, we're warming up again on Monday.

Lifts currently operating:
All lifts should be open today and all courses open.
Official snow depth:
280cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 9:29am
Weather conditions: Sunny and cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday the snow softened in the sun and then refrose later in the afternoon when the temperatures plummeted to winter norms. Last night there was 5cm of dry light powder which has helped bring the pistes back to good condition this morning. There is a mix of cloud and sun over the resort at the moment with plenty of blue sky to the east, making it another fantastic day for views and photos.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 9:39am
Weather conditions: Cloud, snow, sleet
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It was just a cloudy start to the day today with no new snow to report. It's keeping mild as well with the thermometer dipping to just -2 overnight in the village and this morning it is about +1C right now. Clouds started to cover the mountains about an hour ago and now snow is falling on the slopes with spots of rain lower down in the village in places which will hopefully soon turn into snow. Would be good to get some new cm in by the end of today in time for the weekend but I don't think we can expect too much from it all.

The weekend should be fairly dry - chance of some snow falling at times, especially in the morning - but as we approach the end of the weekend and Monday it is still looking like we may see rain again, perhaps even up on the mountains though lets hope not. We'll just have to see how that turns out and pray for colder temperatures.

Looking forward from mid week next week there looks to be some potential for another cold snap and snowfall, so keep an eye on that.


Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 2nd March 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
No new snowfall reported this morning. All lifts operating.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 280cm;
Toomi - 155cm;
Iimori - 115cm

Hakuba 47:
No new snowfall reported this morning. All courses and weekend lifts (not Line D) open. The Half Pipe is closed for maintenance until Friday (subject to change).
Official snow depth:
Upper - 224cm
Lower - 110cm

Ski lifts/courses:
All lifts apart from Usagidaira and Happo No1 pair are operating today.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 190cm;
Sakka - 80cm;
Nakiyama - 80cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 250cm
Champion - 180cm

Hakuba Cortina:
No new snowfall at Cortina this morning. All courses open and all lifts except No7 pair operating.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 340cm
Lower - 200cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Official snow depth:
Upper - 175cm
Lower - 95cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
70cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 9:44am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It feels slightly colder this morning - though still mild - and in contrast to the blue skies of yesterday, this morning it is grey and cloudy over Zao. Just cloudy with hardly any wind at all.

Snow conditions? They're keeping pretty good actually, especially on the upper slopes, as up on the mountain it is staying suitably cold though we could do with it being colder still. And of course we always want more snow! The good news is that we will maybe see some decent snowfall tonight, though after those clouds clear up tomorrow morning it should be a generally dry weekend but colder than the last few days.

Early next week though it will be back to milder conditions.

Have a fun weekend if you visit Zao!

Official snow depths (2nd March 12)
Utopia - 275cm
Chuo - 220cm
Paradise - 260cm
Uwanodai - 175cm

Operating lifts (2nd March 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
All the runs at Zao are open.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 9:52am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, very light snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Things got overcast quite quickly yesterday after that fine start, but nothing was falling from the skies. This morning we have some very fine snow falling. It's the kind of snow that falls but doesn't quite stick or make any difference at all -- it's just there. So it would be good if it started falling in more style so we can get a nice new fluffy layer for the weekend. It's looking encouraging that we may well see that happen later today and overnight into tomorrow morning, so I hope that in my next report tomorrow I will bring some good news there.

For now though the roads here in Maruike are clear again - you can see the tarmac - so we want to see that quickly covered in new snow as well, please!

Temperatures hovering around and just above 0 degrees at the moment. Tomorrow looks set to be colder and the weather conditions should be cloudy with occasional light snow and chances of some sun. (So perhaps we really don't know what to expect!)

Until tomorrow!

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Friday 2nd March 2012 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
260cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 13:42pm
Weather conditions: Overcast and rain/snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is a gray day in Myoko, with rain currently falling at base level, although there is snow higher up. The freezing line has in fact moved really high today, but things are going to get colder again tomorrow--hopefully there will be some fresh snow, or things could be pretty crusty and nasty in the backcountry. Should be fine on the piste, of course, and snow is on the menu for tomorrow, if not heavy fall.

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



280cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 2nd March 2012, 15:29pm
Weather conditions: Grey Skies snow up top and light rain below
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Not one of our finer days today in Nozawa.

We had grey skies hovering over the Village this morning and have been copping some rain down low but a few people coming down from the mountain have confirmed that it has been snowing up top with limited visibility.

Still, pretty wet though here with temperatures a bit too warm. They are forecast to drop throughout this afternoon and so we should fingers crossed see some snow even at Village level tonight.

Yesterday was a fine day on the slopes with some great views and visibility especially in the morning. The snow was a bit soft down low but nice up top and even some powder stashes to be found on the North facing slopes.

It's a pretty big weekend coming up with some celebrations to commemorate 100 Years of skiing in Japan. On Saturday Night at Hikage slopes we have Fireworks, a Flare run and Taiko drums kicking off from 19:30. Should be a fun night so look forward to seeing some of you there.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
All open

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
20th Jan, 15:31
Zao Now
20th Jan, 10:30
Shiga Kogen Now
20th Jan, 9:30
Kiroro Now
20th Jan, 9:12
Yuzawa Now
20th Jan, 9:11am
Hakuba Now
20th Jan, 9:01
Nozawa Onsen Now
20th Jan, 8:51am
Madarao Now
20th Jan, 8:41
Myoko Now
20th Jan, 8:41am
Niseko Now
20th Jan, 8:35
Geto Kogen Now
20th Jan, 7:51
Furano Now
20th Jan, 7:22
Minakami Now
13th Jan, 10:10am
Naeba Now
27th Nov, 11:21am
Aizu Bandai Now
26th Nov, 11:22