Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019
Sunday 3rd February 2013, 2:10am
The rain is gone! Wind and a dusting of snow followed during the night, so it's not wet and nasty (even if the snow isn't that great just yet). But no complaints, right? Snow is on the forecast for the days ahead (alright, maybe a little rain down low tomorrow, but let's think confident, snowy thoughts and maybe this too will pass).
If you plan to venture off the groomed in the coming days though, please be really careful about the possible ice layer the rain, and sudden return to cold, could have created. This could make the perfect layer for new snow to slide off--or it might simply bond well to the new snow and disappear. Without a good check, it's impossible to tell, but the possibility is there, so think before you attack that treeless, 40-degree slope. There's a reason why there are no trees there....and you don't want to know firsthand (and we down want you swept away, either).
Operations and official snow depths (all for 01/30
I got rained on for a bit yesterday but the less I think about the better. We don't like the R word, it should not be part of what happens between December and April.
Anyway, 3cm of snow outside on the lower slopes this morning in Naeba. Kagura say up to 10cm.
Seems like wind means both the Gondolas here in Naeba are on hold at the moment, but the Prince Number 2 gondola is scheduled to start it's day at 10:20am. (Exactly!) Doesn't feel windy here at base but stronger winds high up apparently.
Today if you finish up at Tashiro and are one of the first xxx people, you might be lucky enough to get some free 'tonjiru' soup. What more could you want!? Starts at 2pm at Tashiro base, so that's quite early for those of us wanting a full day out in the snow. Limited supplies. So some difficult decisions required. Snow or soup?
Tomorrow will be a bit warmer again, but back to cold and hopefully continued cold from Tuesday.
Official resort snow depth: Naeba - 260cm Kagura - 370cm
After the rain of yesterday when we all got a bit wet eventually it did turn into snow. Unfortunately the less than ideal conditions meant that the resort cancelled their planned fireworks display last night which was a shame.
OK so the good news this morning is that we do have new snow on the ground. About 10cm or so. Light snow has been falling this morning with the top half of the mountain still covered in cloud. But it does look like conditions might well clear up, a bit of blue sky can be spotted here and there. We'll just have to see how it changes but a clearing trend is likely.
The Park is open and the Tree Runs will hopefully open after having a once-over by resort staff.
Tomorrow might be a bit warmer again but snow is forecast. Looking forward a few decent snowfalls lined up over the next week so we should be back to powder conditions fairly soon.
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 Usagi Riverline Powder Theater Adventure Read more ...
Sunday 3rd February 2013, 9:10am
I'm glad to report that we are back to much more Niseko-like colder temperatures this morning.
It's a nice and cold -7C early on. Annupuri is recording a temperature of -16C up at the top of the resort. That's more like it!
The rain continued in the morning yesterday but turned into snow early afternoon - somewhat earlier than we were expecting, but a good thing. This morning there is between 5cm and 10cm of fresh snow in the village area, so hopefully a bit more than that on the mountain. With the winds blowing it about, it's going to be less and more than that in places. It's not a thick layer of new snow and considering it is on top of the conditions we had up until the new snow fell, real care needed today. Looks might deceive! Under that thin layer of fresh are some icy conditions so keep it in mind.
I didn't mention the wind yet. Well, yes it is windy out there and it's affecting what is open this morning.
It looks like all of the Niseko Annupuri resort area is closed this morning as they report winds between 19m/s and 20m/s.
At Niseko Village, the lower The Banzai Chair, Morino Chair and Community Chair lifts are operating.
At Niseko Grand Hirafu it is the lower half of the mountain open with the Ace Family, Ace Number 1, Ace Number 2 Center four, Holiday Number 1 Pair and Swinging Monkey lifts operating now as normal. The King Number 2 lift and Hirafu Gondola are operating at reduced speed. The King Number 2 should be opening at 10am.
Someone asked us about the half pipe being closed at Niseko Grand Hirafu. It seems that the maintenance machine has a problem and so that is the reason for this. Hopefully they can get that sorted quick.
Temperatures should remain about where they should be over the coming week with snow clouds never far away. In particular, the forecast is looking really good for a great delivery of snow around the end of the week. So hopefully we are in for a good week.
Anyone feel the earthquake late last night? A magnitude 6.4 quake rattled lots of Hokkaido and large parts of northern Japan around 11:15pm last night. It registered a 'shindo 2' on the Japanese seismic intensity scale here in Niseko and Kutchan. The epicenter was to the east of Sapporo near the coast by Tokachi, so quite a way from Niseko but still there was a bit of a shudder here. A reminder.
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono Top - 400cm Bottom - 180cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 330cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Village Top - 360cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko base 6am: -9C, 5cm of broken particle snow. Moiwa 800m: W15m/s, stormy and bad visibility, -15C and notable snowdrift development. Annupuri peak: NW30.8m/s, -18C. Coastal data: WNW21m/s, 3.1m waves and 1013hPa.
Furious snowstorm due to strong winter weather pattern is generating drastic development of snowdrifts in leeward slopes above 800m. According to the snowfall transition, weather data and observations, the newly formed snowdrifts are extremely unstable and can collapse/slide with the slightest stimulation. The developments of slabs aren't uniform and their consistency are also dependent on altitude and slope orientation. 50cm surface slab avalanches are likely to occur in slopes with heavy snowdrifts around 700-900m, with crust surface (Feb 2nd layer) underneath, namely Osawa (Annupuri bowl) and backside Higashione (Jackson).
All gates will be closed. Even if the lift is operating, out of bounds area should not be entered. A closed gate is a message telling all area beyond the resort boundary should not be touched. Ignoring this message and accessing those areas, whether crossing the boundary ropes or not, will result in many people following those tracks and unnecessarily increase the chances of accidents to happen. We strongly demand every resort user to respect the Niseko Rules. The snow will turn better soon. Better take it easy today. Read more ...
Sunday 3rd February 2013, 9:30am
Perhaps not the best conditions but the festival went ahead last night on the Uwanodai area of the resort. A fair few people turned up and I would say fun was had.
This morning things have calmed down since yesterday. Just a light wind. Much colder too after that very warm day yesterday. It is mostly just cloudy but quite bright.
Conditions are... ok, I suppose. But we could really do with a new thick layer of fresh snow on top. Perhaps some snow tomorrow and then snow showers on and off in the coming week. Tomorrow will be relatively mild once again before the temps drop from Tuesday onwards.
It started snowing today early in the morning, a kind of wet snow is covering the slopes and strong winds are expected for this morning. Some lifts are operating at reduced speed, but at the moment we don't seem to have any closed slopes around Minakami.
On Monday we expect another milder day, for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning we can expect a moderate fall of snow. Read more ...
Sunday 3rd February 2013, 10:01am
Yesterday wasn't one of the days to remember from this season, generally ending up wet with rain persisting into the evening. Last thing I looked it was sleet later on and this morning we do have some new snowfall to report around town. Perhaps around 5cm and the ski resorts are reporting 3-10cm of fresh snow this morning. The mountains are covered in cloud this morning with light snow continuing to fall. The forecast tells us to expect cloud for the rest of the day and so it will perhaps ease off soon.
It's a fair deal colder than yesterday, but tomorrow we will be getting warmer once again with a high of +4 on the local forecast and a good chance of more rain I'm afraid with only higher elevations due to get snow.
Snow on Wednesday and then what looks like it could be a nice good strong cold pattern coming in around Friday are the days to look out for in the coming week. Rain and warm conditions have not done the snow conditions any favours of course and so we could do with a new delivery of light and fresh snow to kick start things back.
To the delight of many, we have some light snow falling about Nozawa Onsen this morning. Drizzle turned to wet snow at about 8pm last night as temperatures gradually cooled.
It looks like winter has returned and it should be a decent day on the mountain, especially if this snow keeps up. Sticks and branches which had begun to show with yesterdays melt have already been covered, masking any potential damage from the rain. The temperature change was quite gradual so hopefully there won't be so much abrupt dust-on-crust conditions today.
The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snow on lower slopes, 15cm on Uenotaira and 3cm up on Yamabiko.
Yesterday the conditions were... not so nice. We had light rain continue for most of the day which did some damage to the snowpack, especially visible off piste with a lot of debris starting to show through. Groomed runs were slushy but fast so it was still ok for riding there if you didn’t mind the heavy mist. Off piste the snow was like glue and very hard going.
The forecast for today looks good. However tomorrow we expect another warm front to pass through. Temperatures will be mild with a 1C maximum up top and 5C maximum down low. There is also the probability of more rain. By late tomorrow we expect temperatures to once again cool and a moist NW wind delivering consistent snowfalls for at least several days following.
Lifts operating: All lifts operating
Courses open: All courses open except Kandahar West Grand Prix
It's colder this morning in Hakuba I'm happy to report.
We couldn't escape that rain yesterday. It wasn't the best day of the season, that's for sure. At 3pm, Hakuba 47 were reporting rain on the slopes and a temperature of +4C. If it were spring we might not have cause to complain but for early February it's not what we expect. Having said that most seasons do have one or two events like this and so it's perhaps something we just have to get through.
The rain of yesterday means that snow conditions will be unstable and wet. A very slight dusting of snow overnight reported at some resorts around Hakuba and Otari, but enough to cover up the icy conditions.
OK on to the more positive news! As I said it is colder this morning and we are back down into negative numbers, though later on it will likely rise to around +2 in village. -7C up at Usagidaira which is around 1400m above sea level, and a slight north easterly wind.
Lots of cloud around the mountains this morning and so visibility is variable depending on where you are. Here down in the village there is some blue sky appearing and the sun shining down in places.
Chance of light snow tomorrow on the mountains though it will be another mild day and there's a good chance it will be rain again down in the village areas. Tuesday onwards should see a return of more consistently cold temperatures in the region with snowfall forecast for Wednesday and Friday.
Official snow depths and operations @ Sunday 3rd February 2013:
Hakuba Goryu: 1cm of snow reported up top from Hakuba Goryu this morning. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 285cm; Toomi - 140cm; Iimori - 120cm
Hakuba 47: 2cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba 47 this morning. Official snow depth: Upper - 215cm Lower - 160cm
A sprinkling of new snow overnight in Shiga Kogen and light snow falling now here in the central Maruike area. But at the same time, increasinly more blue sky showing as the clouds seem to be intent on moving on. The sun is out. Looks like it will be a fine day here.
After that very warm day yesterday, temps are back down well into the minus and it is much more like what we expect. A good chill in the air.
We'll be back to something warmer tomorrow but may get a bit of snowfall at the same time. After that back down to cold cold from Tuesday through into the weekend with a mix of clearer weather and sometimes snow showers. A decent amount of fresh snow would be very welcome at the moment to freshen up the conditions out there. Groomers look very nice this morning though.
Nighta operations planned for tonight at the following resort areas: Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 3rd February 2013 AM:
Winter is back with a vengeance. It's currently -8 with white out conditions that started overnight and have continued all day, completely eradicating all traces of yesterdays warm spell. Strong winds at times have grounded the Kitanomine Gondola off and on throughout the day, but the other lifts have stayed in operation. The big story is the blizzard we are experiencing right now. We've got 10cm+ of new snow pushing us up to the 160cm mark, and that's only the powder that's managed to stay in one place. It's really coming down out there, but the wind is so strong it's piling up the powder on the leeward sides of runs, making some real treasure troves that will still be there for tomorrow's early birds.
Despite the conditions, there were still plenty of skiers out there this morning. For those of you headed out this evening, be sure to keep your face covered until these winds die down. The forecast calls for the snow to taper off this evening, but for now it's still a little rough out there. Tomorrow should be a quiet start, with cloudy skies and snow in the forecast for the evening ours. Read more ...