Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th January 2021

Niseko Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 7:48am
Weather conditions: Light Snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The snow has returned! There's not a whole lot out there. It seems to be about a 5cm layer of snow. Some places saw more, especially anywhere higher in elevation. It looks like we may get some more throughout the day today as well, but it doesn't seem like a very powerful system. I hope I am wrong, but the storm seems to be dwindling. Fear not my friends, there seems to be more expected Tuesday and it could be a decent amount of snow.

Yesterday we saw warm temperatures and sunshine/clouds, so this is a nice change.

Backcountry travel is safe for now. I would definitely be careful when we get some snow. It's expected that on most aspects (except high elevation N) new snow will easily slab off the sun crusts that have been created. A few days will probably be the settling period of the new snow on the old layer.

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

Niseko Village:
Top - 470cm
Bottom - 220cm

Top - 470cm
Bottom - 220cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -7C, 5cm of crystal snowfall since predawn. Coastal data: NW8m/s at Benkei cape, 1.1m waves and 1029hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak: NW14.1m/s -15.2C. Moiwa peak: -10C, 20cm of snowdrifts development in the last few hours.
Snowfall transition: a moderate winter weather pattern generated intermittent snowfall and developed 20-40cm of snowdrifts in leeward knoll terrains, forming new soft slabs.
Hazard evaluation: a surface slab avalanche up to 30cm thickness is likely to occur in leeward slopes above 800m. Caution is required in typical avalanche terrains (open steep slopes, knolls and cornices) in the following areas: coordinate C4-D5 (Moiwa-Mikaeri), E6-F5 (Backbowl-Osawa), G7-H8 (Higashione). Thin but powerful enough slides are likely to occur today. Jumping cornices can trigger slides at landing. Do not enter Yu no sawa strictly off-limits area; the Annupuri side is especially dangerous. Caution is also required when traversing gullies in the West ridge area (E7). Looking at this season’s snowfall, a massive scale slide may occur as the spring approaches. It is advised not to be too close to each other when in avalanche terrain.
Avalanches occur when the conditions allow and don’t necessarily depend on the snowfall amount of that day, and it only becomes an accident if a person is involved in it.
New snow in the woods is still shallow, but the conditions are bit better than yesterday’s. General avalanche risk is low.
Peak gates will open at 9:30. Have a nice day.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 8:26am
Weather conditions: Cloud, clear, sun
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Not much really happened yesterday weather wise - it ended up being a generally cloudy kind of day in the area. Down to just about -1 degrees last night and this morning we are greated with some sunshine. It doesn't look like it will be a deep blue sky day but more an overcast but bright kind of day. There's a fair bit of cloud still up there but it's bright and the sun is shining down as I write this. A high of around 4 degrees is on the forecast for the day and according to that same forecast we will end the day with cloud cover.

No new snow to report anywhere around the region.

We're still on for rain tomorrow as well as what looks like some strong winds blowing things about and so that may well affect resort operations in some places. A good day for an onsen and some other stuff perhaps!

Official resort snow depths @ Saturday 3rd March 12, AM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:
270cm   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 8:28am
Weather conditions: Blue sky
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
A glorious morning in Minakami this morning with blue skies as far as the eye can see. It is pretty cold out there now and a bit of ice on the roads but the sun will sort that out in a bit. Hard underfoot right now but again, with the sun on it, it will soften up as the day goes on. Great day to be out.

Tomorrow is not expected to be quite so good. Warm temperatures and the possibility of rain which may last into Tuesday. Warmer temperatures until the end of the week and then hopefully some light snow into next weekend.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning!

It's a bright and sunny blue sky start to the day here in Naeba this morning. A bit colder than it was yesterday as well, right now -2 degrees at base. There's hardly any wind this morning though, so all is calm and we look set for a fine Sunday perhaps due to cloud over as the day moves on. Lifts look set to be open as normal for the day so all should be moving smoothly on this Sunday.

It hasn't been as busy this weekend so far - that always seems to happen once we get into March - though it is of course still a holiday and so a fair few people out there. As usual the crowds usual thin out come early afternoon. If you come on weekdays from now on, you might have to be lucky to get fresh conditions but it's nice and relatively quiet so you can have tons of space to yourself.

Resort Operations, 4th 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 ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 8:42am
Weather conditions: Clear, blue skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning from a lovely sunny Zao. It's going to be one of those really great clear days by the looks of things.

Yesterday we were treated to that new snowfall in the morning which really put some smiles on faces for the weekend. It was a cloudy day generally but from time to time there were clearings in the clouds and some really nice views opened up.

A different story this morning of course with the sun out early on. It is also much colder this morning, -6 degrees just a bit earlier on and while earlier on it was down to minus double figures, up at Utopia now they are recording a temperature of -8 degrees.

Mixed messages about tonight and tomorrow, ranging from rain down in the village to heavy snow up on the mountain, along with strong winds! I would say it will be something in between that (whatever that might be!) and I'll bring you the latest tomorrow.

Official snow depths (4th March 12)
Utopia - 270cm
Chuo - 225cm
Paradise - 260cm
Uwanodai - 180cm

Operating lifts (4th March 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
All the runs at Zao are open.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 8:56am
Weather conditions: Clear and blue skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
There's not much to report this morning other than clear blue skies all around and hardly a cloud to be seen. A beautiful start to the day. Temperatures staying about where they were yesterday so a chilly start to the day but there's hardly any wind at all and everything is calm.

Clouds are due to move in later in the day though and hopefully tonight we will get some snow. It might be rain tomorrow though and strong winds are forecast as well. So not the best day lined up tomorrow then!

For now though, today should be really great out there if only even just for the fantastic views on offer. There should be some fine sliding to be had too of course.

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 4th March 2012 AM:

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

Madarao Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 9:00am
Weather conditions: Fine
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Cloud early on but things have quickly cleared up and it looks like we should have some fine weather to enjoy today.

It's going to be somewhat spring-like snow conditions out there today I would think, but come with that in mind and should be a fine day out there.

We might see a bit of snow tonight but tomorrow looks almost certain to be a rainy and windy day - I suspect people out there tomorrow will almost have the place to themselves.... perhaps good conditions for some training! Otherwise, I think it will be one to avoid.

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

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 11:19am
Weather conditions: Fine, due to cloud over this afternoon
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
A cloudy start to the day here in Hakuba but the sun is doing it's thing on and off this morning and it has been clearing up as the morning progresses with more blue sky on show. No new snow to report this morning.

The mildish conditions continue and right now it is hanging around 0 degrees or lower in the village. Up top at 47 a little earlier it was -7 degrees. It looks like we are having rain in the village from tonight and due to see rain all day tomorrow as well, I'm afraid. There is a chance of snow falling on top of the mountains with lower temperatures up there - would be good news, so fingers crossed.

Next snowfall due? Difficult to say but it's going to be at least the end of the coming week.


Snow pack synopsis (3/3)

The snow at elevation and above the resorts on the Northern aspects was very light and dry with near surface faceting contributing to the instability of this low density surface snow that is over riding the Rain crust of last week. Compression tests on Northern aspects in the Tsugaike area found easy test results in the new snow due to these faceted grauple grains over the ice crust. the new starm snow will be adding extra load to this unstable low density layer and creating a very unstable and dangerous upper snow pack on the northern aspects.

Solar aspects were affected by yesterday's warm temperature and intense solar radiation. The surface was slow to crust as the sun went down yesterday afternoon and the snow was much like spring corn snow and and was releasing small wet loose avalanches during yesterday’s warming. The new snow will not be bonding well to the layers below.

Expect natural and Human triggered slides on all aspects but be especially careful on the northern aspect and wind loaded pockets of past storm snow that will slide easily on the rain crust below. Areas of 25cm of the low density faceted snow were found at tree line and below tree line in the Tsugaike area yesterday.

As temperatures rise and snow turns to rain all aspects will rapidly loose stability and natural avalanches can be expected.

Travel advisory:
Backcountry and off piste riding today and over the next 2 days is NOT recommended.
Avalanche Danger is HIGH at all elevations.


Official snow depths and operations @ Sunday 4th March 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
No new snowfall reported this morning. All lifts operating.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 275cm;
Toomi - 150cm;
Iimori - 110cm

Hakuba 47:
No new snow this morning. All courses open though some restrictions due to a boarder-cross competition being held.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 233cm
Lower - 110cm

Ski lifts/courses:
All lifts apart from 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:
5cm of new snowfall on upper slopes and a few cm lower slopes at Cortina this morning. All lifts and most courses open.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 330cm
Lower - 200cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

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

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
70cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 12:45pm
Weather conditions: Sunshine
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It was a great night in the village last night, with a good vibe all around. Up on the Hikage slopes the fireworks and torch run were spectacular and could be seen from all over the resort.

Beautiful clear skies again today and pretty cold up top at -7 degrees. Should make the groomers pretty fast, which will be perfect for the racing getting underway today. It is going to be another nice day. Bound to warm up soften as the day gets on.

Yesterday was lots of fun on the slopes and conditions were not bad at all. The base up top so far has not dropped much with this warmer weather still just under the 4-meter mark at 380cm.

The forecast for the next few days is not so encouraging with freezing levels getting almost as high as Mt Fuji it looks as though we are in for some rain. Should hopefully squeeze in a bit of snow first tonight though especially high up before the temps climb. Looks like just a one-day peak then will cool down again once we pass that.

The spring season pass is also underway now and at just 30,000 Yen with over 2 months in the season to go is a great investment.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
All open

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 13:39pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
We did end up getting around 7-10cm of the fluffy white stuff overnight. Come yesterday evening, it just started pouring down for a little while but then tapered off to mostly flurries for the early morning hours. Be prepared to encounter a lingering snow shower or two while out there on the mountain today, but on the whole things should be cloudy and calm, with low winds and fairly mild temperatures at -6. On the whole, a bit colder than it was yesterday.

We've got a lot of low-level clouds right now that look threatening, but they should clear out tonight to make way for clear skies and chilly overnight temperatures. For those of you doing night skiing, be sure to bundle up!   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 4th March 2012, 18:23pm
Weather conditions: Sunny and clear (clouds did start moving in at the very end of the day...)
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
A late report today, that really wasn't; I think I submitted the form about 10 this morning, but the local (meaning in my house) link was off. Sorry, everybody! It was a really nice day out there in Myoko! NIce sun, a little bit of fresh snow so everything was sparking, cold temperatures to start the day and warm sunshine. Good snow conditions (mostly), too, with just a few patches of the ice below coming through on the bumps, etc.

Looks like rain over the next few days, so be happy, office workers; you won't be missing much. Still hoping for the March powder we enjoyed last year--and don't stop coming to your favorite hill just because the temperatures get warm and the cherries start blooming wehrever you live! There's so much snow out there, and winter isn't gone yet, and spring skiing is so much fun...

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



270cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
18th Jan, 10:43
Zao Now
18th Jan, 10:30
Hakuba Now
18th Jan, 10:10
Furano Now
18th Jan, 9:43
Kiroro Now
18th Jan, 9:31
Myoko Now
18th Jan, 9:29am
Madarao Now
18th Jan, 9:28am
Shiga Kogen Now
18th Jan, 9:05
Yuzawa Now
18th Jan, 8:59am
Niseko Now
18th Jan, 8:33
Nozawa Onsen Now
18th Jan, 7:54
Geto Kogen Now
18th Jan, 7:44
Minakami Now
13th Jan, 10:10am
Naeba Now
27th Nov, 11:21am
Aizu Bandai Now
26th Nov, 11:22