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WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #68

Issued: 03rd January 2019 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Our latest roundup of snow conditions around the world. Each section that follows below goes into detail country by country. Clicking the map thumbnail will take you to our dynamic snow forecast map for the latest detail (where you can also overlay live weather & reported conditions). Weather outlooks for Europe and North America can be found at the end of this roundup. INTRODUCTION: There's an East/West divide in both Europe and North America at present although the side getting the most snow differs on each continent. In North America it has been ski areas on the Westside that have seen the biggest accumulations, although not so much as in previous weeks…

December finally delivers

Last month I ended by saying that by the time I was posting my next article we would hopefully be playing in some seriously deep snow here in Japan. As I write this on 28th December, I am happy to report that many of the mountains throughout Japan are getting dumped on with some serious snow being reported. For example, since yesterday, an impressive 80cm of snow has been reported at the base of the ski resorts in Myoko (Niigata), with around 50cm in other areas of Niigata and part of northern Japan. This is easily the strongest cold front of the season and it looks set to last at least a few days. Nice. Until now though, for most…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #67

Issued: 27th DECEMBER 2018 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Our latest roundup of snow conditions around the world. Each section that follows below goes into detail country by country. Clicking the map thumbnail will take you to our dynamic snow forecast map for the latest detail (where you can also overlay live weather & reported conditions). Weather outlooks for Europe and North America can be found at the end of this roundup. INTRODUCTION: The New year is nearly here and for most of the world's ski areas, this busiest week of the season is looking quite promising thanks to good snowfalls in November and December.Even ski regions that were a little late including parts of Japan and of North America on…

Preparations

23rd November is ‘Labour Thanksgiving Day’ in Japan, or kinro-kansha-no-hi in Japanese. Various events are often held on this national holiday. Importantly for us snow lovers, it is the date when some of the major ski resorts in Japan hope to be able to open from - whatever day of the week it falls on. This year, the 23rd was a Friday, and at the time of writing that was one week ago. Famous ski resorts in Niseko, Hakuba, Nozawa and Yuzawa (amongst others) always have the 23rd November as their planned opening date of the ski season, though in reality it is always a rather optimistic target. It is perhaps more of a marker, with that date being the…

Autumn is here

At last! Autumn is here, and temperatures have dropped. We can now even say that a handful of ski resorts will be opening ‘next month’. There might even be a bit of snowfall on the mountains in Hokkaido tonight. Look towards the end of the month for some big names to open. As the ski resorts around Japan busily prepare for the 2018-2019 season, I have two main things to introduce to you this time round. Brand new hybrid lift at Ishiuchi There are some very interesting new developments happening at the Ishiuchi Maruyama ski resort Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture. Ishiuchi Maruyama is about 10 minutes from the main station of the perhaps more well-known Yuzawa town, which is less than…

Japan update and focus on Nagano (Hakuba)

Here we are in March. And for most of Japan, nature seems to have taken that as a clear sign to quickly switch to spring mode. It has been a generally mild and spring-like start to the month along with some nasty rain in lots of places. It might not feel like it right now, but historically March has a habit of delivering some good surprises and can offer some really feel-good conditions on the slopes. At the time of writing its early days yet, so hopefully, we might get some of that this season. Come the end of March and early April, lots of ski hills in Japan will be closing for the season, but a fair number of…

Mushi-atsui! (Hot and humid)

Late July 2018 Over the last month or so you may well have noticed some items on the international news about the extreme weather conditions being experienced in Japan this summer. In the first part of July, Western Japan endured torrential rains and widespread flooding which has unfortunately taken hundreds of lives and caused havoc over large areas. Many homes and other buildings have been destroyed, so a full recovery is going to be a slow process. At the same time, this year the official ‘rainy season’ (tsuyu) generally started a little earlier than usual and was unseasonably short, bringing comparatively little rain to many eastern regions of the country. Next up was the blistering heat. Japan is no stranger…

Japan 2018-2019 early season

23rd November is ‘Labour Thanksgiving Day’ in Japan, or kinro-kansha-no-hi in Japanese. Various events are often held on this national holiday. Importantly for us snow lovers, it is the date when some of the major ski resorts in Japan hope to be able to open from - whatever day of the week it falls on. This year, the 23rd was a Friday, and at the time of writing that was one week ago. Famous ski resorts in Niseko, Hakuba, Nozawa and Yuzawa (amongst others) always have the 23rd November as their planned opening date of the ski season, though in reality it is always a rather optimistic target. It is perhaps more of a marker, with that date being the…

The 2017-2018 Japan season has ended… almost!

The spring ski season in Japan often seems rather long, with quite a few ski resorts at higher elevations managing to remain at least part open until the second week of May. It has seemed particularly long this time around. I think it is fair to say that most regions around Japan did not receive much snowfall once we got into March this year and so it was good that there was generally decent snowfall during the early and peak season months. So here we are closing in on the end of May. By the end of the ‘Golden Week’ run of national holidays on 6th May, most ski resorts had closed leaving just a handful of ski lifts still…