With weather changing hourly, it’s best to keep up to date with the latest snow and weather conditions in Hakuba. Equally as important are the piste conditions and lift status updates that are on offer. We at Events Hakuba want you to have the best possible holiday so we’ve put together a concise list of the best places to get quick information about all the conditions that you need.
February 8th, 2020 | by Jared Kubokawa
Coming in at number five on our list is the old chestnut that is Snow Forecast. On their site it says that they don’t simply repackage information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but after comparing the two, they seem quite similar albeit in a more user-friendly format on Snow Forecast. We have mostly included this one simply because it’s the most popular. When people in the valley talk about conditions at mid-mountain versus the top—they are usually getting information from this website. Convenience is king here. Just choose your country>resort and off you go. They provide a basic 5-day forecast with wind, precipitation and temperature, but being able to change the elevations is key to knowing what the conditions are like all over the mountain. That and the popularity bring Snow Forecast onto our list.
If you can’t check the weather, just look out the window (or at a webcam). The Hakuba Valley is absolutely filled with webcams: on the mountain, on the roads, in the village and with views across the valley. Luckily Hakuba Travel conveniently provides one webpage with all the cameras you’d ever need. There are cameras from all the big resorts in the valley, Hakuba village as well as important roads and thoroughfares. The webcams on the roads are particularly useful as there is often a streetlight next to the camera for checking those early morning conditions if you’re chasing first tracks. For all the best of the valley’s webcams in one place, look to Hakuba Travel as your go-to.
This is your one-stop shop for all of your weather, snow and operations needs. Although the daily reports are informative and unbiased, they post after the first lift starts spinning which isn’t as useful as it could be, especially if you wanted to catch first tracks on a pow day. The operations (lift status, ect) are usually accurate but again are only updated daily so it would be better to check Hakuba Valley’s webpage for more accurate information regarding daily wind closures and on piste conditions. With that said, the 6-day forecast is great for having most of the valley resorts on one page, the snowfall analysis is helpful to compare history, the eyeball reporting is great and everything is updated daily. Snow Japan is a fantastic resource for all things snow sports in Japan.
With an awesome, easy-to-use interface and heaps of detailed information Windy comes in at second best for the Top 5 websites for weather in Hakuba. On Windy, you could basically zone out and watch the wind pattern graphics for hours, but if you’re not into that how about air quality, wind speed/direction, precipitation, temperature, waves, radar and satellite imaging. Even better, you can compare this information from 3 weather sources: Meteoblue, ECMWF and GFS. Windy is a fascinating, digital look at today’s weather in the post-modern world.
Ironically, coming at number one is non-other than the Norwegian Meteorological Society (NMS), or also known as YR. YR is simply the best algorithm based website out there for weather forecasting around the world. Put out by the NMS, the algorithm is huge and you can accurately check the weather in detail well into the next week with daily 6-hour increments. The weather for the next 48 hours is forecasted in hourly increments with all and any information you could possibly think of. There are also heaps of maps with all the same information that Windy provides minus the cool wind pattern graphic. It’s all there though, weather, snow, you name it. Also, you can check out past weather statistics and see how this season is piling up compared to seasons in the past. YR tops our list because of it has everything Windy has plus extensive algorithm based long-term forecasting as well as past statistics and maps.
hakubavalley.com and the its accompanying app are great resources for operations in the valley including lift status, piste conditions, restaurants, accommodation, events and coupons. There is also some basic snow and weather conditions next to the piste and operations updates included for your convenience. Although sometimes slow to update, it’s a good place to start when deciding where to go on the day and for further details go directly to the resort that you are interested in. This brings the Hakuba Valley website and app onto our radar.
nadare.jp In Japanese, nadare means avalanche and the Japan Avalanche Network is the go-to for all of your back-country needs. This is the daily starting point for nearly all of the guides in the valley, giving snow conditions, avalanche danger forecasting and previous avalanche reporting information. JAN provides a great resource and is even better when used with the auto-translate function in your Google Chrome browser. The Avalanche Control Team Japan (ACT) is also a good source of information but we have found that JAN website is a bit more user friendly for avalanche forecasting and reporting. JAN rounds out our list here at Events Hakuba.
There you have it, Events Hakuba‘s top five weather, snow conditions and operations websites. If you agree/disagree or have any other websites that you think should have made the list, please comment below. We would love to hear what you have to say. Good luck with the snow conditions and we sincerely hope you have a great holiday here in our little corner of the world. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.