Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Friday 2nd March 2018

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko (Hokkaido), Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:05am on Friday 2nd March 2018
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall
weather condition
Snow
Base temp:
-2°C

Top temp:
-6°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Snow
wind condition
NW 10-18m/s - 20-25m/s (Hirafu)
visibility condition
Poor
This report
Friday 2nd March 2018, 8:05am
9cm
Thursday 1st March 2018, 8:25am 0cm
Wednesday 28th February 2018, 8:31am 3cm
Tuesday 27th February 2018, 8:12am 3cm
Monday 26th February 2018, 8:16am 24cm
Sunday 25th February 2018, 8:33am 8cm
Saturday 24th February 2018, 8:30am 2cm
Last 7 reports (total): 49cm
Last 14 reports (total): 152cm
Current month (March 2018) total: 9cm
2017/2018 season so far total: 1207cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:05am on Friday 2nd March 2018
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning from Niseko.

It's wild up here just at the moment.

Yesterday we were treated to rain, wet snow, very strong winds, lift closures and frankly really horrid blizzard conditions.

I can't imagine anyone wanting to be out skiing or snowboarding in this - even if the lifts were open and transportation was operating as normal (which it isn't). While up here we are prepared for serious winter weather, such conditions put even Hokkaido to the test. I highly recommend staying put - and you probably won't have any choice with all lifts starting the day on hold. Soaking in an onsen or just taking it easy for the day. Things should have calmed down by tomorrow.

There is actually some fresh snow to report (9cm, though the snow has been blowing in all directions so who's to know actually how much there has been). And also lots of ice. Everything is iced up. Including the ice.

In the meantime, here's something I prepared yesterday...

---

A look back at the season so far: February 2018

It’s time to prepare some toast along with your choice of jam and a cup of coffee or tea and sit down to read my hopefully interesting and surely balanced ramblings about the month of February and the season so far here in Niseko.

And as is the tradition, I would like to remind you that all the numbers from these reports are available at any time on each of the archived Niseko Now report pages. They are linked below with all data relative to the particular report. And don’t forget that big blue ‘Snowfall Analysis’ tab at the top of this page. It’s really cool.

So here we go with February 2018.

Here’s the snowfall that I have measured myself here near the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu over the last six seasons over the month of February:

February 2018: 299cm
February 2017: 160cm
February 2016: 266cm
February 2015: 196cm
February 2014: 178cm
February 2013: 316cm

In the end I observed almost spot on 3m of snowfall. That’s almost double what I observed during February last year (* Epic!) and a fair bit more than each of the three seasons before that too.

I’m pleased to be able to point out that I was able to report fresh snowfall (remember: here at base) in 24 of my 28 reports for the month. The four reports where I was not able to report any snow were all in the first week of the month. In fact, we didn’t see much snowfall at all in that first week of February making us wonder if February might end up being disappointing. Thankfully, that turned out to not be the case.

Because from the second week onwards we got some really good – and regular - snowfall. Yey!

February is of course top peak season and we expect Niseko to be pumping. It has been a very busy month, especially over the Chinese New Year holiday period. A prolonged dry spell around that time is really bad news, so the regular resets this season filling in tracks were just what we needed. Wind did mess around with top lifts on some days, but I don’t feel there was too much of that and I have previously experienced more disruption.

Observed snowfall at base for the season up until the end of February:

So how is the season looking as a whole?

It’s looking good.

17/18 season total up until the end of February 2018: 1198cm
16/17 season total up until the end of February 2017: 605cm (about 88% of the season total)
15/16 season total up until the end of February 2016: 877cm (about 88% of the season total)
14/15 season total up until the end of February 2015: 1002cm (about 88% of the season total)
13/14 season total up until the end of February 2014: 1037cm (about 89% of the season total)
12/13 season total up until the end of February 2013: 1295cm (about 87% of the season total)

An impressive 12m of snowfall observed at base.

...and almost exactly double what I had observed by the end of February last season (* Bottomless!)

...and already more than the total observed snowfall during the whole season in the most recent four winters.

Interestingly, over the most recent 5 seasons the snowfall that I had observed here at base by the end of February always ended up being around 88% of the total snowfall observed for the whole season. Spooky!

And so, just for the giggles, if we apply that ‘88%’ number to this season we might expect another 160cm or so of snowfall at base this season. Wouldn’t that be nice!

What to expect from the month of March

Here’s how much actual snowfall I have observed in the month of March over the last five winters. The numbers in brackets show the total snowfall observed up until the end of March in each season.

March 2017: 83cm (688cm)
March 2016: 109cm (986cm)
March 2015: 139cm (1141cm)
March 2014: 113cm (1150cm)
March 2013: 164cm (1459cm)

---

And lastly here is the data that the Japan Meteorological Agency report from their observation station in Kutchan town:

February 2018: 195cm
February 2017: 173cm
February 2016: 210cm
February 2015: 167cm
February 2014: 130cm
February 2013: 228cm

17/18 season total up until the end of February 2017: 947cm
16/17 season total up until the end of February 2016: 741cm
15/16 season total up until the end of February 2015: 698cm
14/15 season total up until the end of February 2014: 825cm
13/14 season total up until the end of February 2013: 804cm
12/13 season total up until the end of February 2012: 900cm

---

And so here we are in March. Already!

There’s still over two months left, but inevitably talk of spring starts to get louder. Spring is often a lot of fun with generally more clearer skies and comfortable temperatures to make up for less fresh snow. March in particular has been known to offer up some surprises and so it’ll be fun to see how the month shapes up in 2018.

I’ll be with you every day of course right through until those last ski lifts finish up for the season on 6th May. Please remember, you are contractually obliged to read each and every one of my reports until then, ok? Arigato!

---

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -2℃, stormy, 20cm snowfall. Moiwa 800m: -4.6℃, SW34.7m/s, stormy, whiteout. Annupuri 1150m: no data, snow accumulating. Hirafu peak: -6℃, strong wind & snowfall. Coastal data: NW28m/s, Kamui cape: NNW22m/s, 981hPa, 1.9m waves.

"West High East Low" winter pressure pattern has set in as the low pressure moved east. Heavy storm conditions at the base, peak and the ocean. The wave height in the Sea of Japan is still small, however this is due to the strong SE swells from yesterday’s wind are moving against the current strong westerly wind. The wave height is forecasted to rise today. Snow conditions at Moiwa peak to Mikaeri area were not possible to observe due to heavy storm. The cat track between Moiwa and Annupuri has not been groomed.

The developing snowdrifts are growing huge and are extremely unstable. The new snow accumulation in leeward slopes is drastic and uneven and can collapse in thick slabs from yesterday’s low-pressure snowfall layer. Today’s avalanche danger is extremely high. Better stay indoors today. The avalanche hazard will persist through to tomorrow after the wind settles down below 10m/s. Better not rush out to the back country too soon after the storm calms down.

Many of the avalanche accidents occur during and just after storms. Be flexible and plan according to the weather. Beware of whiteouts, snowdrifts and oncoming cars on the road to Onsens.

Have a good day.


---

Friday 2nd March 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- Weather conditions affecting all lifts

Official snow depth:
- Top: 515cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- Weather conditions affecting all lifts

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- Weather conditions affecting all lifts

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 280cm

---

Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair

Archive report: Posted at 8:05am on Friday 2nd March 2018
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

Don't expect lifts to be open!

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Japan snowfall data
(updated daily during winter)
Niseko Now observed snowfall data: Recent Niseko Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 2nd March 2018
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Friday 2nd March 2018
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
Niseko Now observed snowfall data: Recent season comparisons
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 2nd March 2018
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded in the Niseko Now reports during same period over the last three seasons
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
  2017/2018
*as of Friday 2nd March 2018
2016/2017
Season
2015/2016
Season
2nd March 9cm 0cm 22cm
1st March 0cm 0cm 10cm
28th February 3cm 0cm 0cm
27th February 3cm 3cm 20cm
26th February 24cm 18cm 18cm
25th February 8cm 19cm 10cm
24th February 2cm 13cm 7cm
Previous 7 days total 49cm 53cm 80cm
Previous 14 days total 152cm 97cm 124cm
November observed snowfall total 188cm 110cm 61cm
December observed snowfall total 406cm 181cm 244cm
January observed snowfall total 305cm 152cm 303cm
February observed snowfall total 299cm 160cm 266cm
March observed snowfall total 9cm 83cm 109cm
April observed snowfall total - 0cm 6cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 1207cm 688cm 992cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data: Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 2nd March 2018
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded the Niseko Now reports for each month and total season accumulation
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
  October November December January February March April May
2018/2019 season - - - - - - - -
2017/2018 season - 188cm
[188cm]
406cm
[594cm]
305cm
[899cm]
299cm
[1198cm]
9cm
[1207cm]
- -
2016/2017 season 2cm
[2cm]
110cm
[112cm]
181cm
[293cm]
152cm
[445cm]
160cm
[605cm]
83cm
[688cm]
0cm
[688cm]
0cm
[688cm]
2015/2016 season 3cm
[3cm]
61cm
[64cm]
244cm
[308cm]
303cm
[611cm]
266cm
[877cm]
109cm
[986cm]
6cm
[992cm]
0cm
[992cm]
2014/2015 season 0cm
[0cm]
30cm
[30cm]
519cm
[549cm]
257cm
[806cm]
196cm
[1002cm]
139cm
[1141cm]
3cm
[1144cm]
0cm
[1144cm]
2013/2014 season 0cm
[0cm]
123cm
[123cm]
275cm
[398cm]
461cm
[859cm]
178cm
[1037cm]
113cm
[1150cm]
13cm
[1163cm]
0cm
[1163cm]
2012/2013 season 0cm
[0cm]
118cm
[118cm]
418cm
[536cm]
443cm
[979cm]
316cm
[1295cm]
164cm
[1459cm]
32cm
[1491cm]
2cm
[1493cm]
  October November December January February March April May
Niseko Now reports before Friday 2nd March 2018
Niseko Now reports from the same period last season
Niseko Now archived reporting
View previous reports posted to Niseko Now by clicking on the month

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

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