Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Friday 1st March 2019

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:21am on Friday 1st March 2019
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
A lot of cloud, some blue sky
Base temp:
-1°C

Top temp:
-3°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
None
wind condition
NW
visibility condition
Generally good
PLEASE READ THIS
This report
Friday 1st March 2019, 8:21am
0cm
Thursday 28th February 2019, 8:30am 0cm
Wednesday 27th February 2019, 8:30am 3cm
Tuesday 26th February 2019, 8:28am 0cm
Monday 25th February 2019, 8:29am 0cm
Sunday 24th February 2019, 8:30am 3cm
Saturday 23rd February 2019, 8:24am 0cm
Last 7 reports (total): 6cm
Last 14 reports (total): 15cm
Current month (March 2019) total: 0cm
2018/2019 season so far total: 900cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:21am on Friday 1st March 2019
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning from Niseko and welcome to March.

After another day of fine weather yesterday, this morning there is quite a lot of cloud around and some blue sky and sunshine too. (Having said that, Niseko Village appear to be have been reporting fog on the upper areas earlier.) But we can probably expect a mix of cloud and clear sky for the day.

There is no fresh snowfall to report this morning and it might be a bit windy on the mountain but all the resorts are apparently opening as planned.

---

A look back at the season so far: February 2019

As is tradition, here I look back over February and the season so far. You can follow my reports and snowfall numbers at any time towards the bottom of this page and on the Snowfall Analysis page (link at the top of this report).

February started off really well. I was able to record fresh cm of snowfall on each of the first 16 days in February. There were no massive snowfall numbers – the most in one day was 21cm on 1st February – but we enjoyed a respectable 15-20cm or so on quite a few of the days in that first half of the month. Nice.

The second half of the month was a different story. It was as if the tap had been turned off on 17th February. I added a total of just 9cm over last 12 days of the month. Check out the Snowfall Analysis page to see how much snow we usually get in the second half of February... it’s quite the contrast.

Here is the amount of snowfall that I have measured close to my Hirafu base during the month of February in each of the last seven seasons:

February 2019: 198cm
February 2018: 299cm
February 2017: 160cm
February 2016: 266cm
February 2015: 196cm
February 2014: 178cm
February 2013: 316cm

So, 1m less than what I measured last season but actually fairly comparable amounts to three other seasons. In this current season, of course, the snowfall has been more noticeably weighted in that first half of the season.

Here’s the 'season up to the end of February' totals over the last seven seasons:

2018/2019 season up to end of February 2019: 900cm
2017/2018 season up to end of February 2018: 1198cm
2016/2017 season up to end of February 2017: 605cm
2015/2016 season up to end of February 2016: 877cm
2014/2015 season up to end of February 2015: 1002cm
2013/2014 season up to end of February 2014: 1037cm
2012/2013 season up to end of February 2013: 1295cm

Those raw total numbers (and remember, that’s what they are – they don't tell the full story) are considerably better than the 16/17 season and comparable to 15/16. A fair bit under the other seasons though.

And now here we are in March. In the most recent seasons this is how much snowfall I have observed at base in March:

March 2018: 49cm
March 2017: 83cm
March 2016: 109cm
March 2015: 139cm
March 2014: 113cm
March 2013: 164cm

...and how much snowfall we have received from the beginning of March to the end of the season...

Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2019 & end of season: ???
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2018 & end of season: 62cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2017 & end of season: 83cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2016 & end of season: 115cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2015 & end of season: 142cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2014 & end of season: 126cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2013 & end of season: 196cm

There's a curious pattern going on there. And it's not one that I am keen to see. 2015 aside, the amount of observed snowfall at base from March onwards has been decreasing - an impressive 2m or so in 2013; down to less than 1m in the last two seasons.

That’s definitely something to ponder. Let's pondering.

The last piece of data is, as always, the snowfall numbers that the Japan Meteorological Agency report from their observation station in Kutchan town. Here is what they have reported for the month of February in recent years:

February 2019: 141cm
February 2018: 202cm
February 2017: 173cm
February 2016: 210cm
February 2015: 167cm
February 2014: 130cm
February 2013: 228cm

And the JMA numbers for the ‘season so far’:

2017/2018 season up to end of February 2019: 954cm
2016/2017 season up to end of February 2018: 741cm
2015/2016 season up to end of February 2017: 698cm
2014/2015 season up to end of February 2016: 825cm
2013/2014 season up to end of February 2015: 804cm
2012/2013 season up to end of February 2014: 900cm

All being well, there is still over two full months left of the 2018-2019 season with the last lifts planning to stop at the end of the day on Monday 6th May.

That is a very long spring season, if we are indeed properly into spring. As you can see above (and in the archives) though, in previous seasons March has delivered some decent snowfall. So, I choose to remain hopeful that we will get some more snow and a few nice surprises. Just how much though... well, I’ll be here to take you through the rest of the season every day until the end.

Even if you have been and gone already this season, please do remember your duty to continue reading my reports through until the end - I want to share with you the story of the whole season. And of course, you can also enjoy watching me start to struggle for things to write on some days as the last part of the season approaches. ;)

Gambarimasu!

---

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Mountain base 6am: 0℃, no snowfall. Moiwa800m: -2.7℃, W2.99m/s. Annupuri 1120m: snow depth 250cm, 1100m: -5.2℃, WSW6.7m/s. Hirafu peak: strong winds, -5℃, 1000m: -5.2℃, ESE2.7m/s. Niseko Village Mizuno no Sawa: no snowfall, snow depth 146cm at base. Kutchan weather station: -2.5℃, ENE0.9m/s, 147cm snow depth. Benkei cape: W2m/s, Kamui cape: SW9m/s, 1013hPa, 1.1m waves.

Calm morning without snowfall, however the wind remains strong in higher elevation. The snowpack is stable. No notable weak layer has been observed and the avalanche risk is low. All gates are scheduled to open from the morning. Ask the ski patrol’s advice before stepping out of gates and be well prepared for backcountry travels. Thaw will pick up as the temperature rises. Beware of collapsing snow-bridges and cornices. Stay out of valley bottoms to prevent accidents. Avalanche risk will rise as the next storm passes and snowdrifts develop. Always be conscious of the weather transition. It is recommended to carry a rope (no need to be a thick one) in case of falling in cracks. There are many hazards lurking in the mountains. Be prudent.

---

Ski resort operation information: Friday 1st March 2019
Subject to change due to weather conditions

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Plans to be open until Monday 6th May 2019

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 335cm
- Base: 140cm

Ski lifts operating:
- All lifts opening as normal at the start of the day (Ace Number 1 pair and King Number 2 quad rested)
- The Ace Family quad (until 8:30pm), Ace Center 4 quad (8:20pm), Hirafu Gondola (until 8:10pm) and Holiday Number 1 pair (until 8:30pm) lifts are normally open during the evening

-----

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Plans to be open until Sunday 7th April 2019

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 248cm
- Base: 195cm

Ski lifts operating:
- All lifts opening as normal at the start of the day
- The Hanazono lifts are normally open until 3:50pm (Number 3 until 3:30pm)

-----

Niseko Annupuri
Plans to be open until Monday 6th May 2019

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 310cm
- Base: 130cm

Ski lifts operating:
- All lifts opening as normal at the start of the day
- The Jumbo 1 lift is normally open until 8:30pm during the evening

-----

Niseko Village
Plans to be open until Sunday 7th April 2019

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 310cm
- Base: 130cm

Ski lifts operating:
- All lifts opening as normal at the start of the day (Country Road lift rested)
- The Upper Village Gondola, Village Express and Banzai Chair lifts are normally open until 8:00pm during the evening

-----

Night time operations are available in the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resort areas. Until Wednesday 20th March 2019.
There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO resort area.

Archive report: Posted at 8:21am on Friday 1st March 2019
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All areas are opening as planned

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Thursday 28th February 2019
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Friday 1st March 2019
Saturday 2nd March 2019
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Japan snowfall data
(updated daily during winter)
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Niseko Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 1st March 2019
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Friday 1st March 2019
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent season comparisons
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 1st March 2019
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the Niseko Now reports during same period over the last three seasons
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
  2018/2019
*as of Friday 1st March 2019
2017/2018
Season
2016/2017
Season
1st March 0cm 0cm 0cm
28th February 0cm 3cm 0cm
27th February 3cm 3cm 3cm
26th February 0cm 24cm 18cm
25th February 0cm 8cm 19cm
24th February 3cm 2cm 13cm
23rd February 0cm 17cm 1cm
Previous 7 days total 6cm 57cm 54cm
Previous 14 days total 15cm 160cm 101cm
November observed snowfall total 84cm 188cm 110cm
December observed snowfall total 333cm 406cm 181cm
January observed snowfall total 285cm 305cm 152cm
February observed snowfall total 198cm 299cm 160cm
March observed snowfall total 0cm 49cm 83cm
April observed snowfall total - 13cm 0cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 900cm 1260cm 688cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 1st March 2019
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in 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
2019/2020 season - - - - - - - -
2018/2019 season 0cm
[0cm]
84cm
[84cm]
333cm
[417cm]
285cm
[702cm]
198cm
[900cm]
0cm
[900cm]
-
[900cm]
-
[900cm]
2017/2018 season - 188cm
[188cm]
406cm
[594cm]
305cm
[899cm]
299cm
[1198cm]
49cm
[1247cm]
13cm
[1260cm]
0cm
[1260cm]
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 1st March 2019
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

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002