Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:30am on Tuesday 2nd February 2021
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Snow
Base temp:
-1°C

Top temp:
-6°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Moderate snowfall
wind condition
Westerly moderate
visibility condition
Limited-poor
PLEASE READ THIS
This report
Tuesday 2nd February 2021, 8:30am
5cm
Monday 1st February 2021, 8:34am 6cm
Sunday 31st January 2021, 8:36am 22cm
Saturday 30th January 2021, 8:35am 3cm
Friday 29th January 2021, 8:33am 3cm
Thursday 28th January 2021, 8:32am 0cm
Wednesday 27th January 2021, 8:32am 1cm
Last 7 reports (total): 40cm
Last 14 reports (total): 90cm
Current month (February 2021) total: 11cm
2020/2021 season so far total: 808cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:30am on Tuesday 2nd February 2021
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning from Niseko.

Snow is falling this morning and coming down nicely as I look outside the window.

Rewind a bit and I have to unfortunately report that we did get rained on overnight. But as I said it has turned into snow, so thankfully it did not last too long. Phew.

Wind is continuing to be an issue today. As of 8:30am the top lifts are on hold. Visibility is also limited this morning and I suspect some variable conditions out there. Take care.

-----

There is a lot in the report today, but as well as the monthly recap from today I have added the '24 hours snowfall' numbers that are reported by the ski areas themselves each morning.

The numbers are often curiously in units of 5cm (rather than units of 1cm). And sometimes they don't seem to fit with either my observed numbers or the Avalanche Report numbers. But that in itself is ok.

You may or may not value them, but they are another 'official' data point and a point of reference, so I thought it might be interesting to introduce them. Though I suggest they are the number you look at the least. Anyway, you will find those numbers in the individual ski areas listing area below in each report.

OK, monthly recap time...

-----

The 2020-2021 season so far: until the end January 2021

It’s February already, so time for a season so far re-cap!

As is tradition, I would like to start by reminding everyone that I take my measurements from near the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu. Close to my secret lair. There is usually more snow at higher elevations, but it is impossible for me to take measurements from the top of the mountain every morning for all sorts of practical reasons. My numbers on these Niseko Now reports over the years can be compared like-for-like, because they are my observations and are coming from the same place each season.

This is how much snowfall I have measured during the month of January over the last nine years:

January 2021: 387cm
January 2020: 224cm
January 2019: 285cm
January 2018: 305cm
January 2017: 152cm
January 2016: 303cm
January 2015: 257cm
January 2014: 461cm
January 2013: 442cm

The average number over those nine years is 312cm. So again, the number for the month is above average and this time by 75cm.

But more than that… this was the most snowfall I have recorded in the month of January since 2014. Very nice!

Here are my season-to-date numbers, from the beginning of this season to the end of January 2021:

2020/2021 season up to end of January 2021: 797cm
2019/2020 season up to end of January 2020: 516cm
2018/2019 season up to end of January 2019: 702cm
2017/2018 season up to end of January 2018: 899cm
2016/2017 season up to end of January 2017: 445cm
2015/2016 season up to end of January 2016: 611cm
2014/2015 season up to end of January 2015: 806cm
2013/2014 season up to end of January 2014: 859cm
2012/2013 season up to end of January 2013: 979cm

The average of that lot is 735cm, so again we are tracking ‘above average’ this season.

Up until 21st January I had been able to report some snowfall in every report… and actually that daily run goes back to 24th December. In fact, I reported snowfall on all but one day between 13th December and 21st January.

That is an impressive and very consistent run of daily snowfall. Maybe not so great if you love clear blue skies, but some excellent snow conditions for those here to enjoy it.

And even though we have had some windy conditions over the last few week, I’d say that generally this season we have avoided wind being too much of a nuisance.

The consistent daily run of snowfall broke on 22nd January, after which we had something of a dry week or so before that 22cm of snowfall on the last day of the month.

Here is how much of the total snowfall for a season we have already had by the end of January in previous seasons:

By the end of January 2020, as a % of the season total: about 71%
By the end of January 2019, as a % of the season total: about 74%
By the end of January 2018, as a % of the season total: about 71%
By the end of January 2017, as a % of the season total: about 65%
By the end of January 2016, as a % of the season total: about 62%
By the end of January 2015, as a % of the season total: about 70%
By the end of January 2014, as a % of the season total: about 74%
By the end of January 2013, as a % of the season total: about 66%

Here is how much snowfall I have recorded during the month of February in the last eight winter seasons.

February 2020: 143cm (659cm)
February 2019: 198cm (900cm)
February 2018: 299cm (1198cm)
February 2017: 160cm (605cm)
February 2016: 266cm (877cm)
February 2015: 196cm (1002cm)
February 2014: 178cm (1037cm)
February 2013: 316cm (1295cm)

The numbers in brackets show the total observed snowfall up until the end of February in each of those respective seasons.

All being well we can probably expect somewhere around 2m more snowfall – hopefully more. Hopefully much more... obviously!

Here are the snowfall numbers that the Japan Meteorological Agency report from their observation station in Kutchan town.

For the month of January:

January 2021: 249cm
January 2020: 148cm
January 2019: 253cm
January 2018: 259cm
January 2017: 160cm
January 2016: 258cm
January 2015: 230cm
January 2014: 317cm
January 2013: 268cm

And for the “season so far” up until the end of January:

2020/2021 season up to end of January 2021: 613cm
2019/2020 season up to end of January 2020: 451cm
2018/2019 season up to end of January 2019: 667cm
2017/2018 season up to end of January 2018: 752cm
2016/2017 season up to end of January 2017: 568cm
2015/2016 season up to end of January 2016: 488cm
2014/2015 season up to end of January 2015: 658cm
2013/2014 season up to end of January 2014: 674cm
2012/2013 season up to end of January 2013: 672cm

As you might expect, Niseko remains quieter than usual. It is definitely giving this season something of a unique feel. I suspect that even those who moan at crowds and the more bustling version of Niseko might welcome such things back (hopefully) next season. Well, maybe.

I very much hope that everyone reading this who wants to come to Niseko will be able to do just that come next season. It sounds really strange even saying something like that - who’d have thought people wouldn’t physically be able to come... (sigh).

It is encouraging to see the covid-19 statistics trending downwards here in Japan over the last few weeks. Let that continue please.

As always, all the numbers I post in my reports can be found on lower down on page and via the 'Snowfall Analysis' tab at the top.

Next monthly recap in early March.

-----

Niseko Avalanche Report

Coastal Data 6:25am. Cape Benkei:NW16m/s. Cape Kamui:NW14m/s, 999hPa, wave1.3m. Hanazono 1000m: -6.1℃, NNE1.5m/s. Hanazono 720: NNE4.1m/s. Moiwa 800m: -4.3℃, NNE5.5m/s. Annupuri 1100m: -6.8℃, WNW6.9m/s. Yu no Sawa 1100m: -6.2℃, W3.4m/s. Mizuno no Sawa Top: -5.6℃, W3.4m/s. Kutchan Town:0.0℃, W2.4m/s, snow depth 139cm, 998.7hPa. Moiwa base: +2, no new snow in last 12hrs, rain at midnight, snow melt.

After the cold front moved through around 3am, cold winds above 1000m from various directions produced blizzard conditions. From this mornings observation at 5am, heavy snow drift development up to 150cm in various locations was seen. 15-20cm of wet wind blown snow fell in the 600-800m tree zone. Small wet snow avalanches will easily occur under lift lines, creek side walls and 40 deg slopes. Be careful of surface avalanches on strongly wind effected slopes at all elevations. If isobars tighten up, the wind will increase and avalanche risk will rise accordingly. Avalanche fracture face is expected to be Feb 1st layer, which will become a frost layer under the future snowfall. Be careful of the snowfall transition.

Snow melt continues below 500m from the rain. Even the forests are bad. Be careful catching your edges in the heavy snow. Creek levels have risen due to the rain. Be careful of collapsing snow bridges and getting wet and hypothermic or worse getting sucked under the snowpack. Gate opens not yet decided. Please follow the patrol's decisions. Depending on the elevation the groomed runs are OK. Good day to practice carving. Please wear a helmet to avoid a fatal accident.

-----

Planned ski area operations: Tuesday 2nd February 2021
The below information is manually checked each morning and believed to be correct at time of report.
The numbers in brackets show the change in the official snow depth numbers since the previous report.

Niseko Grand Hirafu

24 hours new snowfall (as reported by the ski area):
- Peak: 10cm
- Base: 10cm

Official snow depth (reported by the ski area):
- Peak: 350cm (+0cm)
- Base: 190cm (+0cm)

Ski lifts operating:
- Top lift on hold at start of the day
- Planned: Ace Family Quad, Ace Quad Center 4, Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 Quad, King Number 4
- Ace Family Quad and Ace Number 2 Center Four lifts operate for night skiing

-----

Niseko HANAZONO Resort

24 hours new snowfall (as reported by the ski area):
- Peak: 10cm
- Base: 10cm

Official snow depth (reported by the ski area):
- Peak: 260cm (+5cm)
- Base: 185cm (+0cm)

Ski lifts operating:
- All lifts operating
- Planned: All three lifts
- There is no night skiing at Hanazono

-----

Niseko Annupuri

24 hours new snowfall (as reported by the ski area):
- Peak: 10cm
- Base: 10cm

Official snow depth (reported by the ski area):
- Peak: 260cm (+0cm)
- Base: 190cm (+0cm)

Ski lifts operating:
- Top lift on hold at start of the day
- Planned: All lifts apart from Jumbo Number 2 and 3
- Jumbo Number 1 quad lift operates for night skiing

-----

Niseko Village

24 hours new snowfall (as reported by the ski area):
- Peak: 10cm
- Base: 5cm

Official snow depth (reported by the ski area):
- Peak: 250cm (+0cm)
- Base: 170cm (+0cm)

Ski lifts operating:
- Top lift on hold at start of the day
- Planned: Niseko Gondola, Community Chair, Mori no Chair, Banzai Chair and Wonderland Chair
- Community Chair and Banzai Chair lifts operate for night skiing

-----

Night time operations are available in the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas until 7th March 2021. There is no night skiing in the Niseko HANAZONO area.

The Ace Pair Number 1, 3 and 4, King Pair Number 1 lift and King Quad Number 2 lifts are being rested for the season at Niseko Grand Hirafu. There may be other lift operation changes at the moment due to coronavirus situation. Do be sure to check for details with ski areas.

Archive report: Posted at 8:30am on Tuesday 2nd February 2021
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All areas of Niseko United are open - top lifts at Hirafu, Annupuri and Village on hold at start of the day

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Japan snowfall data
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Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Niseko Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Tuesday 2nd February 2021
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Tuesday 2nd February 2021
(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 Tuesday 2nd February 2021
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)
  2020/2021
*as of Tuesday 2nd February 2021
2019/2020
Season
2018/2019
Season
2nd February 5cm 2cm 7cm
1st February 6cm 0cm 21cm
31st January 22cm 0cm 11cm
30th January 3cm 0cm 0cm
29th January 3cm 0cm 10cm
28th January 0cm 0cm 0cm
27th January 1cm 0cm 5cm
Previous 7 days total 40cm 2cm 54cm
Previous 14 days total 90cm 81cm 135cm
November observed snowfall total 62cm 85cm 84cm
December observed snowfall total 348cm 207cm 333cm
January observed snowfall total 387cm 224cm 285cm
February observed snowfall total 11cm 143cm 198cm
March observed snowfall total - 59cm 45cm
April observed snowfall total - 10cm 6cm
May observed snowfall total - - 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 808cm 728cm 951cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Tuesday 2nd February 2021
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
2020/2021 season 0cm
[0cm]
62cm
[62cm]
348cm
[410cm]
387cm
[797cm]
11cm
[808cm]
-
[808cm]
-
[808cm]
-
[808cm]
2019/2020 season - 85cm
[85cm]
207cm
[292cm]
224cm
[516cm]
143cm
[659cm]
59cm
[718cm]
10cm
[728cm]
-
2018/2019 season 0cm
[0cm]
84cm
[84cm]
333cm
[417cm]
285cm
[702cm]
198cm
[900cm]
45cm
[945cm]
6cm
[951cm]
0cm
[951cm]
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 Tuesday 2nd February 2021
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

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002