Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Wednesday 3rd January 2018

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko (Hokkaido), Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:30am on Wednesday 3rd January 2018
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall
weather condition
Cloudy, some blue sky
Base temp:
-5°C

Top temp:
-7°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
None right now
wind condition
SW 0m/s - N 2m/s (Hirafu)
visibility condition
Decent
This report
Wednesday 3rd January 2018, 8:30am
3cm
Tuesday 2nd January 2018, 8:31am 0cm
Monday 1st January 2018, 8:58am 0cm
Sunday 31st December 2017, 8:30am 0cm
Saturday 30th December 2017, 8:29am 22cm
Friday 29th December 2017, 8:21am 25cm
Thursday 28th December 2017, 8:30am 28cm
Last 7 reports (total): 78cm
Last 14 reports (total): 171cm
Current month (January 2018) total: 3cm
2017/2018 season so far total: 597cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:30am on Wednesday 3rd January 2018
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning all.

A bit disappointing that there is only a small amount of fresh snow to report this morning. I was hoping for more and surely there will be more at higher elevations. Go high and seek, I say!

It's mostly cloudy at the moment though there is some blue sky appearing in places. It is a quite nice morning actually. Definitely colder overnight and at the start of the day, and we shouldn't be too surprised if some light snow falls during the day.

I don't have much else to report this morning, so over to my season recap waffle...

A look back at the season so far: December 2017

It’s time for me to look back at the season so far and see how we are doing, big-picture. Before I start, I want to remind you that all the numbers from my reports are available at any time on each of the archived Niseko Now reports (linked below) as well as by clicking on that lovely blue ‘Snowfall Analysis’ tab at the top of this page. I highly recommend that you have excite let’s checking sessions when you have a bit of time. You might get lost in it all; but in a good way. All very interesting.

Here’s the snowfall that I have measured myself here near the base of Hirafu over the last six years in the month of December:

December 2017: 406cm
December 2016: 181cm
December 2015: 244cm
December 2014: 519cm
December 2013: 275cm
December 2012: 418cm

So, it turns out that in December 2017 I did not actually observe as much fresh snowfall as I did in December 2014 and in December 2012, but it was still jolly exciting with over 4m.

The numbers look more impressive when you add in the snowfall from November too; here’s my total observed snowfall through until the end of December over the last six seasons:

The season total up until the end of December 2017: 594cm
The season total up until the end of December 2016: 293cm
The season total up until the end of December 2015: 308cm
The season total up until the end of December 2014: 549cm
The season total up until the end of December 2013: 398cm
The season total up until the end of December 2012: 536cm

Looking at the season as a whole so far, we are ‘winning’. Almost 6m of snowfall by the end of December. This is at base, so there will be more than that up on them there mountains.

That’s rather impressive, don’t you think. It is almost double the amount of snow that I observed over the previous two seasons in the same period. Almost 6m of snowfall is also not that far off what I observed over the entire 2016-2017 season (688cm). Yikes.

Remember, the previous two seasons were generally/relatively disappointing as you can see if you do go back and read through my reports. And before I get a barrage of ‘outraged’ mail coming in because of that comment, I am of course not saying that the skiing was rubbish. I am just saying that in terms of snowfall, we did not get what we expect = disappointing. The reports are there if you want to read them.

2014 was interesting. Really heavy snowfall in the month of December 2014 making up for a disappointing November 2014. A big difference this season is how we have been enjoying regular snowfall right through since the middle of November - surely the preferred pattern.

If you look back at the lovely graphs that are displayed on each of the Niseko Now reports (they show the observed snowfall on each day over the 21 days before the date of the report), you’ll see just how consistent the snowfall has been this season. By my reckoning, since November 13th there have only been 11 days when I have not been able to report any fresh snowfall at base.

Something that has just caught my eye - 5 of those no-snow-to-report days have been over the last 11 days. Hopefully that is just a bit of a ‘blip’ in the excellent run of consistency. It has to be said though that as it currently stands the forecast for the coming week doesn't scream 'heavy snow'! We shall see.

Anyway, it has been a quality first part of the season in Niseko.

Can the season continue in the same way? Let us hope so!

What to expect from the month of January

Looking ahead, here’s how much snowfall I have recorded in the month of January over the last 5 seasons. The numbers in brackets show the total snowfall observed up until the end of January in each season.

January 2017: 152cm (445cm)
January 2015: 303cm (611cm)
January 2014: 257cm (806cm)
January 2013: 461cm (859cm)
January 2012: 443cm (979cm)

Conveniently ignoring January 2017 for the moment (!), we have generally seen between 2.5 and 4.5m of snow in January.

Lastly, as some extra data to take in, here is the data that the Japan Meteorological Agency report from their observation station in Kutchan town:

December 2017: 324cm
December 2016: 235cm
December 2015: 195cm
December 2014: 387cm
December 2013: 258cm
December 2012: 306cm

The season total up until the end of December 2017: 493cm
The season total up until the end of December 2016: 408cm
The season total up until the end of December 2015: 230cm
The season total up until the end of December 2014: 428cm
The season total up until the end of December 2013: 357cm
The season total up until the end of December 2012: 404cm

---

I will be with you each morning right through until the last lifts stop moving in May.

---

And let me just add: if you like what we do here, please do let other folk know about these reports and SnowJapan.com if you can. The support all helps keep us motivated to putting in all the effort! Thank you. :)

Any comments welcome here.

---

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: light snowfall, calm. Moiwa800m: -7.6℃, NNW2.5m/s, snowdrifts developed overnight, light snowfall and calm. Annupuri1150m: -14℃, light NE breeze, 30cm snowdrifts in leeward aspects. Hirafu peak ridge: -13℃, light wind, 20cm snowfall with small snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape SSE2m/s, Kamui cape W3m/s, 1007hPa, 1.0m waves.

A small low-pressure system over the Sea of Japan is spreading the isobars, resulting in cold but mild wind condition. The overnight snowfall is small and surface hoar has formed in slopes below 600m. Snowdrifts have slowly developed in leeward slopes above 800m under yesterday’s snow & wind. 30cm of fresh deposit have smoothed out the slopes in leeward aspects. Today’s surface will turn into a potential avalanche trigger layer in the future snowpack.

The overall avalanche risk is relatively low today. Peak gates are expected to open from the morning. Better make the most of it in the morning as the weather is forecasted to deteriorate. Cracks also starting to open in many spots. Those cracks are not an imminent sign of a climax slide, however better stay away from its path.

Ski down the fall line, not across it. Cutting across knolls and steep slopes is an absolute stupid idea. It can easily cause an avalanche and bury people underneath you.

Some parts of the Backbowl sidewalls are forming hard slabs under the late easterly wind. Use extreme caution as those slabs could slide with light skiing impact.

Haru No Taki area is being patrolled regularly. Stay away from strictly off limits areas.

---

Wednesday 3rd January 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 315cm
- Base: 145cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 240cm
- Base: 140cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts except Country Road Chair are operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 250cm
- Base: 170cm

---

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, Banzai Chair

Archive report: Posted at 8:30am on Wednesday 3rd January 2018
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All resorts are open

<
Tuesday 2nd January 2018
This report
Wednesday 3rd January 2018
Thursday 4th January 2018
>
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Daily snow reports
Other SnowJapan 'Now' reports and latest observed snowfall
Madarao Now 0cm
Sunday 1st April 2018, 10:32am
Grandeco Now 0cm
Friday 4th May 2018, 7:56am
Yuzawa Now 0cm
Monday 28th May 2018, 8:22am
Furano Now 0cm
Sunday 6th May 2018, 8:56am
Hakuba Now 0cm
Sunday 6th May 2018, 9:02am
Nozawa Onsen Now 0cm
Sunday 6th May 2018, 8:41am
Shiga Kogen Now 0cm
Sunday 6th May 2018, 8:35am
Myoko Now 0cm
Saturday 5th May 2018, 10:44am
Zao Now 0cm
Thursday 3rd May 2018, 8:27am
Naeba Now 0cm
Tuesday 1st May 2018, 9:10am
Minakami Now 0cm
Tuesday 1st May 2018, 9:25am
Appi Kogen Now 0cm
Sunday 6th May 2018, 8:04am
Geto Kogen Now 0cm
Sunday 6th May 2018, 8:01am
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 Wednesday 3rd January 2018
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Wednesday 3rd January 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 Wednesday 3rd January 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 Wednesday 3rd January 2018
2016/2017
Season
2015/2016
Season
3rd January 3cm 0cm 5cm
2nd January 0cm 0cm 7cm
1st January 0cm 0cm 1cm
31st December 0cm 5cm 5cm
30th December 22cm 14cm 23cm
29th December 25cm 3cm 21cm
28th December 28cm 4cm 24cm
Previous 7 days total 78cm 26cm 86cm
Previous 14 days total 171cm 44cm 138cm
November observed snowfall total 188cm 110cm 61cm
December observed snowfall total 406cm 181cm 244cm
January observed snowfall total 3cm 152cm 303cm
February observed snowfall total - 160cm 266cm
March observed snowfall total - 83cm 109cm
April observed snowfall total - 0cm 6cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 597cm 688cm 992cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data: Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Wednesday 3rd January 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]
3cm
[597cm]
- - - -
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 Wednesday 3rd January 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

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002