Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Tuesday 12th January 2016

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 7:55am on Tuesday 12th January 2016
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Snow clouds
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Not snowing right now
wind condition
W2m/s - NW8m/s
This report
Tuesday 12th January 2016, 7:55am
Monday 11th January 2016, 8:56am 11cm
Sunday 10th January 2016, 8:41am 20cm
Saturday 9th January 2016, 8:35am 11cm
Friday 8th January 2016, 8:22am 11cm
Thursday 7th January 2016, 8:32am 14cm
Wednesday 6th January 2016, 8:30am 15cm
Last 7 reports (total): 94cm
Last 14 reports (total): 145cm
Current month (January 2016) total: 117cm
2015/2016 season so far total: 425cm

Archive report: Posted at 7:55am on Tuesday 12th January 2016
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Before my report, news of a new Giveaway on SnowJapan - this time the friendly folk down there have over 150 ski lift tickets to send out to SnowJapan readers, including 10 lovely Niseko All Mountain ticket vouchers. And indeed over 140 lift tickets from other ski-jo around Japan:

I'm interested in winning some free lift tickets


And a good morning to you from Niseko where... it has been snowing again. It has been doing quite a lot of that of late!

This morning I have another 12cm of fine quality snow to add to the tally. Right at this moment it's just cloudy but snow falling is something that can happen any time and indeed those forecasts are still telling us to expect snow today and over the coming days.

It also remains very cold.

I am a bit earlier with my report this morning (out of necessity), but as I take the webcam images at 7:53am there's a bunch of folk already waiting for that Hirafu lift. Niseko Village look to be reporting winds of up to 17m/s up top so we'll have to keep an eye on that - hopefully wind won't be an issue today.

It should be another excellent day.


It's time to take another excite look at some numbers.

In the first 12 reports of January 2016 I have observed 117cm of snowfall here at my Hirafu base (and 94cm over the last 7 days). Last year during the same 12 day start to January 2015, I actually recorded 162cm - so like-for-like we are actually behind on last year. And if you remember, at the end of December 2015 (for the season so far up to that point) we were also about 2.5m behind on the same period the previous season.

The poor ('late') start to the season is of course a big reason for the December numbers, and perhaps the big picture is just one more reflection of the generally 'mild winter' that Japan has been experiencing so far. Even though obviously no-one could call it mild up here at the moment - rather, it's actually really cold. But that's beside the point.

And of course we are still enjoying very respectful and regular refresh rates, so that's all great. So perhaps and we should just consider ourselves lucky given the prolonged poor early season in many other regions of the country.

I am no meteorologist (as you can no doubt tell) but I did see an interview on television yesterday with one who was saying that there is a good chance that Japan as a whole will be getting colder and brushing aside this 'mild winter' soon. That would be good for everyone.

It's exciting to think how January could end up for us here in Hokkaido if the consistency continues.

Oh yes, please remember everyone my observations are - and always have been - from my base here in Hirafu.


Following on from my comments yesterday, the King Number 2 quad lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu is being rested again from today, so it looks like it was a long holiday special.


Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing - subject to change during the day:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
Sorry, it's too early to confirm details this morning.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -10℃, 15cm new snow, calm. Moiwa 800m: -13℃, W10m/s, developing cornices and snowdrifts. Mikaeri anemometer: SSW2.3m, -12.8℃. Annupuri 1150m: -15℃, W15m/s. Hirafu 1000m: -14℃, mild wind and 20cm snowfall. Benkei cape: WNW12m/s, Kamui cape W9m/s, 1013hPa, 2.3m waves.

Typical winter pressure distribution (High in the west, Low in the east) continues. The wind is stagnating around 10-15m/s westerly at sea and in the sky. Intermittent gusts with heavy snowfall are making the snowdrifts and cornices grow slowly around 800m elevation. 120cm thick slab largely slid with the snow-cat pressure test, however seems stable with ski compaction. Looking at all data and observations, the avalanche hazard level under 1000m elevation is low. Peak gates will open as they’re ready. Please follow the patrol’s instructions and step out of the gates. Carrying avalanche transceivers (beacons) is not mandatory in Niseko, however it is strongly recommended to. It may save not only yours but other people’s lives.

The avalanche hazard level in areas above 1100m is moderate to high. 60cm thick slides are likely to occur with ski compaction. Better not stimulate slopes with knolls and cornices. Beware of frostbites and hypothermia. Overall good conditions this morning.


Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 12th January 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 280cm
Base - 130cm

Niseko Village
Top - 200cm
Base - 120cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 165cm
Base - 110cm


Lifts planned to be open for night skiing:

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
(There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)

Niseko Village:
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri:
Jumbo Number 1 Quad


Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast

Archive report: Posted at 7:55am on Tuesday 12th January 2016
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All resorts planned to be open as planned this morning

Monday 11th January 2016
This report
Tuesday 12th January 2016
Wednesday 13th January 2016
Photo 1
Photo 2
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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 12th January 2016
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Tuesday 12th January 2016
(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 12th January 2016
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)
*as of Tuesday 12th January 2016
12th January 12cm 20cm 25cm
11th January 11cm 6cm 25cm
10th January 20cm 30cm 25cm
9th January 11cm 3cm 10cm
8th January 11cm 20cm 10cm
7th January 14cm 15cm 15cm
6th January 15cm 0cm 30cm
Previous 7 days total 94cm 94cm 140cm
Previous 14 days total 145cm 202cm 232cm
November observed snowfall total 61cm 30cm 123cm
December observed snowfall total 244cm 519cm 275cm
January observed snowfall total 117cm 257cm 461cm
February observed snowfall total - 196cm 178cm
March observed snowfall total - 139cm 113cm
April observed snowfall total - 3cm 13cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 425cm 1144cm 1163cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Tuesday 12th January 2016
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 - - - - - - - -
2019/2020 season - - - - - - - -
2018/2019 season - - - - - - - -
2017/2018 season - - - - - - - -
2016/2017 season - - - - - - - -
2015/2016 season 3cm
2014/2015 season 0cm
2013/2014 season 0cm
2012/2013 season 0cm
  October November December January February March April May
Niseko Now reports before Tuesday 12th January 2016
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