Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Thursday 14th January 2016

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:31am on Thursday 14th January 2016
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Snow clouds
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
It's... snowing lightly just now
wind condition
NW 6m/s - NW 10m/s (Hirafu)
Fair to limited
This report
Thursday 14th January 2016, 8:31am
Wednesday 13th January 2016, 8:33am 23cm
Tuesday 12th January 2016, 7:55am 12cm
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
Last 7 reports (total): 103cm
Last 14 reports (total): 155cm
Current month (January 2016) total: 155cm
2015/2016 season so far total: 463cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:31am on Thursday 14th January 2016
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning from Niseko where we have another 15cm of fresh snow on the ground.

Yesterday I spent most of the morning at Hirafu and over at Hanazono. The conditions were fantastic out there, lots of deep snow to be played in; and lots of people playing as well. There was even a bit of sunshine at times in the morning but the snow clouds prevailed for most of the day, though it wasn't heavy.

This morning the snow has been back and it is still snowing, though just lightly at the time of writing this report. There seems to be more of a wind around this morning and the resorts are reporting fairly strong wind up on the mountain so there's a chance that it may affect lifts today - though starting the day with the intentions of being open as planned.

The forecast still shows a possible break in the snowfall around Sunday though that probably won't last long as we should be back to snow early in the week. If anything, early next week the snowfall may get heavier!

Getting bored of all this snowfall? No, didn't think so!


From this morning the 'Deep Snow Forest' (深雪林間) course will be open at Niseko Annupuri - meaning that all of their courses are now open. It's an ungroomed course, 400m in length and fairly close to base with a steepest gradient of 34 degrees and average gradient of 24 degrees. The resort describes it (in Japanese) as a tree run and off-piste course for advanced riders. Definitely worth a look I would say if you are gnarly enough. If you aren't gnarly enough just pretend you didn't know, or say you went somewhere even more gnarly.


The winner of the 3 person full day private tour prize has been notified and I believe not replied to their mail yet. If you entered, please check your email! On behalf of Hanazono Powder Guides and SnowJapan, a big thank you to everyone that entered. All of the totally anonymous comments will be read and comments taken on board.


On the main NHK news last night they were headlining that there would be a piece on the economic effects of the 'mild winter' this year. Here was me thinking we would get an interesting in-depth look at how ski resorts are being affected in different regions around Japan... only to get a report on the price of cabbages. And daikon radishes. It was rather odd, perhaps a bit like the season. (For those of you interested, cabbages are apparently down 34% in price compared with last year. I can't remember the number for the daikon).


In more serious news, it is very sad to hear about the avalanche incident over in the French Alps. A time to perhaps remember once again the potential dangers that are always close by with this sport that we love. Not that we should ever be forgetting those of course. Let's take care out there.


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
All resort areas appear to be opening as planned this morning.
Might be windy up there and that may well affect top lifts.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -7℃, 20cm of broken crystal snow with snowdrifts development. Moiwa 800m: W15m/s, 40cm snowfall with snowdrifts. Mikaeri 740m: -9.48℃, W6.7m/s, snowdrifts and bad visibility. Annupuri 1150m and Hirafu 1000m: strong westerly wind with large development of snowdrifts. Benkei cape: NNW14m/s, Kamui cape NW11m/s, 1008hPa, 1.5m waves.

The wind picked up as the low-pressure system moved east, snowfall also picked up from 4am, generating large development of cornices and snowdrifts. 45cm thick surface slab avalanche are likely to occur in 800m knoll terrain. The storm is forecasted to calm down around 10am, however avalanche risk will remain high all morning in steep valley slopes above 800m elevation. Peak gates 2 & 3 will be closed at least until noon. Please follow the patrol’s instructions. Stay away from Osawa cornice area and Higashi-One cornice area, and do not duck ropes when gates are closed. Gates are the only access point to the out of bounds area. Conditions have changed from yesterday and hazard level is higher today, heavy load of unstable snowdrifts are present in some aspects and are highly likely to slide with riding stimulation. Cornices and knolls are signs to avoid.

Most accidents occur during and just after storms. The snow in the tree runs is good, but depth is uneven. Beware of collision and falling in cracks that are hard to see from above. Respect the Rules and have a safe day.


Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 14th January 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 295cm
Base - 140cm

Niseko Village
Top - 210cm
Base - 120cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 180cm
Base - 140cm


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 8:31am on Thursday 14th January 2016
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All resorts open and lifts spinning

Wednesday 13th January 2016
This report
Thursday 14th January 2016
Friday 15th January 2016
Photo 1
Photo 2
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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 Thursday 14th January 2016
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Thursday 14th 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 Thursday 14th 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 Thursday 14th January 2016
14th January 15cm 0cm 40cm
13th January 23cm 1cm 30cm
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
Previous 7 days total 103cm 80cm 165cm
Previous 14 days total 155cm 163cm 287cm
November observed snowfall total 61cm 30cm 123cm
December observed snowfall total 244cm 519cm 275cm
January observed snowfall total 155cm 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 463cm 1144cm 1163cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Thursday 14th 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 Thursday 14th 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