Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 7:56am on Wednesday 22nd February 2012
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
wind condition
0-1 m/s (base); 8 m/s (top) [Hirafu]
This report
Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 7:56am
Tuesday 21st February 2012, 7:51am ---
Monday 20th February 2012, 6:36am ---
Sunday 19th February 2012, 8:10am ---
Saturday 18th February 2012, 13:51pm ---
Friday 17th February 2012, 8:10am ---
Thursday 16th February 2012, 8:13am ---
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Archive report: Posted at 7:56am on Wednesday 22nd February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

With just a little snow last night (1-2cm) you may have to do some searching to find the fresh lines this morning. There should be some fresh patches here and there around the mountain. If it clears up today - which seems likely - it would be an excellent one to get out and hike in the backcountry. Or indeed stay anywhere out there.

Stability hasn't seemed to be too much of a major issue. There is a pesky sun crust layer that is allowing snow to move off it really easy. In the Nakayamatoge area, it is about 40cm down. It didn't seem to be sliding much on any aspects, just those that were very steep.

The weather is looking like it will vary quite a bit over the next few days. Sun, snow, should all be there. It's looking like it isn't supposed to be too windy, but getting really warm. A high of 0 today and tomorrow could reach up to 2 degrees. This could ruin the lower elevation snow if it melts and then freezes on top over night. Let's hope it stays cold enough to prevent this. The higher elevations of Iowanupuri, Nitonupuri, etc should have been protected from the last warm spell.

Have fun and enjoy. If you decide to take a day off Otaru is always a good place to check out. Some good food and places to check out.


Time for an update on those interesting JMA statistics for snowfall in Kutchan town. So far in February 2012, Kutchan has seen 193cm of snowfall. We still have eight days left in February of course but that number is already more than the snowfall in the whole of Febraury 2011 (142cm) and February 2010 (184cm). February 2009 saw 235cm for the month. The most on record (since 1953) for a February seems to have been in 1988 when we saw a whopping 528cm snowfall in Kutchan, but that was a one-off and much more than the average. Again, remember these numbers are for Kutchan town and so the snowfall on the mountain resorts will be considerably more, but thought that it was interesting enough to share this info. We'll keep you updated on how February ends up this season.

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 425cm
Bottom - 230cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 460cm
Bottom - 250cm

Top - 460cm
Bottom - 240cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Status: -8C at the base at 6am. Slight snowfall in the past 12 hours. Strong wind persists for 24hours and developed snowdrifts. Coastal data: NW aam/s at Benkei cape, 2.1m waves and 1021 hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak: WNW13.0m/s, -14C. Snowdrifts are thick and heavy at Moiwa peak. -10C.
Snowfall transition: Yesterday’s strong wind & snow made snowdrifts to heavily develop in the leeward slopes. The wind started to calm down and the snowpack is stabilizing.
Hazard evaluation: Avalanche risk is high in the following areas; coordinates C4-D5 (Moiwa area), E6-F5(Backbowl & Osawa area) and G7-H8(Higashi-One area).
Gates: Hirafu peak gate will open at 10am.
Caution: Avalanches induced by collapsing slabs are still highly probable in the above-mentioned areas. Carelessly dropping into leeward open slopes or knolls is dangerous. Cornices are packed, however very weak and easily collapsible.

Archive report: Posted at 7:56am on Wednesday 22nd February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

Lifts should be operating as normally.

Tuesday 21st February 2012
This report
Wednesday 22nd February 2012
Thursday 23rd February 2012
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