Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Thursday 16th February 2012

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko (Hokkaido), Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:13am on Thursday 16th February 2012
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall
weather condition
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
wind condition
1 m/s (base); 9 m/s (top) [Hirafu]
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Thursday 16th February 2012, 8:13am
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Monday 13th February 2012, 7:36am ---
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Archive report: Posted at 8:13am on Thursday 16th February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

We got some good snow overnight! It's still snowing pretty good at the present time as well. Looks like a fairly calm and snowy day is ahead of us. The resorts will be the place to be. There will be some aspects that will have less snow since the wind has been howling the past few days. However, the ones that are favored, and adding the new snow we got last night, will be D-E-E-P.

Looking at the future, we are expecting a bit more snow and possibly a day or two of sun after this low pressure clears. It has been a bit warm recently so we are hoping it stays cold. This will preserve the snow in most areas around Niseko.

If you are planning to travel into the backcountry (probably a bad idea), I would recommend staying on lower angle slopes due to heavy wind loading and cornice development. There's a ton of snow and a lot of resorts in the Niseko area, the conditions aren't ideal for less than experienced backcountry travelers. It's going to be easy to get lost in the poor visibility and if anything was to happen, few people would see it.

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 410cm
Bottom - 220cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 430cm
Bottom - 250cm

Top - 450cm
Bottom - 230cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Moiwa base 6am: -7C, 30cm of broken crystals in the last 12 hours. Significant snowdrift development.
Japan Sea: Benkei Cape WNW14m/s, Kamui Cape wave 3.0m, pressure 1012 hpa, Annupuri 13.08m Peak NW 18.6m/s, temp -16.6C, Moiwa Peak 800m -13C blizzard conditions, visibility 0m. Snow drifts are increasing
Snowfall: Rapidly developing snow drifts form current winter weather system. Leeward slopes above 800m elevation 100cm - 200cm snow drift development.
Snow Pit Data: Above 13 Feb, a layer of low pressure snowfall was followed by warm temperatures on the 15 Feb which created an ice layer. Above this there is significant snow drift development. Snow drifts(slabs) are rapidly developing and fractures will easily propagate in the weak layers. At 750m elevation South face, 4 Feb layer is at 120cm, 22 Jan is at 210cm. Between these 2 layers is compacted and stabilsed.
Hazard Evaluation: Above the 15 Feb layer is approx 120cm of snowdrifting, a large scale avalanche could easily occur. Coordinates C4-D5(Moiwa), E6(Backbowl), E7(Goshiki face), G3(Yu no Sawa off limits area Annupuri face), G7-H8(all Higashi One area), Iwaonupuri and Nitonupuri avalanche risk is HIGH.
Gates: Main gates are expected to be closed today.
Caution: If everyone understood and respected the avalanche risks we could open the gates on a day like today. However this isn't the case, so we must be err on the side of caution and keep the gates closed for the safety of all mountain users.
The snow in the trees is deep, be careful not to get stuck


Evening update:

It was a good one today. There was a lot of deep snow around and rumor has it that a couple resorts outside of Niseko held amazing snow and non-existent lift lines. If the peak gates open tomorrow, they should be pretty good. However with the instability I saw today, it is very doubtful. Cornices are heavily loaded and very easy to disturb. Even steeper slopes on most aspects are loaded and very "slabby".

The weather is still sort of up in the air. Local sources are still really unsure of what is to come. It looks like snow is favored, but not anything extraordinary.

Archive report: Posted at 8:13am on Thursday 16th February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

Lifts should be operating as normally.

Wednesday 15th February 2012
This report
Thursday 16th February 2012
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