Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Tuesday 1st March 2016

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko (Hokkaido), Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:25am on Tuesday 1st March 2016
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall
weather condition
Blizzard conditions
Base temp:
-3°C

Top temp:
-8°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Driving snow
wind condition
10-20m/s N (Hirafu)
Poor
This report
Tuesday 1st March 2016, 8:25am
10cm
Monday 29th February 2016, 8:31am 0cm
Sunday 28th February 2016, 8:28am 0cm
Saturday 27th February 2016, 8:32am 20cm
Friday 26th February 2016, 8:33am 18cm
Thursday 25th February 2016, 8:32am 10cm
Wednesday 24th February 2016, 8:45am 7cm
Last 7 reports (total): 65cm
Last 14 reports (total): 140cm
Current month (March 2016) total: 10cm
2015/2016 season so far total: 887cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:25am on Tuesday 1st March 2016
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

10:30AM UPDATE

Looks like lower lifts at Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village are now moving!

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ORIGINAL REPORT

It's full-on stormy blizzard conditions again this morning.

Yesterday a few lower lifts did remain open as far as I can tell, but I suspect that today the mountain will be completely closed. Very strong winds, snow and very limited visibility out there. It's difficult to give a good reading today in terms of snowfall due to the wind blowing it all about everywhere but I notice the Avalanche Report is mentioning a whopping 40cm. Not like that here at my base, but that's the number I need to report.

A bit mad out there.

Hopefully come tomorrow the storm conditions will have eased off and allow the lifts to get going again though we are expecting snow to continue falling perhaps into tomorrow morning. After that it does look like there'll be less snow to expect through into the weekend. More on that tomorrow...

In the meantime take care. Best not to be out driving - or out at all - in this kind of weather.

---

So here we are in March 2016 already. Once things get into March, lots of perhaps somewhat ‘less dedicated’ folk who enjoy a bit of skiing and snowboarding in peak winter months turn their thoughts to things like cherry blossom viewing and such like. It always seems way too soon though, especially for us up here in Hokkaido where some main resorts are open into May and the cherry blossoms are still a long way off. And we're experiencing a blizzard! But that is the way it happens.

Fresh snowfall starts to get less regular once we enter the latter section of the season, but in some seasons March can offer us some excellent surprises. Visitors who chose to come during this part of the season can feel very happy to have dropped on with good timing - or less so. It’s more of a gamble and I suppose that is why the peak season is more expensive!

Some people will still be visiting from overseas this month, though in less numbers than during January and February. One of the other fun things about later season is being able to enjoy Niseko with less people competing for fresh tracks.

Anyway, here’s an updated look at some numbers which some of you may find interesting.

First of all, my observed snowfall numbers which are recorded by myself here at Hirafu base:

November 2015: 61cm
November 2014: 30cm
November 2013: 123cm

December 2015: 244cm
December 2014: 519cm
December 2013: 275cm

January 2016: 303cm
January 2015: 257cm
January 2014: 461cm

February 2016: 266cm
February 2015: 196cm
February 2014: 178cm

It was a slow start in December, but we enjoyed a decent January and lots of good and regular snowfall in February as well...

15/16 season so far (at end February 2016): 877cm
14/15 season so far (at end February 2015): 1002cm
13/14 season so far (at end February 2014): 1037cm

We caught up a bit on the ‘season total’ with the decent snowfall during February, but it’s still 125cm-160m less than the previous two seasons.

How much snowfall can we perhaps expect to enjoy in March? Last season, I observed 139cm which accounted for 12.4% of the total snowfall for the season (meaning that 87.6% of the total snowfall for the season had fallen by the end of February 2016). For the season before the number was 113cm (accounting for 10.8% of the total).

>>>

Let's also take a look at the official February snowfall numbers published by the Japan Meteorological Agency. As always let me explain that these numbers are taken from Kutchan town which is at a slightly lower elevation than my observations here at Hirafu base (so you would generally expect them to be less).

February 2016: 208cm
February 2015: 167cm
February 2014: 130cm
February 2013: 228cm
February 2012: 216cm
February 2011: 142cm
February 2010: 184cm
February 2009: 235cm
February 2008: 228cm
February 2007: 158cm

I make the average of those numbers over the last 10 seasons to be 189cm, so February 2016 has been ‘above average’ this season.

15/16 season so far at end of January 2016: 696cm
14/15 season so far at end of January 2015: 825cm
13/14 season so far at end of January 2014: 804cm
12/13 season so far at end of January 2013: 900cm
11/12 season so far at end of January 2012: 937cm
10/11 season so far at end of January 2011: 810cm
09/10 season so far at end of January 2010: 864cm
08/09 season so far at end of January 2009: 847cm
07/08 season so far at end of January 2009: 849cm
06/07 season so far at end of January 2009: 661cm

The average of that lot is 819cm, so we are ‘below average’ for the season so far by over 1m… the main factor of course being the slow start to the season.

>>>

If you have been following some of the other ‘Now’ daily reports on SnowJapan, you will be aware that many regions of Japan this season have had some uncharacteristically small amounts of snowfall, and the season has been something of a struggle. Very un-Japan like - and it’s important to realise that as well.

Luckily we haven’t had anything like those issues up here and especially considering the bigger Japan picture, we’ve done very well indeed I think. It will be interesting to see how March and beyond turns out. I hope it will be a good one for us here in Niseko and all of the other regions of Japan as well.

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Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
All lifts suspended at the start of the day.

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Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -3℃, 40cm new snow, stormy. Moiwa 800m, Annupuri 1150m and Hirafu 1000m inaccessible, data not available. Moiwa 838m: -7℃. Benkei cape: NW39m/s at 4am, 18m/s at 6am. Kamui cape: NNE23m/s at 6am, 998hPa, waveheight unknown.

Maximum scale snowstorm is hitting Hokkaido, severe traffic hindrance and many accidents occurring. If your car gets stuck in a snowdrift, turn the engine off and wait for rescue. The strong Low-pressure system (986hPa) passed and brought heavy snowfall. The atmospheric pressure is starting to rise, however the isobar spacing is tight and the storm is persisting. A hoar layer has developed as the warm air flown in yesterday (Feb 29th layer) and is sitting just below today’s new snowfall. Naturally occurring surface slab avalanches of 90+cm crown are highly likely to occur in areas above 800m. Stay away from the bowls/valleys a while after the storm has calmed down. Visibility is also poor and the snow deep & heavy in the trees. Better stay indoors in this morning; high chances of losing way in the storm. Have a nice day.

---

Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 1st March 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 390cm
Base - 170cm

Niseko Village
Top - 360cm
Base - 180cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 385cm
Base - 195cm

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Lifts planned to be open for night skiing:

Nighta will be open every day until Monday 21st March 2016

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

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Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast

Archive report: Posted at 8:25am on Tuesday 1st March 2016
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All on hold this morning due to storm conditions

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Monday 29th February 2016
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Tuesday 1st March 2016
Wednesday 2nd March 2016
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THANK YOU
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Our exclusive daily snow reporting will be back in late autumn.
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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 Tuesday 1st March 2016
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Tuesday 1st March 2016
(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 Tuesday 1st March 2016
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)
  2015/2016
*as of Tuesday 1st March 2016
2014/2015
Season
2013/2014
Season
1st March 10cm 0cm 0cm
29th February 0cm 10cm 3cm
28th February 0cm 10cm 3cm
27th February 20cm 5cm 0cm
26th February 18cm 10cm 0cm
25th February 10cm 10cm 0cm
24th February 7cm 10cm 0cm
Previous 7 days total 65cm 45cm 5cm
Previous 14 days total 140cm 50cm 76cm
November observed snowfall total 61cm 30cm 123cm
December observed snowfall total 244cm 519cm 275cm
January observed snowfall total 303cm 257cm 461cm
February observed snowfall total 266cm 196cm 178cm
March observed snowfall total 10cm 139cm 113cm
April observed snowfall total - 3cm 13cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 887cm 1144cm 1163cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data: Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Tuesday 1st March 2016
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
2017/2018 season - - - - - - - -
2016/2017 season - - - - - - - -
2015/2016 season 3cm
[3cm]
61cm
[64cm]
244cm
[308cm]
303cm
[611cm]
266cm
[877cm]
10cm
[887cm]
-
[887cm]
-
[887cm]
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 Tuesday 1st March 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

2017

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2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

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