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Niseko Now: A look back at February and the season so far

Our Niseko Now reporter has posted a now-traditional monthly recap and we thought it would be good to bring it to the attention of people who may not be reading those reports. This is covering the reports and information from the Niseko area of Hokkaido. And here it is: ------ A look back at the season so far: February 2019 As is tradition, here I look back over February and the season so far. You can follow my reports and snowfall numbers at any time towards the bottom of this page and on the Snowfall Analysis page. February started off really well. I was able to record fresh cm of snowfall on each of the first 16 days in February. There were no massive snowfall numbers – the most in one day was 21cm on 1st February – but we enjoyed a respectable 15-20cm or so on quite a few of the days in that first half of the month. Nice. The second half of the month was a different story. It was as if the tap had been turned off on 17th February. I added a total of just 9cm over last 12 days of the month. Check out the Snowfall Analysis page to see how much snow we usually get in the second half of February... it’s quite the contrast. Here is the amount of snowfall that I have measured close to my Hirafu base during the month of February in each of the last seven seasons: February 2019: 198cm
February 2018: 299cm
February 2017: 160cm
February 2016: 266cm
February 2015: 196cm
February 2014: 178cm
February 2013: 316cm So, 1m less than what I measured last season but actually fairly comparable amounts to three other seasons. In this current season, of course, the snowfall has been more noticeably weighted in that first half of the season. Here’s the 'season up to the end of February' totals over the last seven seasons: 2018/2019 season up to end of February 2019: 900cm
2017/2018 season up to end of February 2018: 1198cm
2016/2017 season up to end of February 2017: 605cm
2015/2016 season up to end of February 2016: 877cm
2014/2015 season up to end of February 2015: 1002cm
2013/2014 season up to end of February 2014: 1037cm
2012/2013 season up to end of February 2013: 1295cm Those raw total numbers (and remember, that’s what they are – they don't tell the full story) are considerably better than the 16/17 season and comparable to 15/16. A fair bit under the other seasons though. And now here we are in March. In the most recent seasons this is how much snowfall I have observed at base in March: March 2018: 49cm
March 2017: 83cm
March 2016: 109cm
March 2015: 139cm
March 2014: 113cm
March 2013: 164cm ...and how much snowfall we have received from the beginning of March to the end of the season... Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2019 & end of season: ???
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2018 & end of season: 62cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2017 & end of season: 83cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2016 & end of season: 115cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2015 & end of season: 142cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2014 & end of season: 126cm
Amount of snow falling between 1st March 2013 & end of season: 196cm There's a curious pattern going on there. And it's not one that I am keen to see. 2015 aside, the amount of observed snowfall at base from March onwards has been decreasing - an impressive 2m or so in 2013; down to less than 1m in the last two seasons. That’s definitely something to ponder. Let's pondering. The last piece of data is, as always, the snowfall numbers that the Japan Meteorological Agency report from their observation station in Kutchan town. Here is what they have reported for the month of February in recent years: February 2019: 141cm
February 2018: 202cm
February 2017: 173cm
February 2016: 210cm
February 2015: 167cm
February 2014: 130cm
February 2013: 228cm And the JMA numbers for the ‘season so far’: 2017/2018 season up to end of February 2019: 954cm
2016/2017 season up to end of February 2018: 741cm
2015/2016 season up to end of February 2017: 698cm
2014/2015 season up to end of February 2016: 825cm
2013/2014 season up to end of February 2015: 804cm
2012/2013 season up to end of February 2014: 900cm All being well, there is still over two full months left of the 2018-2019 season with the last lifts planning to stop at the end of the day on Monday 6th May. That is a very long spring season, if we are indeed properly into spring. As you can see above (and in the archives) though, in previous seasons March has delivered some decent snowfall. So, I choose to remain hopeful that we will get some more snow and a few nice surprises. Just how much though... well, I’ll be here to take you through the rest of the season every day until the end. Even if you have been and gone already this season, please do remember your duty to continue reading my reports through until the end - I want to share with you the story of the whole season. And of course, you can also enjoy watching me start to struggle for things to write on some days as the last part of the season approaches.  ;) Gambarimasu! ---- Thanks to our Niseko Now reporter. The Niseko Now reports can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-daily-snow-weather-reports/Niseko-Now  

Welcome to the new SnowJapan Community

Welcome to the new SnowJapan Community area First of all, it is very good to see you here! And let me just say sorry for the 'down time' on the old SnowJapanForums site over the last few weeks. Behind the scenes it has been a frantic few weeks as we made some major changes to the community software as well as a big move. Lots of coding, setting up, consulting, testing, adjusting, checking, worrying, sighing... and cheering! If you are reading this you have obviously found your way to this new location and you might notice that it is now within our main website. The new location, if you wish to adjust bookmarks, is: https://www.snowjapan.com/community OK, so what exactly do we have planned? Well, we have some things already going, something we are working on (login to main SnowJapan member area) and we also have a few other ideas that we want to consider as we move forward.
  Already happening: >> Logging in here using your old 'SnowJapanForums' member username/password If you were a member of the old 'SnowJapanForums', you should be able to login here using the same username and password as before.
>> New social login using Facebook / Google / Microsoft / Twitter / LinkedIn account (optional) You can also now log in (and register) to the community using an existing Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft or LinkedIn username and password. Logging in is now super easy - the old system was indeed a little clunky, but this new system is as simple as it can get. Eventually you will hopefully be able to post Resort Reviews on our main site using the same login details - we're working on getting that working right now. More on that below. If you want to register an account just to this Community (ie. not by using the above), you can do that too, and that is also easy. Just click on the 'Sign Up' button at the top right of this page.
>> New Q&A Forum We get asked many questions. Unfortunately we are not able to answer them all - we are very busy running the website (and we're not a travel agency!)  So, we thought that it might be a good idea to have an area where people can ask questions and other people can provide some answers and feedback. And so, this new Q&A area. All questions and all answers are fully moderated, which means that myself or one of my colleagues will need to 'approve' them before they appear online. This is to avoid us getting sucked back into the world of spam, trolls, advertisers (cunning or otherwise) and the like. We do not intend to get into any kind of discussions about any moderation decisions - so if a post does not appear, that's the end of it. (Sorry for sounding blunt with that, but I just wanted to be as clear as possible on that particular point). The idea is for members to chip in and provide answers, not for SnowJapan to become a question answering service. (Though we may of course at times provide some answers ourselves if and when we can). Also, we do not intend for this to be an open ended discussion-type forum. Rather, the idea is to keep it as a simple 'Q&A corner' kind of thing. Of course, we may well adjust our thinking on all of this as we move forward.
>> New Blog You're looking at it now! Initially, this is our own 'SnowJapan blog'. We don't exactly how it will evolve - we shall see.  ----------------- Moving forward >> Main site Member area login to post Resort Reviews, upload Photos etc We need to make further coding changes to our systems in order to enable login on the main SnowJapan site member area. Once that work is done, hopefully you will be able to login to the main site and post Resort Reviews using the same username/password. Please bear with us while we do that work. We'll update you on that as soon as possible.
>> And then... Those of you who know us will be aware of our love of adding stuff every year and moving forward. We're on a bit of a roll at the moment with some other pretty major work being done which is due to appear later in the year. As I mentioned in the news announcement, we do not know exactly how this new 'SnowJapan Community' will all develop over the coming weeks, months and years.
We may change things up.
We may add new things.
We're really not sure. But whatever happens, we have the new login thing as well as a fresh and shiny new platform that we intend to use and build on. And that's kind of exciting. And of course, our main website continues to function and work as normal:
https://www.snowjapan.com Thanks!    



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About SnowJapan

SnowJapan.com is the independent guide to skiing and snowboarding in Japan and has been online since 1999.

SnowJapan.com covers the whole of Japan. We are here to introduce the world to unbiased, honest and detailed information about winter sports in Japan. We publish exclusive and in-depth and daily content throughout the winter season and we add new functionality and content to the site every year.

We are not here to promote any specific destinations or resorts, or to sell our readers any kind of products or services. We are not a travel agency and we do not own any ski resorts, ski schools, accommodations or other related businesses.