Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Thursday 3rd January 2019

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:24am on Thursday 3rd January 2019
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall
weather condition
Clearer start, clouding over
Base temp:
-10°C

Top temp:
-12°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Not right now but might it start again?
wind condition
NW 3-7 (Village)
visibility condition
Good
This report
Thursday 3rd January 2019, 8:24am
12cm
Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 8:18am 15cm
Tuesday 1st January 2019, 8:18am 10cm
Monday 31st December 2018, 8:30am 11cm
Sunday 30th December 2018, 8:24am 17cm
Saturday 29th December 2018, 8:31am 32cm
Friday 28th December 2018, 8:30am 26cm
Last 7 reports (total): 123cm
Last 14 reports (total): 170cm
Current month (January 2019) total: 37cm
2018/2019 season so far total: 454cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:24am on Thursday 3rd January 2019
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning from Niseko.

And what a lovely early morning it was. Post-toast I decided to go out for a short walk to take it all in. I couldn't resist taking in the sunrise, Mt Yotei wearing a funny little cloud hat thingy, and generally clearer skies towards that beautiful mountain. It's a good job I wrapped myself up well though as it is a very cold morning (down to -16C overnight?)

Just beautiful. I feel so lucky to be able to live in such a place.

OK so getting back on track, I am measuring 12cm of fresh snowfall on the ground and the Avalanche Report is reporting 20cm at Hirafu peak. Thank you, Nature.

I expect all resorts and lifts should be open as normal this morning and we expect gates to be available too.

Niseko Annupuri has of course been opening for early operations over New Year and today is the last day of that for the moment - next up, 12th 13th and 14th of the month.

It's worth noting that since I started putting this report together, more cloud has appeared over the mountain here and things are looking much greyer than just an hour ago; there's less of Mt Yotei to see too.

Goes to show that there are benefits of getting up early.

Have a fine day everyone.

---

A look back at the season so far: December 2018

As is the tradition, it’s time to look back on the month of December and the season so far.

Remember, all but the JMA numbers I am talking about here can be found within these Niseko Now reports and you can do loads of looking back yourself using the statistics on the ‘Snowfall Analysis’ page (that lovely blue tab thingy above) above.

And also, keep in mind that I take my measurements from close to the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu. There is usually more snow up on them there hills. It is impossible to take measurements from the top of the mountain every morning for all sorts of practical reasons (good reasons too! I've covered that before and no doubt might comment on it again later in the season). My numbers can all be compared like-for-like, because they are coming from the same places each season.

This is how much snowfall I have measured myself during the month of December over the last seven years:

December 2018: 333cm
December 2017: 406cm
December 2016: 181cm
December 2015: 244cm
December 2014: 519cm
December 2013: 275cm
December 2012: 418cm

Not as good as last December (which was amazing), but still a very healthy 3.3m of snowfall over the month.

Looking back at my reports, I was able to record fresh snowfall on all but 5 days in the month of December 2018. I don’t know how that compares with most ski resort areas around the world, but it sounds jolly impressive to me.

On three of those days I have reported 25cm or more in one day.

If you follow some of the other daily reports here on SnowJapan, you will probably be aware that some of those places sometimes seem to get some mind-boggling amounts of snow dumped on them in very short periods – check out the reports in the last week of December 2018 for Myoko, Minakami and Yuzawa. At the risk of repeating myself I highly recommend checking out the other reports on the site.

As impressive as those bonkers numbers are, the bigger picture often shows that the snowfall isn't quite as consistent as we are enjoy up here. And while I cannot comment on the quality of snow in other regions - and I won’t dare go there! - ours is of course often top notch.

I have said this before but with Niseko being so popular, we really do need that consistent snowfall to fill in the many tracks that are laid down by hungry skiers and boarders. So it's a good job that we enjoy the consistency! (Nature: 20+cm a day would be perfect, if you're taking requests)

Here are my ‘season to date’ numbers, from the beginning of the season to the end of December:

2018/2019 season up to end of December 2018: 417cm
2017/2018 season up to end of December 2017: 594cm
2016/2017 season up to end of December 2016: 293cm
2015/2016 season up to end of December 2015: 308cm
2014/2015 season up to end of December 2014: 549cm
2013/2014 season up to end of December 2013: 398cm
2012/2013 season up to end of December 2012: 536cm

And at the risk of getting a bit too nerdy, here’s how much of the total snowfall for a season we have already had fall on us by the end of December:

By the end of December 2017, as a % of the season total: about 47%
By the end of December 2016, as a % of the season total: about 43%
By the end of December 2015, as a % of the season total: about 31%
By the end of December 2014, as a % of the season total: about 48%
By the end of December 2013, as a % of the season total: about 34%
By the end of December 2012, as a % of the season total: about 36%

So, by the end of December last year I had measured close to half of the total amount of snowfall that I was going to end up recording over the entire season. And two seasons before that, at the same point we had received just over 30% of the total snowfall for that season. That might give us an idea of how much we can reasonably expect over the remaining months. It would be great if we still have over 60% of the total to enjoy...

Looking ahead to January, here’s how much snowfall I have recorded during the month of in the last six winter seasons. The numbers in brackets show the total observed snowfall up until the end of January in each of the respective seasons.

January 2018: 305cm (899cm)
January 2017: 152cm (445cm)
January 2016: 303cm (611cm)
January 2015: 257cm (806cm)
January 2014: 461cm (859cm)
January 2013: 443cm (979cm)

Lastly, one more piece of data that I always look at is 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 December.

December 2018: 310cm
December 2017: 324cm
December 2016: 235cm
December 2015: 195cm
December 2014: 387cm
December 2013: 258cm
December 2012: 306cm

And the JMA numbers for the season so far:

2018/2019 season up to end of December 2018: 414cm
2017/2018 season up to end of December 2017: 493cm
2016/2017 season up to end of December 2016: 408cm
2015/2016 season up to end of December 2015: 230cm
2014/2015 season up to end of December 2014: 428cm
2013/2014 season up to end of December 2013: 357cm
2012/2013 season up to end of December 2012: 404cm

So I think it has been a very pleasing early season. Let’s see how January and beyond shapes up!

---

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -10℃, 10cm snowfall and calm. Moiwa800m: -9.8℃, WNW3.3m/s, 10cm snowfall in 12hours, minimal snowdrift development and good visibility. Small snowdrift development at Mikaeri Junction. 175cm snow depth at Annupuri 1120m. Hirafu peak: -9℃, light westerly wind and 20cm snowfall. Niseko Village Mizuno no Sawa: -9.8℃, WNW3.3m/s, 11cm snowfall. Kutchan town: -14.8℃, ENE3.1m/s, 132cm snow depth. Benkei cape: N6m/s, Kamui cape: WSW7m/s, 1019hPa, 1.2m waves.

The atmospheric pressure inclination is flat and the weather is calm. Small snowdrifts developments have been observed above 800m elevation, however the general avalanche risk is low today. Yesterday’s tracks haven’t been reset, however overhead conditions can still be found in north facing aspects. Beware not to fall and suffocate. Large cracks are starting to form in upper Higashi-One area. Do not stimulate cornices as they could trigger an avalanche as they fall. A hoar layer (Jan 3rd layer) is likely to form under today’s weather and could potentially become a sliding layer under the following snowfall cycle.

Stepping out of the gates means stepping out of the resort. It is strongly advised to listen to the ski patrol’s instructions and be prepared for the backcountry.

Do not duck boundary ropes. You will get your lift pass confiscated.

Slabs are likely to form in Haru no taki due to reflecting heat and risks of deeper layer slides are always present in that zone.

Beware of sudden weather changes and have a great day.

---

Ski resort operation information: Thursday 3rd January 2019
The below information is manually checked each morning and believed to be correct at time of report. Subject to change!

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 275cm
- Base: 135cm

Ski lifts operating:
- All lifts apart are normally operating
- The Ace Family quad (until 8:30pm), Ace Center 4 quad (8:20pm), Hirafu Gondola (until 8:10pm) and Holiday Number 1 pair (until 8:30pm) lifts are normally open during the evening
- The Center Four lift will be open early between 7th-31st January 2019 (more details soon - when I can find them!)

Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 205cm
- Base: 152cm

Ski lifts operating:
- All Hanazono lifts are normally operating
- The Hanazono lifts are normally open until 3:50pm (Number 3 until 3:30pm)

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono Courses:
- All official courses are now available

-----

Niseko Annupuri

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 230cm
- Base: 130cm

Ski lifts operating:
- All Annupuri lifts are normally operating
- The Jumbo 1 lift is normally open until 8:30pm during the evening
- Annupuri First run from 7:20am until 8:20am on 12th, 13th, 14th January. (1,500 yen charge)

-----

Niseko Village

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 230cm
- Base: 130cm

Ski lifts operating:
- All lifts apart from the Country Road Chair are normally operating
- The Upper Village Gondola, Village Express and Banzai Chair lifts are normally open until 8:00pm during the evening

-----

Night time operations are available in the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resort areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO resort area.

Archive report: Posted at 8:24am on Thursday 3rd January 2019
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All resort areas open

<
Wednesday 2nd January 2019
This report
Thursday 3rd January 2019
Friday 4th January 2019
>
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Daily snow reports
Other SnowJapan 'Now' reports and latest observed snowfall
Nozawa Onsen Now 0cm
Monday 6th May 2019, 8:46am
Yuzawa Now 0cm
Sunday 26th May 2019, 8:12am
Aizu Bandai Now 0cm
Monday 6th May 2019, 8:35am
Hakuba Now 0cm
Monday 6th May 2019, 9:09am
Shiga Kogen Now 0cm
Monday 27th May 2019, 8:09am
Myoko Now 0cm
Monday 6th May 2019, 8:21am
Naeba Now 0cm
Sunday 31st March 2019, 11:45am
Furano Now 0cm
Wednesday 8th May 2019, 7:51am
Minakami Now 0cm
Monday 6th May 2019, 8:16am
Madarao Now 0cm
Sunday 31st March 2019, 2:24pm
Zao Now 0cm
Monday 6th May 2019, 7:59am
Appi Kogen Now 0cm
Monday 6th May 2019, 7:51am
Geto Kogen Now 0cm
Monday 6th May 2019, 7:12am
Grandeco Now 0cm
Thursday 22nd November 2018, 11:03am
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 Thursday 3rd January 2019
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Thursday 3rd January 2019
(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 Thursday 3rd January 2019
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)
  2018/2019
*as of Thursday 3rd January 2019
2017/2018
Season
2016/2017
Season
3rd January 12cm 3cm 0cm
2nd January 15cm 0cm 0cm
1st January 10cm 0cm 0cm
31st December 11cm 0cm 5cm
30th December 17cm 22cm 14cm
29th December 32cm 25cm 3cm
28th December 26cm 28cm 4cm
Previous 7 days total 123cm 78cm 26cm
Previous 14 days total 170cm 171cm 44cm
November observed snowfall total 84cm 188cm 110cm
December observed snowfall total 333cm 406cm 181cm
January observed snowfall total 37cm 305cm 152cm
February observed snowfall total - 299cm 160cm
March observed snowfall total - 49cm 83cm
April observed snowfall total - 13cm 0cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 454cm 1260cm 688cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data: Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Thursday 3rd January 2019
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
2019/2020 season - - - - - - - -
2018/2019 season 0cm
[0cm]
84cm
[84cm]
333cm
[417cm]
37cm
[454cm]
-
[454cm]
-
[454cm]
-
[454cm]
-
[454cm]
2017/2018 season - 188cm
[188cm]
406cm
[594cm]
305cm
[899cm]
299cm
[1198cm]
49cm
[1247cm]
13cm
[1260cm]
0cm
[1260cm]
2016/2017 season 2cm
[2cm]
110cm
[112cm]
181cm
[293cm]
152cm
[445cm]
160cm
[605cm]
83cm
[688cm]
0cm
[688cm]
0cm
[688cm]
2015/2016 season 3cm
[3cm]
61cm
[64cm]
244cm
[308cm]
303cm
[611cm]
266cm
[877cm]
109cm
[986cm]
6cm
[992cm]
0cm
[992cm]
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 Thursday 3rd January 2019
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

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002