Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Wednesday 8th February 2012

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 7:50am on Wednesday 8th February 2012
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
wind condition
15 m/ps
This report
Wednesday 8th February 2012, 7:50am
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Archive report: Posted at 7:50am on Wednesday 8th February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

It should be a bit windy and cold today so not exactly the most ideal for carousing around the resort. I would probably say today would be a good one to take off unless we get substantial snowfall today. We are supposed to get snow, but not a whole lot until tomorrow.

Friday is expected to be the most potential for snow. Until then we are expecting mostly cloudy weather with intermittent snowfall. It doesn't look like there is a lot of force behind it to add it up to much. Where it has been warm the last few days, the snow will become harder when it re-freezes. So we won't quite see the powder snow until it falls from the sky again (or you know where to look/hike). There's definitely still some good snow out there but in much higher elevations.

Avalanche safety will be a bit sketchy, dodgy or any other word that ends in y which tells us a certain level of uncertainty. The heavy snow seems to be forming slabs and hasn't quite had time to settle. I would advise caution if you are going into the backcountry and check all available resources to test stability.

Current Official Snow Depths:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 380cm
Bottom - 210cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 400cm
Bottom - 240cm

Top - 410cm
Bottom - 230cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Mountain base 6am: -1℃, 20cm of wet broken snow crystals in the last 12 hours, 40cm in the last 24 hours.
Benkei Cape WNW 18m/s, Kamui Cape wave 2.3m, pressure 995 hpa, Annapuri Peak WNW 13.5m/s temp -17.0℃.
Snowfall: From 4pm yesterday with the passing of low pressure system a NW wind and snowfall has increased. In the Niseko area the snow clouds are not heavy. Above 800m elevation moist heavy snow drifts are developing rapidly on SE slopes.
Snow Pit Data: Above the 6th Feb layer is a layer of low pressure snow crystals followed by heavy snowdrifting today. Above 800m, 80cm snow drift development on leeward slopes. Between 4th Feb and 22 Jan layers,both frost type layers, the snow is compacted and stabilised. Above the 6th Feb, a snowdrift(wind slab) layer has not stabised yet.
Hazard Evaluation: The risk of fracture on leeward slopes above 700m elevation is HIGH due to the rapid snow drift development we are experiencing.
Scale: Coordinates C4-D5(Moiwa-Mikaeri), E6-F5(Back Bowl & O-Sawa), H8(Higashi One 1000m elevation cornice face), the predicted fracture depth is 60cm - 80cm.
Caution: It is easy to propagate an avalanche at times of rapid snow drift development. Independent of elevation, cornice faces, knolls, lift lines are all typical fracture zones. Do not ski those areas. One set of tracks into these areas can cause others to follow, increasing the chance of an accident. Do not duck ropes. The snow in the trees is good, but heavy.
Gates: Peak gates are expected to closed today. Please respect the ski patrols decision.
Most accidents occur during or just after a storm.
Have a safe day.


Late update:

It was a bit warmer today than expected, but the temps have recently started plummeting. The wind died down in the latter half of the afternoon and was matched with a lot of snow coming down. The snow we do have has been made a bit heavier by the warmer temps. However, the snow that is currently falling is pretty light in density. At the present moment, it's falling at around 3-4cm per hour. We can expect to see snow tomorrow and very cold temps (high of -15) throughout the rest of the week.

Tomorrow should be a good one, but cold. Dress accordingly and you will have fun!

Archive report: Posted at 7:50am on Wednesday 8th February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

Winds may be temporarily suspended due to high winds.

Tuesday 7th February 2012
This report
Wednesday 8th February 2012
Thursday 9th February 2012
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