Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Friday 15th December 2017

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:30am on Friday 15th December 2017
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Snow clouds remain
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Light snow falling
wind condition
0 - S 4m/s (Hirafu)
visibility condition
This report
Friday 15th December 2017, 8:30am
Thursday 14th December 2017, 8:23am 8cm
Wednesday 13th December 2017, 8:02am 26cm
Tuesday 12th December 2017, 8:32am 2cm
Monday 11th December 2017, 8:22am 0cm
Sunday 10th December 2017, 8:27am 11cm
Saturday 9th December 2017, 8:35am 7cm
Last 7 reports (total): 60cm
Last 14 reports (total): 124cm
Current month (December 2017) total: 140cm
2017/2018 season so far total: 328cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:30am on Friday 15th December 2017
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning everyone.

I have another 6cm of fresh snowfall to report to you from base this morning.

It's not crazy cold this morning but light snow is currently falling and the forecast remains 'snowy' and cold.

I'm hearing... top lifts to open from tomorrow? That sounds like a jolly good idea to me.

So the pre-Christmas crowds that are about to arrive here should be on for a very fine week. Enjoy, my friends!


I was just taking a look at the numbers last night. With the 6cm in my report today, that brings my 'season so far' observed snowfall up to 328cm.

Last season I observed 688cm throughout the whole season!

So we are close to half of what fell for the entire season last time round. That's just nuts!

I like nuts.


The daily updates of 'official snow depth' data for ski resorts throughout Japan has started within the pages of SnowJapan. I am told that the data is available for 350+ ski resorts around Japan.

Remember (#1), these are official numbers that are originally coming from the resorts themselves. To the frustration of some snow data loving folk, there is no fixed position where the readings are taken at each resorts - they generally report from where they want to report - and some resorts hardly update their information at all; or at least not realistically every day. SnowJapan ain't to blame for that!

And remember (#2), fresh snowfall gets compacted and groomed and skied on and melts. That is why 30cm of fresh snow in a day does not directly translate to a 30cm increase in the official snow depth.

Having said those slightly negative points, these are the official records of snowfall at Japanese ski resorts and so remain interesting. And each ski resort probably does it in a consistent way every season. So I suggest that rather than comparing one resort vs another resort, it is probably a really good idea to compare the data for a particular resort with previous seasons. By doing that you'll get a good big-picture idea of how the season is going at specific ski resorts.

And SnowJapan conveniently lets you do just that thing on the 'Snowfall' tab of the resort pages within the site, including pretty little graphs.

To see what I mean please check these pages:

Niseko Grand Hirafu snowfall

Niseko Annupuri snowfall

Niseko Village snowfall

Pretty cool, ne!

That data is available for most ski resorts throughout Japan and makes for some interesting reading. I recommend you take a look at the numbers from your fave ski-jo.

Remember (#3), large amounts of collected data like this does not come free --- well, I suppose it does to you! --- so while we are kindly being provided with it, let's make the most of it; and consider letting your friends know too!


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6.00am: -3°, 5cm new snow, calm. Moiwa 800m : -4.7°, W7.1m/s, 10cm new snow, snowdrift development. Annupuri 1100m: -6°, W15m/s, snowdrift development. Hirafu: 1000m, -5°, light winds, 10cm new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NW16m/s. Kamui Cape SW14m/s, 1020hPa, wave 1.6m.

The winter weather pattern continues with a weak westerly snow wind at 15m/s at higher levels. New snowdrift growth around 1000m is easily fracturing. Groomers are in great condition with a light dusting of new snow on top. The atmospheric pressure gradient is starting to level out bringing better weather.

From observation, around 800m there is a layer evident from Dec 13, but the temperature change is small and the snow is good. The general avalanche risk is low. In south facing off limits areas there is possibility of avalanche from rider stimulation the fracture on Dec 10 layer. Don't duck ropes looking for fresh snow. Do not enter Strictly Off Limits areas.

The light is poor today and it is difficult to see the contours of the snow. Beware falls, collisions and falling into holes. You cant win against a tree and water is cold.

All top lifts are expected to run from tomorrow (16th). Have a good day.


Friday 15th December 2017

What's planned to be open today in Niseko (subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Lifts operating:
- Ace Number 3 Pair lift
- Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift (nighta)
- Ace Family quad lift (nighta)
- King Number 3 quad lift
- Hirafu Gondola
- Holiday Number 1 pair lift
- Swinging Monkey

* All courses are open apart from Large and Dynamic.

Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts operating:
- Hanazono Number 1 quad lift
- Hanazono Number 2 quad lift
- Hanazono Number 3 quad lift

* All lifts are operating

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts operating:
- Annupuri Gondola
- Jumbo Number 1 quad lift (nighta)
- Jumbo Number 2 quad lift
- Dream Number 1 quad lift

* Utopia, Shirakaba, Silver, Panorama, "S" ji, Paradise, Family, Dynamic and Junior courses are open.

Niseko Village

Lifts operating:
- Niseko Gondola
- Banzai Chair
- Community Chair (nighta)
- Upper Village Gondola (nighta)
- Village Express (nighta)
- Morino Chair

* Top of Gondola to base is skiable.


Official resort snow depths on Friday 15th December 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 245cm
Base - 90cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai
Top - 135cm
Base - 90cm

Niseko Village
Top - 160cm
Base - 100cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:
Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted above.

Archive report: Posted at 8:30am on Friday 15th December 2017
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

See details above. Hopefully top lifts moving tomorrow. I will let you know.

Thursday 14th December 2017
This report
Friday 15th December 2017
Saturday 16th December 2017
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
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Japan snowfall data
(updated daily during winter)
Nearby accommodation
Lessons in English
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Niseko Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 15th December 2017
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Friday 15th December 2017
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent season comparisons
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 15th December 2017
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the Niseko Now reports during same period over the last three seasons
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
*as of Friday 15th December 2017
15th December 6cm 0cm 0cm
14th December 8cm 0cm 0cm
13th December 26cm 2cm 0cm
12th December 2cm 4cm 0cm
11th December 0cm 17cm 0cm
10th December 11cm 15cm 0cm
9th December 7cm 10cm 0cm
Previous 7 days total 60cm 48cm 0cm
Previous 14 days total 124cm 75cm 59cm
November observed snowfall total 188cm 110cm 61cm
December observed snowfall total 140cm 181cm 244cm
January observed snowfall total - 152cm 303cm
February observed snowfall total - 160cm 266cm
March observed snowfall total - 83cm 109cm
April observed snowfall total - 0cm 6cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 328cm 688cm 992cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 15th December 2017
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in 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
2021/2022 season - - - - - - - -
2020/2021 season - - - - - - - -
2019/2020 season - - - - - - - -
2018/2019 season - - - - - - - -
2017/2018 season - 188cm
- - - - -
2016/2017 season 2cm
2015/2016 season 3cm
2014/2015 season 0cm
2013/2014 season 0cm
2012/2013 season 0cm
  October November December January February March April May
Niseko Now reports before Friday 15th December 2017
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