Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Sunday 15th January 2017

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:31am on Sunday 15th January 2017
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Blue sky, some cloud
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
None currently
wind condition
N 3 - 5m/s (Hirafu)
visibility condition
Very good
This report
Sunday 15th January 2017, 8:31am
Saturday 14th January 2017, 8:30am 13cm
Friday 13th January 2017, 8:07am 18cm
Thursday 12th January 2017, 8:10am 12cm
Wednesday 11th January 2017, 8:31am 8cm
Tuesday 10th January 2017, 8:30am 3cm
Monday 9th January 2017, 8:31am 0cm
Last 7 reports (total): 55cm
Last 14 reports (total): 64cm
Current month (January 2017) total: 64cm
2016/2017 season so far total: 357cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:31am on Sunday 15th January 2017
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning from Niseko.

This morning I have just about enough to add 1cm of fresh snow to the report. It's a thick dusting kind of thing.

That is all something of a contrast this weekend with the 131cm of snowfall recorded in Yuzawa (in Niigata) over the last two days* and even more in Myoko (updated). Wow!

(* Our snow is much better though.)

I'm just joshing - I have never been there, though I would certainly like to. And seriously, I do encourage people to read the other reports as well, if not only to get a wider view of what is happening in different regions of Japan, not just Niseko.

Anyway, we enjoyed some nice blue skies yesterday morning with things clouding over gradually later on.

This morning we start the day with lots of blue sky and just a bit of cloud in places. The sun is currently shining through my window. It is remaining cold and seems calm.

Snow is forecast for today and so we can probably expect a change this afternoon, though there doesn't look to be much on the forecast until around Thursday after today.

In the meantime it should be a fun morning on the groomers.


Oh no, it’s another general message from SnowJapan!

Apologies for taking up space on the reports again, but we have had a few people asking why our reports don’t appear much earlier in a morning. It’s a fair question and I’ll try to answer it. There are a few reasons...

First, it seems necessary to point out that we are not a ski resort and our reports are not official ski resort reports. Some people seem to think (or just presume) these things. If we owned and operated a ski resort, I’m fairly certain that we would make it a high priority to post updates as early as possible each morning - how much new snow at top and at base, snow depth, conditions. We’d also be sure to have multiple and meaningful webcams pointing out to locations around the resort. But we’re not official ski resorts/reports.

These things are what ski resorts should ideally be doing, right?

It varies, but a fair number of Japanese ski resorts only post their morning updates after 8am - and sometimes later. If we (SnowJapan) posted our reports earlier than we currently do, we would often miss important information - like news of how much fresh snow ski resorts are reporting, news of any early morning lift disruption at the start of the day, etc. We would often be missing that kind of information.

We like to think of our reports as a season-long ongoing commentary, rather than simply an early morning report for people who are going to be queuing for the first lift of the day. And after all, people who are lucky enough to already be at a ski resort and hitting the first lifts can get a good idea of weather conditions by taking a look outside of the window when they get up.

If we posted our reports just for the benefit of those people, the reports would not be as good or detailed as they are. We feel that our way makes for better all-round reports.

In addition, there’s also the people who post the reports and their circumstances to consider. They probably need some coffee and toast before posting, they may need to dig themselves out of their home, they may need to see to other complexities life throws at them. And - some of the reports in particular - take much longer than just a few minutes to put together each morning.

For a bit more on that kind of thing, please refer to my previous message. It can be found here:

Our message last week

There are many new people using the website, and our traffic records are being broken every day at the moment. Thank you. Please be sure to read our “About” pages associated with the daily report pages and ski resort listing pages – they cover a lot of information.

About our daily reports

About our ski resort pages


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -10℃, scarce snowfall. Moiwa850m: -12℃, 10cm snowfall and snowdrifts development. Annupuri 1150m: -14℃, NW8m/s, 15cm new snow. Hirafu1250m: -13℃, light breeze and scarce snow. Kamui cape lighthouse: NE3m/s, 1003hPa, 1.6m waves. Benkei cape lighthouse: ENE9m/s.

Calm morning as the isobars got spread out by a small low-pressure system. Yesterday afternoon’s light storm made some shallow snowdrifts develop in SW area above 800m altitude and reset the slopes. This newest layer (Jan 14th) is likely to slide in steep slopes, and will become a potential trigger layer in the future snowpack. This morning’s avalanche hazard is low, however more snow is forecasted in the afternoon. Hazard level will rise if new snowdrifts start to develop. All gates are scheduled to open, listen to the ski patrol’s advice before stepping out of the gates. Do not duck ropes.

Gate 9 (waterfall) is scheduled to open today. Beware not to fall into streams. The water is ice cold and hypothermia can easily be fatal.

Not much snowfall, but the groomers conditions are fantastic.

Beware of frostbite.


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

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
Resorts expected to be opening as planned this morning.


Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 15th January 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 260cm
Base - 110cm

Niseko Village
Top - 190cm
Base - 120cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 190cm
Base - 120cm


Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.

Archive report: Posted at 8:31am on Sunday 15th January 2017
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All areas set to be open as planned this morning.

Saturday 14th January 2017
This report
Sunday 15th January 2017
Monday 16th January 2017
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
2020-2021 UPDATES
Information about how we update information on SnowJapan and our plans for 2020-2021

In the meantime if you are interested in ski areas from Japan's past, please check the new SnowJapanHistory
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Japan snowfall data
(updated daily during winter)
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Niseko Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Sunday 15th January 2017
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Sunday 15th January 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 Sunday 15th January 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 Sunday 15th January 2017
15th January 1cm 24cm 0cm
14th January 13cm 15cm 0cm
13th January 18cm 23cm 1cm
12th January 12cm 12cm 20cm
11th January 8cm 11cm 6cm
10th January 3cm 20cm 30cm
9th January 0cm 11cm 3cm
Previous 7 days total 55cm 116cm 60cm
Previous 14 days total 64cm 178cm 148cm
November observed snowfall total 110cm 61cm 30cm
December observed snowfall total 181cm 244cm 519cm
January observed snowfall total 64cm 303cm 257cm
February observed snowfall total - 266cm 196cm
March observed snowfall total - 109cm 139cm
April observed snowfall total - 6cm 3cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 357cm 992cm 1144cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Sunday 15th January 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
2020/2021 season - - - - - - - -
2019/2020 season - - - - - - - -
2018/2019 season - - - - - - - -
2017/2018 season - - - - - - - -
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 Sunday 15th January 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