Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Friday 24th February 2012

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 7:35am on Friday 24th February 2012
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Partly Cloudy
Base temp:
0°C

Top temp:
0°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
-
wind condition
1 m/s (base); 3 m/s (top) [Hirafu]
Good
PLEASE READ THIS
This report
Friday 24th February 2012, 7:35am
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Thursday 23rd February 2012, 7:28am ---
Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 7:56am ---
Tuesday 21st February 2012, 7:51am ---
Monday 20th February 2012, 6:36am ---
Sunday 19th February 2012, 8:10am ---
Saturday 18th February 2012, 13:51pm ---
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Archive report: Posted at 7:35am on Friday 24th February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Yesterday we saw some crazy weather. I hiked the peak at around 10:30 am and had to deal with about 130km/hr+ winds. Meanwhile, it was completely still at the base of the mountain...no wind at all. This is the perfect descriptor of how Niseko weather can be. With a maritime climate and a North/Southeast South/Northeast jet stream mix, it can provide for some serious changes very quickly. So please forgive us in predicting the weather if we are not as accurate as you had hoped! We didn't see any new snow yesterday, but last night we got about 1-2cm.

As the backcountry heated up yesterday. We had a report and video confirmation of a pretty good sized avalanche in the backcountry. Even though the overall danger was low and terrain was abnormally steep, this slide could have very easily turned deadly had there not been quick reaction from the riders. Hopefully we will be able to get to the area and analyze the slope to see what exactly caused it to go. It looks like a lot of unstable wind loading and a very warm day caused the perfect sliding layer for all of the new snow to slide off. This slide was characteristic of this area and most other places probably would have been fine. For the time being I would stay off SE/S/SW facing slopes greater than 45 degrees in steepness unless controlled like at a resort.

The future is again looking quite uncertain. It's going to be variable with snow likely over the next 2-3 days then possibly clearing up and becoming warmer after that. We really need some snow to cover up where it got warm and then re-froze. Hopefully this system gains some strength and brings us a lot of snow! For the mean time there's still plenty of fun to be had over there. Enjoy!

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 415cm
Bottom - 220cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 460cm
Bottom - 240cm

Annupuri:
Top - 460cm
Bottom - 240cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:
Status: -1℃ at the base, -4℃at 800m. Coastal data: N12m/s at Benkei cape, 3.2m waves and 1010hPa at Kamui cape. 15cm snowfall in the past 12 hours. Moderate development of snowdrifts in the eastern side of the mountain at 800m.
Snowfall transition: Temperature rising due to the passing low-pressure system. A wet crystal snow has blanketed on top of Feb 23rd layer in the past 12 hours. Snowdrifts of broken particle snow has developed in the east facing slopes above 800m. Snowfall amount is slim, however enough to mostly reset the surface in the trees.
Hazard evaluation: Low-pressure system related snowfall causes long-running avalanches. Beware of slopes with large snowdrifts slabs. Potential risk of 20cm thick slides of heavy & humid snow. Avalanche can happen in the forests too. Avalanche risk from deeper layers will rise due to temperature warm up, especially in gully terrains of 1000m Higashi-One area (coordinate H8), west-face Goshiki onsen area (E7).
Gates: Will open at 9:30.
Caution: The resorts are not managing any areas outside the gates. Seek for the ski patrol’s advise before you step out of bounds. Traversing across valleys all together or stimulating knoll terrains is to be avoided at anytime. Entering strictly off limits areas (Yu no sawa and Haru no taki) repeatedly will only make it more difficult to keep the freedom to go out of bounds. The freedom to ski off-piste in Niseko has been obtained in exchange to keep those areas closed.

Archive report: Posted at 7:35am on Friday 24th February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

Lifts should be operating as normally.

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