Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Tuesday 28th January 2020

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:27am on Tuesday 28th January 2020
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Cloud, blue sky, some sun
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
wind condition
visibility condition
This report
Tuesday 28th January 2020, 8:27am
Monday 27th January 2020, 8:32am 0cm
Sunday 26th January 2020, 8:35am 9cm
Saturday 25th January 2020, 8:30am 8cm
Friday 24th January 2020, 8:01am 6cm
Thursday 23rd January 2020, 8:25am 9cm
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 8:24am 12cm
Last 7 reports (total): 44cm
Last 14 reports (total): 125cm
Current month (January 2020) total: 224cm
2019/2020 season so far total: 516cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:27am on Tuesday 28th January 2020
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning.

I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. Very cold. A quick walk outside confirmed it without any doubt. Very cold early morning.

And it's one of those funky times when it is colder down at base than higher up, looking at the official site info as of 8am. (How does that work then? Answers on a postcard please).

I have no fresh snowfall to report to you since yesterday and I think today should be a generally fine one featuring sunshine, and then hopefully we will see some fresh snow fall tomorrow.

It feels fairly calm down here at base but apparently there is a bit of a southerly wind; I would expect lifts to be operating. I think it will be a good morning.


And now for something completely different...


A message from SnowJapan

This general message is being posted on all our daily reports.
It is not specific to one report or region.

What’s going on?

Here we are, closing in on the end of January. Normally we would be out playing in deep, fresh snow, watching the incredible snowfall, taking pictures of the huge snow walls along the roads (while the locals moan about having to shovel snow).

It is peak season, and lots of visitors are here enjoying themselves.

But we can't say it's a normal year almost anywhere in Japan. Even where the snow is falling, it’s way below what people have come to expect in Japan - even those who have been here all their lives. Take a look at our reports on the daily snowfalls and total depths and look at the links to individual ski areas.

Covering the winter season in our daily reports is normally a real joy. It’s a lot of fun to share all the amazingly deep snowfalls. And then, of course, going out to sample it ourselves!

So for us, too, many mornings this season have been something of a shock. We don't want to use words like "rain," "unseasonably warm," or "really shallow snowpack," but we're here to give you honest information. And those words, unfortunately, describe what we're seeing too often.

SnowJapan is not here to sell Japan as a destination, or to promote any one area over another. We are not a ski resort or a tourism association – we are 100-percent independent. Our commitment is to provide you with the most honest and accurate information we can, with the voices of our local reporters. We gather official information from the ski areas but also provide commentary and an inside view of what is really out there for you.

In this year of low (and still, sadly, no snow in some places), reporting is tougher than usual. We do not want to be negative or take away from the fun, because we know you are out on the slopes and there still is good skiing. We just try to keep a sense of balance, and sometimes that means commenting on the weather, or on overly enthusiastic snow depths being reported by resorts, or on developments in their local areas.

Our reporters are human, of course. We know that they bring good data to our pages but also interesting, even opinionated comments, and usually with a good sense of humour. They are all people who want to be with you out on the slopes, after all! Many of you have written in to tell us that you appreciate our reports, and the honesty we bring - and we thank you for this.

In fact, SnowJapan has seen a significant increase in traffic to our site this year. We believe a main reason is because people are looking for good information they can trust, and here is where they can find it. While that is positive news for the website itself, we would happily trade in some of it for heavy snow if we possibly could...

We do care very much about the Japan snow world, about the resorts and towns, and of course our readers, the most important reason why we do this work. SnowJapan has been here for over 20 years. This site has been developed with a lot of love, care and effort. I believe we can honestly say that we have played a major part in introducing the world to winter sports in Japan, and we are proud to have been recognized for this by the Japanese ski industry.

As we enter February, our hope is that the rest of the season will see more of what should be normal - heavy snow across the country - and that this year will go down as the exception to be looked back on and remembered.

Whatever happens, though, you can trust SnowJapan to report the real conditions to you. Not negative, but not sugar-coated. The truth, with a touch of original and hopefully interesting commentary.

Thanks, as always, for joining us on the site and reading our content.

If you do enjoy using our site, please do let others know about us. That does help us keep on doing what we are doing. And if you wish to contact us, you can do so using this contact form.

Now, let’s get out in the snow!


Niseko Avalanche Report

Mountain Base 6am: -6°, no new snow. Moiwa 800m: SE 132deg 3.7m/s, -7.3°, trace of new snow, snowdrift development. Yu no Sawa 1000m: WSW 246deg 3.5m/s, -9.5°. Niseko Village 1000m: SSW 190deg 3.5m/s , -8.5°. Hirafu 1000m: SSW 194deg 11.1m/s, -9.3°. Hanazono 720m: SSW 205deg 8.9m/s, -6.6°. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:S6m/s. Kamui Cape ENE8m/s, 1027hPa, wave 0.8m.

We are currently on the edge of a high pressure ridge and a moderately strong south west wind is blowing on the east side of the mountain. At lower levels a frost has formed from the radiative cooling overnight. Note the Jan 28th layer in the future snowpack. There has been no new snow on the mountain. From observation the general avalanche risk is low. There is still very little snow and yesterdays tracks are still bare. The slopes below 700m are covered in ice balls from the warm day and cold clear night, the grooming machines are having a hard time with it. Peak gates are expected to open in the morning. Please listen to the patrols advice before going through the gates. If you enter strictly off limits areas you will be banned from the ski resort.

In some locations there is an obvious depth hoar layer around the Jan 18th layer. This layer can cause large avalanches even in good weather, regardless of snow fall. Be careful near knolls on 30 deg slopes 900-1000m. Conditions this winter are unusual. Cold sunny weather and little snowfall is producing a different set of avalanche dangers than what we usually see. Take care. Avalanches occur regardless of the amount of snow and only become a problem if people are involved. Have a good day.


Ski resort operation information: Tuesday 28th January 2020

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 240cm
- Base: 100cm

All lifts are normally operating EXCEPT:
- Ace Number 1 pair lift (normally rested)
- King Number 2 quad lift (normally rested)

All courses normally open

Lifts scheduled for late operations:
- Ace Family quad until 8:30pm
- Ace Number 2 Center Four quad until 8:20pm
- Hirafu Gondola until 8:10pm
- Holiday Number 1 pair until 8:30pm


Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 167cm
- Base: 107cm

All lifts are normally operating


Niseko Annupuri

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 155cm
- Base: 110cm

All lifts are normally operating

Lift scheduled for late operations:
- Jumbo Number 1 quad until 8:30pm


Niseko Village

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 175cm
- Base: 100cm

All lifts normally operating EXCEPT:
- Country Road (normally rested)

Lifts scheduled for late operations:
- Annupuri Village Gondola until 8:00pm
- Village Express until 8:00pm
- Banzai Chair until 8:00pm

Archive report: Posted at 8:27am on Tuesday 28th January 2020
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

See above for details - all lifts that are scheduled to be operating should be open today

Monday 27th January 2020
This report
Tuesday 28th January 2020
Wednesday 29th January 2020
Photo 1
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Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Niseko Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Tuesday 28th January 2020
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Tuesday 28th January 2020
(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 Tuesday 28th January 2020
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 Tuesday 28th January 2020
28th January 0cm 0cm 14cm
27th January 0cm 5cm 16cm
26th January 9cm 0cm 26cm
25th January 8cm 7cm 7cm
24th January 6cm 25cm 21cm
23rd January 9cm 8cm 1cm
22nd January 12cm 13cm 16cm
Previous 7 days total 44cm 58cm 101cm
Previous 14 days total 125cm 145cm 128cm
November observed snowfall total 85cm 84cm 188cm
December observed snowfall total 207cm 333cm 406cm
January observed snowfall total 224cm 285cm 305cm
February observed snowfall total - 198cm 299cm
March observed snowfall total - 45cm 49cm
April observed snowfall total - 6cm 13cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 516cm 951cm 1260cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Tuesday 28th January 2020
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 - 85cm
- - - -
2018/2019 season 0cm
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 Tuesday 28th January 2020
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