Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Thursday 2nd January 2020

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:29am on Thursday 2nd January 2020
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Snow
Base temp:
-7°C

Top temp:
-12°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Snow
wind condition
WNW
visibility condition
Limited-poor
PLEASE READ THIS
This report
Thursday 2nd January 2020, 8:29am
26cm
Wednesday 1st January 2020, 8:32am 15cm
Tuesday 31st December 2019, 8:20am 0cm
Monday 30th December 2019, 8:32am 0cm
Sunday 29th December 2019, 8:21am 12cm
Saturday 28th December 2019, 8:23am 6cm
Friday 27th December 2019, 8:20am 5cm
Last 7 reports (total): 64cm
Last 14 reports (total): 121cm
Current month (January 2020) total: 41cm
2019/2020 season so far total: 333cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:29am on Thursday 2nd January 2020
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning.

It is a very good one too!

Some good proper snowfall to report to you this morning. In fact, the best 24 hour delivery of snowfall so far this season. The kind we expect.

Hurray!

I have measured 26cm of snowfall here at base and a good friend of mine who doesn't usually exaggerate too much is works at one of the resorts is talking of numbers well over 30cm on the mountain.

It looks like the Konayuki course at Niseko Grand Hirafu is open and with more snow due over the coming days we can maybe expect (hope!) that all of the mountain will get to be open soon. People are patiently (or not as is sometimes the case) waiting for all the top lifts and gates to get open.

I am still having some issues connecting with official information this morning, and so at the time of writing I am not able to check on possible lift disruptions; sorry about that. Hopefully we will be able to get up and out there to enjoy this fresh snowfall. Wrap up well and take care out there.

Interesting timing with this good new snowfall number today, because here is my season recap through until the end of December 2019...

---

The 2019-2020 season so far: through until the end December 2019

Happy New Year!

It being the beginning of the month, so it is the time when I make a few personal observations as I look back at the season so far through until the end of December 2019.

The usual points to note: I take my measurements from close to the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu. There is usually more snow at higher elevations. It is impossible for me to take measurements from the top of the mountain every morning for all sorts of practical reasons. Importantly, my numbers on these Niseko Now reports over the years can all be compared like-for-like, because they are my observations and are coming from the same place each season.

Here goes.

This is how much snowfall I have measured during the month of December over the last eight years:

December 2019: 207cm
December 2018: 333cm
December 2017: 406cm
December 2016: 181cm
December 2015: 244cm
December 2014: 519cm
December 2013: 275cm
December 2012: 418cm

And here are my ‘season to date’ numbers, from the beginning of this season to the end of December 2019:

2019/2020 season up to end of December 2019: 292cm
2018/2019 season up to end of December 2018: 417cm
2017/2018 season up to end of December 2017: 594cm
2016/2017 season up to end of December 2016: 293cm
2015/2016 season up to end of December 2015: 308cm
2014/2015 season up to end of December 2014: 549cm
2013/2014 season up to end of December 2013: 398cm
2012/2013 season up to end of December 2012: 536cm

There’s no escaping the fact that the numbers for this season are relatively low. I don’t usually take much notice of the ongoing total when I write my reports each morning (after all, I’m not writing to try and hit a quota), but I thought it might be the case.

I have been able to record some observed snowfall on 21 of the 31 days in December, which seems quite decent, but on many of those days the number hasn’t reached 10cm. We did have a bunch of days around the beginning of the month with about 20cm, but just a few reports with over 10cm since then.

Still, it is nearly 3m of snowfall. At base. By the end of December. I am pretty sure that some other regions would most pleased with that!

I think one of the ‘problems’ (for want of a better word) that we have here is that we have such high expectations. The well-oiled marketing machine does hype things up to the next level, of course, but we do usually get such great amounts of quality snowfall in Niseko. We expect it.

Yesterday I had a good read through some of the other Now reports on SnowJapan. It seems like most of Japan is experiencing a particularly slow start to the season in terms of snowfall. Some ski hills aren’t even open yet. That is of course rather worrying, but hopefully things will turn around for the whole of Japan. I like hearing about heavy snow in every region, not just here in Niseko.

So, while we might well feel a bit disappointed that the numbers aren’t more impressive, we should perhaps be grateful that we have had that 3m.

Here’s how much of the total snowfall for a season we have already had fall on us by the end of December in previous seasons:

By the end of December 2018, as a % of the season total: about 44%
By the end of December 2017, as a % of the season total: about 47%
By the end of December 2016, as a % of the season total: about 43%
By the end of December 2015, as a % of the season total: about 31%
By the end of December 2014, as a % of the season total: about 48%
By the end of December 2013, as a % of the season total: about 34%
By the end of December 2012, as a % of the season total: about 36%

So last season, by the end of December I had observed 44% of the total amount of snowfall that I ended up observing over the entire season. 47% the year before. Let’s hope that number this time rounds turned out to be the lowest of the lot!

Looking ahead to this month (January), here’s how much snowfall I have recorded during the month of January in the last seven winter seasons. The numbers in brackets show the total observed snowfall up until the end of January in each of those respective seasons.

January 2019: 285cm (702cm)
January 2018: 305cm (899cm)
January 2017: 152cm (445cm)
January 2016: 303cm (611cm)
January 2015: 257cm (806cm)
January 2014: 461cm (859cm)
January 2013: 443cm (979cm)

The other piece of data that I always look at is the snowfall numbers that the Japan Meteorological Agency report from their observation station in Kutchan town. Here is what they have reported for the month of December.

December 2019: 217cm
December 2018: 310cm
December 2017: 324cm
December 2016: 235cm
December 2015: 195cm
December 2014: 387cm
December 2013: 258cm
December 2012: 306cm

And these are the JMA numbers for the season so far up until the end of December 2019:

2019/2020 season up to end of December 2019: 303cm
2018/2019 season up to end of December 2018: 414cm
2017/2018 season up to end of December 2017: 493cm
2016/2017 season up to end of December 2016: 408cm
2015/2016 season up to end of December 2015: 230cm
2014/2015 season up to end of December 2014: 428cm
2013/2014 season up to end of December 2013: 357cm
2012/2013 season up to end of December 2012: 404cm

I will of course post a new report every day right through until Golden Week in May.

And of course, all of my numbers I mention here can be found at the table towards the bottom of this report - and also check out the 'Snowfall Analysis' blue button (above).

Next monthly recap in early February...

-----

Niseko Avalanche Report

Mountain base: -9℃, 20cm of wind-affected snow in 12h. Moiwa800m: NW12.4m/s, -10.9℃, snowdrifts developing. Hirafu1000m: E4.3m/s, -13.6℃. Hanazono720m: NW8.6m/s, -10.5℃. Annupuri 1000m snow depth 115cm. Sea of Japan Benkei cape: NW18m/s, Kamui cape W16m/s, 1013hPa, 2.9m waves.

The ocean waves are generated by the wind and wave height is proportional to the wind strength. The weather in Niseko is heavily influenced by the Sea of Japan’s conditions. The development of snowdrifts is drastic with growth up to 100cm thickness in Backbowl, Iwaonupuri, Nitonupuri leeward steep slopes and knolls above 800m elevation. The avalanche risk is extremely high today in slopes with those newly formed, extremely unstable snow-slabs. Backcountry touring in surrounding mountains should be avoided until the wind calms down tomorrow.

We&re finally seeing proper Niseko snowfall, however bushes are still thick under 700m elevation and out of bounds access from the ski resort is still restricted. Do not duck ropes. One track left under the rope will make many to follow it and eventually increase the chances of accidents to happen. Please respect the Niseko Rules.

Overhead spray conditions today, bring some spare goggles :)

Have a great day.

-----

Ski resort operation information: Thursday 2nd January 2020
The below information is manually checked each morning and believed to be correct at time of report. Subject to change.

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 210cm
- Base: 70cm

All lifts normally operating EXCEPT the following:
- Ace Number 4
- King Number 4

All courses normally open EXCEPT the following:
- Onsenzawa
- Large
- Miharashi
- Dynamic

-----

Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 130cm
- Base: 80cm

Ski lifts operating:
- Hanazono Number 1 quad
- Hanazono Number 2 quad
- Hanazono Number 3 quad

-----

Niseko Annupuri

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 115cm
- Base: 80cm

Ski lifts operating:
- Annupuri Gondola
- Dream Number 1 quad
- Jumbo Number 1 quad (until 8:30pm)
- Jumbo Number 2 pair
- Jumbo Number 3 pair

-----

Niseko Village

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 120cm
- Base: 80cm

Ski lifts operating:
- Niseko Gondola
- Upper Village Gondola (until 8:00pm)
- Village Express (until 8:00pm)
- Community Chair
- Banzai Chair (until 8:00pm)
- Morino Chair
- Country Road

-----

Night time operations are normally available in the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resort areas. Subject to weather conditions. (There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO resort area).

Archive report: Posted at 8:29am on Thursday 2nd January 2020
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

See above

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Wednesday 1st January 2020
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Photo 1
Daily snow reports
Other SnowJapan 'Now' reports and latest observed snowfall
Shiga Kogen Now 0cm
Saturday 30th May 2020, 10:10am
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Thursday 23rd April 2020, 5:30pm
Furano Now 0cm
Wednesday 22nd April 2020, 7:08am
Madarao Now 0cm
Tuesday 31st March 2020, 9:15am
Zao Now 8cm
Friday 17th April 2020, 7:53am
Nozawa Onsen Now 0cm
Friday 17th April 2020, 8:16am
Naeba Now 0cm
Sunday 5th April 2020, 9:01am
Myoko Now 9cm
Friday 10th April 2020, 10:24am
Minakami Now 0cm
Monday 13th April 2020, 8:08am
Hakuba Now 0cm
Monday 13th April 2020, 9:02am
Aizu Bandai Now 4cm
Friday 10th April 2020, 7:23am
Yuzawa Now 0cm
Saturday 18th April 2020, 7:27am
Grandeco Now 0cm
Thursday 22nd November 2018, 11:03am
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 Thursday 2nd January 2020
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Thursday 2nd 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 Thursday 2nd 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)
  2019/2020
*as of Thursday 2nd January 2020
2018/2019
Season
2017/2018
Season
2nd January 26cm 15cm 0cm
1st January 15cm 10cm 0cm
31st December 0cm 11cm 0cm
30th December 0cm 17cm 22cm
29th December 12cm 32cm 25cm
28th December 6cm 26cm 28cm
27th December 5cm 12cm 24cm
Previous 7 days total 64cm 123cm 99cm
Previous 14 days total 121cm 166cm 187cm
November observed snowfall total 85cm 84cm 188cm
December observed snowfall total 207cm 333cm 406cm
January observed snowfall total 41cm 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 333cm 951cm 1260cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Thursday 2nd 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
[85cm]
207cm
[292cm]
41cm
[333cm]
- - - -
2018/2019 season 0cm
[0cm]
84cm
[84cm]
333cm
[417cm]
285cm
[702cm]
198cm
[900cm]
45cm
[945cm]
6cm
[951cm]
0cm
[951cm]
2017/2018 season - 188cm
[188cm]
406cm
[594cm]
305cm
[899cm]
299cm
[1198cm]
49cm
[1247cm]
13cm
[1260cm]
0cm
[1260cm]
2016/2017 season 2cm
[2cm]
110cm
[112cm]
181cm
[293cm]
152cm
[445cm]
160cm
[605cm]
83cm
[688cm]
0cm
[688cm]
0cm
[688cm]
2015/2016 season 3cm
[3cm]
61cm
[64cm]
244cm
[308cm]
303cm
[611cm]
266cm
[877cm]
109cm
[986cm]
6cm
[992cm]
0cm
[992cm]
2014/2015 season 0cm
[0cm]
30cm
[30cm]
519cm
[549cm]
257cm
[806cm]
196cm
[1002cm]
139cm
[1141cm]
3cm
[1144cm]
0cm
[1144cm]
2013/2014 season 0cm
[0cm]
123cm
[123cm]
275cm
[398cm]
461cm
[859cm]
178cm
[1037cm]
113cm
[1150cm]
13cm
[1163cm]
0cm
[1163cm]
2012/2013 season 0cm
[0cm]
118cm
[118cm]
418cm
[536cm]
443cm
[979cm]
316cm
[1295cm]
164cm
[1459cm]
32cm
[1491cm]
2cm
[1493cm]
  October November December January February March April May
Niseko Now reports before Thursday 2nd 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

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002