Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Tuesday 6th May 2014

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 10:03am on Tuesday 6th May 2014
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Partly cloudy
Base temp:
12°C

Top temp:
7°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
-
wind condition
5-7m/s (Hirafu)
Very good
PLEASE READ THIS
This report
Tuesday 6th May 2014, 10:03am
0cm
Monday 5th May 2014, 8:45am 0cm
Sunday 4th May 2014, 8:00am 0cm
Saturday 3rd May 2014, 8:01am 0cm
Friday 2nd May 2014, 8:09am 0cm
Thursday 1st May 2014, 8:31am 0cm
Wednesday 30th April 2014, 8:01am 0cm
Last 7 reports (total): 0cm
Last 14 reports (total): 0cm
Current month (May 2014) total: 0cm
2013/2014 season so far total: 1163cm

Archive report: Posted at 10:03am on Tuesday 6th May 2014
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Here we are, May 6th - the last day of the 2013/2014 snow season in Niseko.

For the record, it’s nice and sunny today - a mix of blue sky and some cloud.

In this last post of the season I want to take a look back over the 13/14 season - a mix of my thoughts, my numbers, official numbers and what I sense as the general opinion of those who are based here. Obviously different people will have different thoughts going on - I’ll do my best to be fair and balanced… luckily for us all, my job is not marketing and sales! ;)

I think it has been another very fine season for Niseko. Lots of fine Niseko powder to be enjoyed - lots of the time; lots of people around from every corner of the world; and a really great atmosphere from what I saw.

Niseko at its best really is hard to beat. Yes, I know I might be a little biased. But only a little. The problem is that those of us who know Niseko at its best just have such ridiculously high expectations! So let’s dig a little deeper.

If you look back to my last report from the 12/13 season back in May 2013, I mentioned that strong winds seemed to affect lift operations more than usual. Unfortunately I kind of feel the same again this year. We have certainly had our share of windy conditions this season again. Strong winds shutting down lifts and resorts too often is probably one of the things that people will mention most if they were pushed to say bad things about Niseko.

Snowfall; yes, very important. Let’s take a look at the snowfall that I have been noting over the last few seasons. Again as I have mentioned in my posts during the season, these are my personal observations - made from the Hirafu village base area. The upper mountain will of course be on the receiving end of more snow than the base village, sometimes much more, but unfortunately I don’t live up there to make consistent daily observations. So we will have to make do with base numbers.

2012/2013 SEASON:
November 2012: 118cm
December 2012: 418cm
January 2013: 443cm
February 2013: 406cm
March 2013: 164cm
April 2013: 32cm
May 2013: 2cm
12/13 SEASON TOTAL: 1,583cm

And here’s the numbers from this season (taken from the same place):

2013/2014 SEASON:
November 2013: 123cm
December 2013: 275cm
January 2014: 461cm
February 2014: 178cm
March 2014: 113cm
April 2014: 13cm
May 2014: 0cm
13/14 SEASON TOTAL: 1,163cm

As you can see, there was less snow in the 13/14 season than in the 12/13 season. Just looking at the numbers, you could say significantly less. Still, that’s nearly 12m of snowfall which I’m sure we can agree on is ‘a lot’ - and when it’s falling consistently and heavily, difference in numbers hardly matters much.

Here are the other available numbers published by Japan Meteorological Agency, taken from Kutchan Town:

November 2013: 99cm (98cm the previous November)
December 2013: 258cm (306cm the previous December)
January 2014: 317cm (268cm the previous January)
February 2014: 130cm (228cm the previous February)
March 2014: 118cm (124cm the previous March)
April 2014: 24cm (27cm the previous April)
Full season: 946cm (1051cm the previous season)

Those numbers are also less this season than last season, though not by quite as much as my personal observations.

A friend of mine also recorded his own numbers from over near Moiwa and ended up with a total of 1276cm, about 1m more than mine. No doubt other people came up with other numbers too. But whatever the exact number, they’ll surely all be less than last year.

Just for the record as well, Niseko Grand Hirafu on May 6th 2013 was saying it had 420cm on it’s upper slopes; today that corresponding number is 185cm, less than half but more in line with the season before.

Niseko is of course famous for consistency of snowfall and close to guaranteed fabulous powder conditions. We did have a few dry periods during the season – some going on for unseasonably long stretches – and they were obviously disappointing for the people here during those times. But even so in general I think we can still say that things were impressively consistent. Opinions are going to depend on expectations – I spoke to some people in late February who were here during that week-long dry spell who still seemed really pleased about conditions compared with what they had experienced before. They really need to come back during one of the truly powder bonanzas that we have and experience the best of Niseko!

Anyway, if you look back at the Niseko Now reports throughout the season, you’ll see stats for the months and a bit of ‘analysis’ as we went along. It’s always interesting to take a read through and re-live the season. They reports will always up there so please do take a look. Links found below. (It’s also fun to read through the reports from other popular snow regions of Japan too).

No doubt some hardy souls will be climbing up the hills with skis and boards on their backs a while longer and sliding down while some snow remains. But come mid-May, golf courses will be opening up and various summer activities will be the main focus. The area is of course really nice and cool for much of summer, unlike many regions of Japan. Just one more reason that lots of people fall in love with Niseko and Hokkaido.

---

So that’s about all I have for this season.

Thanks to Niseko for being such a great place and the Snow Gods for blessing us each season.

Thank you to SnowJapan for being such a great resource - not only regarding Niseko of course but for Japan winter sports in general. I highly encourage you to take a look around the site. A good starting point and highly recommended introduction to Japan winter sports can be found here:

SnowJapan introduction to Japanese winter sports

Last season I said this:

“Thank you for reading these Niseko Now reports this season. I hope that you have enjoyed them and they have been useful as an ongoing commentary of the season. Now that the daily routine of writing reports has finished I think I’m going to have a few lie-ins and try to recharge after the long winter season! I have no doubt though that after just a short period of doing that, I’ll soon be looking forward to next winter.”

That’s pretty much how I feel once again, a full year later. How time flies.

The Niseko Now reports on SnowJapan will of course be back next season. Updates will begin once things start to cool down in the early autumn and we’ll bring you any news in advance of the 2014/2015 winter season.

I wish you all a fun and safe summer wherever you may be, and hope to see you back here in autumn.

Archive report: Posted at 10:03am on Tuesday 6th May 2014
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

May 6th is the last day of the 2013/2014 snow season in the Niseko area

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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 6th May 2014
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Tuesday 6th May 2014
(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 6th May 2014
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)
  2013/2014
*as of Tuesday 6th May 2014
2012/2013
Season
2011/2012
Season
6th May 0cm 0cm -
5th May 0cm 0cm -
4th May 0cm 0cm -
3rd May 0cm 2cm -
2nd May 0cm 0cm -
1st May 0cm 0cm -
30th April 0cm 0cm -
Previous 7 days total 0cm 2cm 0cm
Previous 14 days total 0cm 2cm 0cm
November observed snowfall total 123cm 118cm -
December observed snowfall total 275cm 418cm -
January observed snowfall total 461cm 443cm -
February observed snowfall total 178cm 316cm -
March observed snowfall total 113cm 164cm -
April observed snowfall total 13cm 32cm -
May observed snowfall total 0cm 2cm -
Season observed snowfall total 1163cm 1493cm 0cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Tuesday 6th May 2014
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 - - - - - - - -
2015/2016 season - - - - - - - -
2014/2015 season - - - - - - - -
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 Tuesday 6th May 2014
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

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