Snow forecasting is an inaccurate science at the best of times, but given complex local geographic and meteorological factors, forecasting snow in Niseko is especially hard. The easiest way to get some local insight is to check out daily local reports online (ours at Powderlife.com, 360niseko.com, and SkiJapan.com) and if you want to get a bit more hands on or get a handle on conditions if you want to go out the gates, here are a few good basic resources to get you started:
TEXT: KRISTIAN LUND
IMAGES: GLEN CLAYDON, HBC
APPEARS IN: POWDERLIFE WINTER 2017 EDITION
This is one of the more reliable guides as to when it’s going to snow, roughly how much might fall, and the associated temperatures and winds. The amount of snowfall is inaccurate – it gives a centimetre estimate, which is never anywhere near correct. However it does give an indication of how much might fall: 1-5cm means it’s probably going to snow; 5-10cm means probably a lot; 10cm+ means we could be in for 30cm+ fall, but check also for high winds as it could be a storm. Use as a rough guide only.
This is a Japanese website with the best official meteorological forecasts for the immediate region. If you don’t know any Japanese it might be tricky to use, but if you buy a local a beer, they may help point you in the right direction.
This is the official Niseko avalanche safety report that anyone going out the gates should familiarise themselves with. It gives a basic wrap up of weather conditions and avalanche risks, and notes which gates are open. This is your daily must-read report in Niseko.