Niseko’s micro-climate a weatherman’s nightmare

By 24th January 2009 August 27th, 2013 Uncategorized

NISEKO is a hard place to predict snowfall. We remember well a day in January, 2007 when we woke to a good 40cm overnight and it was still coming down hard. It looked like it was going to be one of the days of the season. Our crew decided to drive 45 minutes to Rusutsu Resort to try and escape the crowds, but two thirds of the way there, patches of blue sky were breaking out. We noticed there was no new snow on the side of the road, and by the time we got to the car park we realised they had only had a dusting. We drove straight back to Niseko where it was absolutely dumping again, although, of course, we had a very hard time trying to find anywhere that hadn’t been tracked
out yet!

There have been several occasions in the past few weeks when forecasts were telling us there would be big snowfalls that never eventuated. Fortunately, there were several others where nothing was predicted and we had 30cm overnight falls. Local meteorologist Brendon Eishold recently mused that Niseko seemed to have its own micro-climate, and says inaccurate forecasts are a fact of life. “Weather forecasting is an inexact science,” he says. “A lot of our weather comes from east Asia, out in the middle of Siberia and northern China, where there are very few weather stations, so there isn’t much data available.”

Powderlife’s hot tip: get to bed early every day, just in case

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