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White Christmas forecast for Niseko!

It has snowed on 26 of 29 days since the Niseko United resort opened in late November. It's been the best start to winter in many years, and to top it all off, holidaymakers in Niseko can look forward to what should be a white Christmas night!

The current forecast until Christmas morning is for warmer days around 0C at village level with only light periods of snowfall. Then a return to cold weather about -10C, and potentially heavy snowfall from Christmas day onwards.

Japan Meteorology Agency (JMA) local snowfall records show only three Novembers had higher snowfall than this November over the past 30 years.

As of 21 December, local snow reporter 360niseko.com had recorded 5.2m of cumulative snowfall at its recording station at 200m above sea level. The Niseko United resort bases are all at 256-400m, hence should have had higher snowfalls, with more up on the mountain.

By the end of last December, the total snowfall recorded was only about 3m, and the season's total snowfall topped out at just over 7m. If the weather patterns of the past month keep up, we could be up to 7m around the time the calendar ticks over to 2018. 

Snow generally falls until the end of March here, with occasional falls into April before closing around 7 May. Niseko has received lower-than-expected snowfall for the past four winters. The JMA is forecasting above average snowfall until 15 January.

Niseko's peak gates and Mizuno no Sawa are expected to open today earlier than usual, and many off-mountain activities like snowshoeing, snow tubing and snowmobiling are all also open earlier than usual. It's a great time to be in Niseko!

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