Mt Baker in Washington State which holds the record for the most snowfall in a season is now the first ski area in the world to post more than 5 metres of snowfall so far in the 2017-18 season.

It’s snowing heavily their now but the most recent stats published last night report 26 inches (66cm) in the past 24 hours, taking the area’s season to date snowfall tally to 224 inches or 5.7 metres.

The ski area is home to the world’s greatest recorded snowfall in one season, 1,140 inches (95.0 ft; 29.0 m), recorded during the 1998–99 season. Mt. Baker also enjoys the unofficially highest average annual snowfall of any resort in the world, with 641 inches (53.4 ft; 16.3 m).

The current snowy conditions there are particularly noteworthy as much of Western North America is suffering from drought like conditions with very little fresh snowfall over the past month.

Although it is now colder with some minor snow flurries forecast, there’s been little fresh snow in Colorado and Utah which resorts usually famous for their deep, light powder are so far relying mostly on snowmaking.  The USA’s biggest resort, Park City Mountain in Utah, currently reports only 20 of its 248 marked runs are open.  More snow is expected there from Christmas Day.

There has however been snowfall in the past few days in Western Canada and the Northwestern corner of the US, with ski areas besides Mt Baker reporting up to 90cm (three feet) of new snow (at Stevens Pass).

Across the Pacific it’s a great start to the season in Japan, with ski areas in the northerly island of Hokkaido seeing their seasonal-snowfall to date numbers pass the 4 metres (13.4 feet) mark.

Niseko has had 112cm (44 inches) of snow in the past week; 238cm (7.75 feet) so far in December and 426cm (14 feet) since the start of the season so conditions are already remarkable and it currently looks like winter 17-18 there will be one to remember.