Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Wednesday - February 16, 2011
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|Canyon||39||3||7||0||40||-||Calm / clear|
|East Entrance||47||7||7||0||35||-||Calm / clear|
|Lake||43||10||17||0||41||-||Calm / clear|
|Madison||43||-1||10||0||30||-||Calm / clear|
|Mammoth||45||34||34||T||17||SC||SE@9mph / gust 15mph|
|Snake River||47||6||6||0||47||-||Calm / clear|
|Road Section||Status||Conditions||Public Access / Info|
|Gardiner to Mammoth||YR||Good||STR|
|Mammoth to Tower||YR||Good||STR|
|Tower to NE Entrance||YR||Fair||STR|
|Beartooth Highway||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Canyon to Lake||Open||Poor||Oversnow - Large Drifts|
|Firehole Canyon Drive||Open||-||Oversnow - Snowcoaches only in the morning|
|Grant to South Entrance||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Lake to East Entrance||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Lake to West Thumb||Open||-||Oversnow|
|Madison to Old Faithful||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Madison to West Yellowstone||Open||-||Oversnow|
|Mammoth to Norris||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Norris to Canyon||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Norris to Madison||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Old Faithful to Grant||Open||-||Oversnow|
YR=Year Round / NR=No Restrictions / STA=Snow Tires Advised / STR=Snow Tires Required
* NOTE: CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.
# Poor road conditions - bare spots and melting snow - Restricted to Snowcoaches Only.
The park service plowing schedule for roads for the spring season.
******** FOR CURRENT ROAD INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 307-344-2117 ********
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY
Today...Breezy...cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning... Then snow and rain likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs 32°F to 38°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.
Tonight...Snow. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Lows 10°F to 16°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph until early morning. Chance of snow near 100 percent.
Thursday...Colder. Snow likely. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 3 to 6 inches. Highs 18°F to 24°F. West winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.
Thursday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.
Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F.
Friday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 11°F to 17°F.
Saturday...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 28°F to 34°F.
Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.
Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 25°F to 31°F.
Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.
Presidents' Day / Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F.
Presidents' Day / Monday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 8°F to 14°F.
Tuesday...Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||88||Parker Peak||74|
|Blackwater||59||Snake River Station||-|
|Evening Star||72||Sylvan Road||41|
|Fisher Creek||88||Thumb Divide||46|
|Grassy Lake||76||Two Ocean Plateau||68|
|Lewis Lake Divide||71||West Yellowstone||37|
|Madison Plateau||58||Whiskey Creek||47|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 16, 2011 - this report is by Doug Chabot
West winds picked up again yesterday and averaged 30-40 mph with gusts hitting 60-80 mph as temperatures reached the high thirties before falling to the low twenties last night. Currently west-southwest winds are blowing 20-40, except around Cooke City where they are 30-60 mph. Today, expect increasing clouds from a moist, southwest flow and snowfall later this afternoon lasting into tomorrow. Cooke City is poised to get the brunt of the storm. By morning the southern mountains could have 8-10 inches of new snow with half that amount falling in the northern areas.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Bridger Range:
Yesterday, Mark, Eric, Karl and I joined folks from Bridger Bowl to investigate the avalanche that killed a snowboarder on the west side of the range two days ago. Although the slide was only 50 feet wide, it was a three foot thick hard slab of windblown snow that broke on a 40-45 degree slope and pulled even more slabs off its flanks. The crown depth tapered quickly from a whale-sized drift of snow on its southern edge to a thin slab only inches deep mid-gully. Thick drifts are all over the place, but in most cases are bonded to the old snow surface. This slide was triggered near the top of the path and funneled debris through small, but not insignificant trees over 1,300 vertical feet. The victim was carried 1,100 feet downhill and came to rest with his head under 5 feet of dense debris. The load of windblown snow from the weekend was a heavy burden. Large loading events do not need a persistent weak layer for avalanches to occur. This avalanche broke on small grains of lighter density snow which happened to be the weakest layer in the snowpack. Although the snowpack investigation yielded no surprises, standing at the top of the path was gut wrenching. The terrain on the west side of Bridger Bowl is steep, serious and unforgiving. All slopes lead into trees, steep gullies or over cliffs. Most of the wind whales are bonded into place and are not cracking or avalanching. But as the two snowboarders found out on Monday, there are still some that can be broken free, especially at its thinner edges where fractures can propagate under the meatiest slab.
Given the tricky nature of analyzing these slopes, plus the fact that the winds have not died down, I'm rating the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on all slopes today.
The Madison and Gallatin Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone, the mountains around Cooke City and the Washburn Range:
Winds are blowing throughout southwest Montana. In most areas the snow surface is a mixed bag of hard sastrugi and sun or wind crusts which look like Neil Armstrong's photos of the moon. Both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin Ski Patrols reported strong winds (the fourth in a row of 50+ mph winds) still eroding exposed terrain. Wind-loaded slopes have the greatest instability, especially on slopes that got huge drifts from the weekend. I saw numerous slides in the Taylor Fork area on Sunday while Eric saw thinner wind slabs breaking around Lionhead on Monday. Because there is not a persistent weak layer underlying these wind slabs, their likelihood of being triggered is very individualized. If you find stable drifts on one slope, do not assume the same for one adjacent. These slabs are getting harder to trigger, but it's still possible.
For this reason the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on all wind-loaded slopes. Slopes without a wind-load have a LOW Avalanche Danger.
If you have any snowpack or avalanche observations, drop them a line at email@example.com or call: 406-587-6984.
For detailed Avalanche Terms utilized here, please see the Avalanche Glossary.
3rd Annual Montana Ale Works Fundraiser
When & Where: March 1, Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Railcar.
Cost: $20 to benefit the Friends of the Avalanche Center
Details: Chef Roth at Montana Ale Works is creating tapas style servings that will be paired with select beer from Lone Peak Brewery. More information HERE.
West Yellowstone: Beacon Park Operational
Skiing or riding near West Yellowstone? Test your beacon skills at a beacon park near the old airport where you can search for pre-placed beacons switched on/off by a control panel. Look for it by orange snow fence and signage just south of the snow cross track.
Information provided by Yellowstone National Park, National Weather Service and Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
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by John William Uhler
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