Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Saturday - February 19, 2011
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|Tower||28||4||17||0||28||OC||NNW@1mph / gust 2mph|
|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 - Poor Visibility|
|Firehole Canyon Drive||Open||-||Oversnow - Snowcoaches only in the morning|
|Grant to South Entrance||Open||Poor||Oversnow|
|Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Lake to East Entrance||Open||Fair||Oversnow|
|Lake to West Thumb||Open||Fair||Oversnow|
|Madison to Old Faithful||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Madison to West Yellowstone||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Mammoth to Norris||Open||Fair||Oversnow|
|Norris to Canyon||Open||Fair||Oversnow|
|Norris to Madison||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Old Faithful to Grant||Open||Poor||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 with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph.
Rest Of Today...Snow. New snow accumulation up to 1 inch. Highs 30°F to 36°F. Southeast winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent.
Tonight...Snow likely in the evening...then snow after midnight. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Lows 10 °Fto 16°F. East winds around 15 mph in the evening. Chance of snow 90 percent.
Sunday...Snow. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Total snow accumulation 4 to 9 inches. Highs 22°F to 28°F. West winds around 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of snow 90 percent.
Sunday Night...Colder. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F. West winds around 15 mph.
Presidents' Day / Monday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 19°F to 25°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent.
Presidents' Day / Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F.
Tuesday...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°F. Lowest wind chill readings -10°F to -20°F in the morning.
Tuesday Night...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 0°F to 6°F.
Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 14°F to 20°F.
Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows -4°F to 2°F.
Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 10°F to 16°F.
Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows -4°F to -10°F.
Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 11°F to 17°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||100||Parker Peak||77|
|Blackwater||61||Snake River Station||-|
|Evening Star||77||Sylvan Road||42|
|Fisher Creek||98||Thumb Divide||53|
|Grassy Lake||80||Two Ocean Plateau||73|
|Lewis Lake Divide||82||West Yellowstone||45|
|Madison Plateau||70||Whiskey Creek||56|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 19, 2011 - this report is by Eric Knoff
Over the past 24 hours, a moist Southwest flow has deposited 4-6 inches of snow in the mountains around Cooke City and West Yellowstone. The mountains around Big Sky including the northern Gallatin Range have picked up 2-3 inches while the Bridger Range has remained dry. Most areas are still receiving strong winds which are blowing 15-40 mph from the SouthSouthWest, with the exception of the Bridger Range where winds have calmed to 5-10 mph. Temperatures are in the teens and will warm into the mid 20's by this afternoon. Skies will stay cloudy today and winds will continue to blow out of the Southwest at 15-30 mph as another storm system approaches our area. The southern mountains will likely see accumulations of 4-6 inches by tomorrow morning while the northern mountains will pick up 2-4 inches.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Madison and Gallatin Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone, the mountains around Cooke City and the Washburn Range:
A strong Southwest flow has favored the mountains south of Bozeman. Over the past three days the mountains around West Yellowstone and Cooke City have picked up 8-10 inches of new snow while the mountains around Big Sky have picked up 6-8 inches. This welcomed shot of snow has freshened up the riding conditions, but has also heightened the avalanche danger. Although snow amounts have varied, one element has remained constant - WIND!
Strong winds and fresh snow have combined to create ideal conditions for wind slab development. Steep, upper elevation slopes on the north and east half of the compass will be the most likely areas to encounter sensitive wind slabs. Yesterday, the Big Sky Ski Patrol closed north facing portions of the ski area early due to rapid loading and natural avalanche activity. A skier outside of Cooke City also found fresh wind slabs to be reactive to ski cuts.
The northern Gallatin Range has received less snow than the southern mountains, but a buried weak layer 1.5 - 2 feet below the surface remains a concern. On Thursday, Mark found this layer on Mount Blackmore and skiers in the Flanders drainage nearby found an identical layer which propagated during stability test. This layer has gained strength over the past few weeks, but is potentially stressed close to the point of failure on any wind loaded slope.
Most avalanche activity will stay confined to the new snow, but there are isolated places on more wind loaded slopes where slides could step down to deeper hard slabs formed by strong winds prior to this latest storm. A hard slab avalanche was responsible for a fatality on the west side of the Bridger Range last Monday. Hard slabs are unpredictable and often produce very dangerous avalanches. Staying alert and avoiding wind loaded slopes will be the best way to avoid trigging an avalanche.
Today, human triggered avalanches are likely on all wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. All other slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.
The Bridger Range:
A Southwest flow does not usually produce heavy snow events for the mountains north of Bozeman; this latest storm is no exception. With no new snow over the past few days, the snowpack in the Bridger Range has had time to adjust to the 6 inches that fell on Wednesday night. Yesterday, Mark and I traveled to Frazier Lake in the northern Bridgers and found relatively stable conditions. We were suspect of steep, wind loaded slopes along the ridgeline, but we felt comfortable skiing non-wind loaded slopes up to 35 degrees. Wind loaded slopes are the primary avalanche concern for the Bridger Range.
Today, human triggered avalanches are possible and the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE.
Truman Avalanche Report:
The report on the avalanche fatality from February 14th in Truman's Gulch on the west side of the Bridger Range is posted online. You can read it here: http://www.mtavalanche.com/accident/11/02/18.
If you have any snowpack or avalanche observations, drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org 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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