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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Sunday - February 20, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 32 0 1 4 48 OC Calm / lite snow
East Entrance 33 3 3 4 40 OC E@3mph / moderate snow
Grant Village 34 6 18 T 51 OC Calm
Lake 34 9 11 3.5 48 OC Calm / snowing
Lamar 41 0 0 T 25 OC Calm
Madison 35 3 7 T 36 OC Calm
Mammoth 27 -2 0 1.5 19 OC SE@0-2mph / lite snow
Old Faithful 30 6 9 3 40 OC Calm / lite snow
Snake River 30 0 19 5.5 54 OC Calm / moderate snow
Tower 27 -1 -1 T 28 OC NNW@6mph / gust 8mph
West Entrance 32 2 5 3 47 OC Calm
T=Trace / BC=Broken Clouds / OC=Overcast / SC=Scattered Clouds
All Temperatures are in °F ~ All Snow Depths are in Inches

* * * Road Conditions * * *
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 Fair Oversnow
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 CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
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


# 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 ********


Yellowstone Seven Day Forecast on February 20, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Snow. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Total snow accumulation 2 to 4 inches. Highs 21°F to 27°F. East winds around 15 mph shifting to the southwest early in the afternoon...then shifting to the west late in the afternoon. Chance of snow 90 percent.

Tonight...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F. West winds around 15 mph early in the evening becoming southwest around 15 mph after midnight.

Presidents' Day / Monday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Areas of blowing snow in the afternoon. Highs 17°F to 23°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent.

Presidents' Day / Monday Night...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Areas of blowing snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Tuesday...Breezy...cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs 20°F to 26°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Tuesday Night...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 1°F to 7°F. Wind chill readings -13°F to -23°F.

Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 13°F to 19°F.

Wednesday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows -2°F to -8°F.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 5°F to 11°F.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows -7°F to -13°F.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 10°F to 16°F.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows -1°F to -9°F.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 12°F to 18°F.

Snowflake Hazardous Weather Snowflake Gibbon Falls Forecast Snowflake Mammoth Forecast Snowflake Midway Forecast Snowflake Norris Forecast Snowflake Old Faithful Forecast Snowflake

* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *
Station Depth (inches) Station Depth (inches)
Black Bear 99 Parker Peak 78
Blackwater 59 Snake River Station -
Canyon 47 Sylvan Lake 56
Evening Star 76 Sylvan Road 42
Fisher Creek 94 Thumb Divide 53
Grassy Lake 80 Two Ocean Plateau 73
Lewis Lake Divide 79 West Yellowstone 45
Madison Plateau 68 Whiskey Creek 56
Northeast Entrance 37 Wolverine 36

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 20, 2011 - this report is by Eric Knoff

Mountain Weather

A closed Low over Wyoming has produced east winds throughout our advisory area limiting snow accumulations. Over the past 24 hours, 3-4 inches of low density snow has fallen in the southern ranges while a trace to 1 inch has fallen in the north. Temperatures are much colder in the mountains around Bozeman with Bridger Bowl recording the lowest temperature of -7 Fahrenheit. Conditions warm steadily farther south. West Yellowstone is the warm spot at 21 Fahrenheit while the mountains around Big Sky and Cooke City are recording temps around 10 Fahrenheit. Currently, winds are blowing out of the South-South-Eeast at 5-15 mph and should gradually switch to more westerly flow by this afternoon. Today, temperatures will struggle into the single digits in the north and low 20s in the south. Another 2-3 inches will fall in the mountains around West Yellowstone and Cooke City while the north will pick up an inch or two.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The Madison and Gallatin Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone, the mountains around Cooke City and the Washburn Range:

The primary issue today will be wind slabs that have been formed by strong winds over the past few days. Prior to this latest storm the dominating wind direction has been from the WSW, which loaded north and east facing slopes. Over the past 24 hours the winds have switched and are now blowing out of the South-south-east, loading slopes that were previously scoured. This will add a twist to snowpack and terrain assessment.

Soft slab avalanches near the ridgelines will be today's primary avalanche concern. Without a widespread weak layer these slabs should not propagate far and will likely stay confined to the new snow. They will mainly be a problem in terrain where small slides have the potential to sweep a skier or rider over rocks, into trees, or into confined gullies amplifying the consequences of a small slide.

A secondary concern is that fresh wind slabs may be resting on older hard slabs that formed during very high winds a few weeks ago. Triggering a hard slab avalanche will be difficult, but the consequences will likely be severe. Detecting and avoiding large wind rolls and high probability trigger points such as mid-slope rock bands and steep, convex rolls will limit the chances of triggering a hard slab.

Today, fresh snow and wind will make human triggered avalanches likely on all wind loaded slopes and slopes steeper than 35 degrees where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Slopes less than 35 degrees that have not received a wind load have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

The Bridger Range:

Without a widespread weak layer the main stability issue for the Bridger Range will be wind loaded slopes. With very little snow over the past few days new snow avalanches will likely be manageable in size. The biggest concern will be triggering an older hard slab, which will be possible on north and east facing slopes. A hard slab avalanche was responsible for a fatality on the west side of the Bridgers last Monday. Steer clear of large pillow like drifts, especially if the snow feels hollow or sounds like a drum. Above all, use good backcountry procedures and always think about the consequences of triggering an avalanche.

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:

Information provided by Doug Chabot, Mark Staples, and Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. For Photos and Videos, please visit the Avalanche Centers Website!

If you have any snowpack or avalanche observations, drop them a line at 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.

Avalanche Danger Scale

Back to the Yellowstone Daily Winter Reports or the Yellowstone Weather Page

Information provided by Yellowstone National Park, National Weather Service and Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

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