Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Thursday - February 24, 2011
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|Canyon||15||4||4||2||49||OC||Calm / lite snow|
|East Entrance||22||2||2||1||43||OC||Calm / moderate snow|
|Grant Village||16||8||10||5||56||OC||Calm / snowing|
|Lake||19||5||10||2.5||51||OC||Calm / snowing|
|Madison||20||4||12||1||38||OC||Calm / snowing|
|Old Faithful||17||8||11||2.5||42||OC||Calm / snowing|
|Pahaska||22||1||5||2||43||OC||Calm / moderate snow|
|Snake River||20||10||14||4||59||OC||Calm / snowing|
|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||Good||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||Fair||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...Snow. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Highs 13°F to 19°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of snow near 100 percent.
Tonight...Snow in the evening...then snow likely after midnight. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 2 to 7 inches. Lows -1°F to -9°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph early in the evening. Chance of snow 80 percent.
Friday...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 9°F to 15°F. Lowest wind chill readings -11°F to -21°F in the morning.
Friday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. Lows -7°F to -17°F. Chance of snow 30 percent.
Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 15°F to 21°F. Lowest wind chill readings -21°F to -31°F in the morning.
Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -4°F to 2°F. Wind chill readings -17°F to -27°F.
Sunday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 13°F to 19°F. Lowest wind chill readings -15°F to -25°F in the morning.
Sunday Night...Breezy. Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 1°F to 7°F.
Monday...Breezy. Not as cold. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 21°F to 27°F.
Monday Night...Breezy. Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 5°F to 11°F.
Tuesday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 25°F to 31°F.
Tuesday Night...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 10°F to 16°F.
Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 27°F to 33°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||121||Parker Peak||81|
|Blackwater||69||Snake River Station||-|
|Evening Star||82||Sylvan Road||50|
|Fisher Creek||101||Thumb Divide||58|
|Grassy Lake||102||Two Ocean Plateau||84|
|Lewis Lake Divide||93||West Yellowstone||52|
|Madison Plateau||83||Whiskey Creek||65|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 24, 2011 - this report is by Mark Staples
Since yesterday morning the mountains near Cooke City and West Yellowstone received 2-4 inches of snow while mountains near Bozeman and Big Sky received only a trace to 1 inch. Winds calmed overnight and were blowing 10-15 mph from the Southwest this morning with temperatures near 0°F. The Bridger Range is the exception where cold East winds helped drop temperatures to -12°F.
Today the weather will change little with more cold temperatures and more snow. High temperatures will only be a few degrees warmer than they were this morning. Fortunately winds shouldn't change much and remain relatively calm. With a cold, dry East wind in the Bridgers, I don't expect much snow in that range. Most other areas will receive 3-6 inches by tomorrow morning.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Bridger, Madison and Gallatin Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone, the mountains around Cooke City and the Washburn Range:
There are two basic types of instabilities/weak layers:
1. Persistent ones that form during periods of high pressure with warm sunny days and clear cold nights (i.e. layers of faceted snow).
2. Temporary ones that form during storms with new snow and/or wind (i.e. fresh wind slabs sitting on low density snow).
The advisory area has experienced only isolated periods of warm sunny days and clear cold nights; consequently, the snowpack generally lacks persistent weak layers, but a few exceptions exist. The Northern Gallatin Range has a layer of facets about 2 feet deep, but this layer gained strength and no longer propagates fractures in stability tests. A similar layer exist further south near West Yellowstone. On most slopes this layer has also gained significant strength and is not a concern, but Doug found one slope where it was. Otherwise, many areas have a deep and strong snowpack with SNOTEL sites showing total snow depths of 5 to 8 feet.
The primary avalanche problem involves instability #2 above. New snow plus wind has created good conditions for soft slab avalanches. Recent weather has provided plenty of new snow and wind to move it. Yesterday the Big Sky Ski Patrol triggered numerous wind slabs about 1 foot deep. Often these wind slabs and drifts are easy to identify and avoid. They can be found on the lee sides of ridges and gullies often under cornices which have grown very large recently. Fortunately this type of instability can disappear quickly once the wind stops blowing and snow stops falling.
With new snow falling on every one of the past 8 days and steady winds mostly from the West and Southwest, heightened avalanche conditions exist in typical, wind loaded locations. For today the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE.
New Snowpits Page
In response to our survey we added a new page to the website with images of our snowpit profiles. This page is under the Resources/Other Info tab at http://fsavalanche.org/Encyclopedia/snowpit.htm
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 email@example.com or call: 406-587-6984.
For detailed Avalanche Terms utilized here, please see the Avalanche Glossary.
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.
Backcountry Skier Survey – Researchers at Alaska Pacific University are studying decision making in backcountry skiers and would like to get information from you. If interested in this 10-15 minute survey, go to this website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SE_AK_Backcountry_Skiing_Research.
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.
The 30th Annual Pinhead Classic on is Saturday, March 5th. "Gangsters and Flappers" is this year's costume theme, so come dressed up to race, socialize and wind great prizes. Registration is $30 but get you all sorts of cool stuff. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Avalanche Center. Check out the website http://pinheadclassic.com for details.
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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