Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Saturday - February 26, 2011
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|Mammoth||11||-6||-1||T||20||-||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||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||Good||Oversnow|
|Norris to Canyon||Open||Fair||Oversnow|
|Norris to Madison||Open||Good||Oversnow|
|Old Faithful to Grant||Open||Good||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
Rest Of Today...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 18°F to 24°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph in the late morning and afternoon. Lowest wind chill readings -17°F to -27°F in the morning.
Tonight...Breezy. Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -2°F to 4°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Wind chill readings -10°F to -20°F.
Sunday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 18°F to 24°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 50 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -13°F to -23°F in the morning.
Sunday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.
Monday...Windy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 23°F to 29°F. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent.
Monday Night...Windy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F.
Tuesday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°F.
Tuesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.
Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 29°F to 35°F.
Wednesday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 13°F to 19°F.
Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F.
Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 8°F to 14°F.
Friday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||116||Parker Peak||85|
|Blackwater||66||Snake River Station||-|
|Evening Star||83||Sylvan Road||52|
|Fisher Creek||98||Thumb Divide||60|
|Grassy Lake||103||Two Ocean Plateau||-|
|Lewis Lake Divide||94||West Yellowstone||49|
|Madison Plateau||79||Whiskey Creek||61|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 26, 2011 - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.
No snow fell in the last 24 hours. This morning temperatures dropped into the negative single digits Fahrenheit, and in some valley locations temperatures dropped into the negative teens. Winds were mostly calm yesterday and last night but increased this morning to 20-40 mph from the West and Southwest. Today winds will continue and maybe increase a bit more. Fortunately more sunshine is expected and high temperatures in the upper teens Fahrenheit. Clouds may return Sunday and more snowfall should come early next week.
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:
Today's ridgetop winds combined with plentiful soft snow will form fresh wind slabs which will be the main avalanche problem. A related problem is the growth of cornices. It's hard to know when they have reached their breaking point, but when they do, falling cornices make good triggers for avalanches.
Eric went to Buck Ridge and MacAtee Basin yesterday near Big Sky. He did not observe any recent avalanche activity and none of his stability tests propagated fractures, a good sign. See his snowpits posted here. Just north of Big Sky, a skier found similar results in his stability tests and only observed some loose snow sluffs. Further away near Cooke City, a skier didn't find any major concerns in the bonding between new and old snow, but he did get small soft slab to move on a test slope. Deeper layers in the snowpack are generally well bonded, but a fresh wind slab can fracture and avalanche within the surface layers of snow.
Assessing unstable avalanche conditions can be easy. Assessing stable conditions can be more difficult and requires evidence similar to a criminal trial where a conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. For a conclusion of stability, the proof must be a combination of: NO recent avalanche activity, NO collapsing or cracking, and NO "bad" results in multiple stability tests. Lastly we need to ask "Is the weather contributing to instability?" Recent snowfall occurred over many days (versus overnight) and the snowpack has been able to adjust to this loading. The main issue is wind loading near ridgetops, but this avalanche problem is easily avoided.
For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on all wind loaded slopes and MODERATE all slopes steeper than 35 degrees. On less steep slopes unaffected by wind, the Avalanche Danger is LOW.
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
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.
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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