Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Friday - December 16, 2011
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|East Entrance||28||7||19||.5||16||OC||Calm / Light snow|
|Grant Village||28||14||17||.5||22||BC||Calm / Light snow|
|Old Faithful||28||1||13||0||13||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||Good||STR|
|Beartooth Highway||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Canyon to Lake||CLOSED||CLOSED||CLOSED|
|Firehole Canyon Drive||CLOSED||CLOSED||CLOSED|
|Grant to South Entrance||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Lake to East Entrance||CLOSED||CLOSED||CLOSED|
|Lake to West Thumb||CLOSED||CLOSED||CLOSED|
|Madison to Old Faithful||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Madison to West Yellowstone||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Mammoth to Norris||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Norris to Canyon||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Norris to Madison||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Old Faithful to Grant||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Tower to Canyon||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
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 ********
No travel is allowed past Canyon VC, so the rim drives are not open to the public at this time.
East Entrance road is closed to wheeled vehicles.
Dangerous avalanche conditions may already exist in many back country areas, please call the Recorded Avalanche Advisory 406-587-6981 for the most current conditions.
Caution advised for snow falling off of building roofs. Park accordingly.
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY
Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 23°F and a low around 4°F. Wind chill values as low as -10°F. North northwest wind between 6 and 8 mph.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 29°F and a low around 5°F. Wind chill values as low as -5°F. West southwest wind around 6 mph.
Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 28°F and a low around 3°F. Southwest wind around 8 mph.
Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 24°F and a low around -3°F. North northeast wind between 3 and 5 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 23°F and a low around 4°F.
Wednesday: A slight chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 20°F and a low around 1°F.
Thursday: A slight chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 15°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||35||Parker Peak||33|
|Blackwater||37||Snake River Station||21|
|Evening Star||35||Sylvan Road||17|
|Fisher Creek||42||Thumb Divide||19|
|Grassy Lake||27||Two Ocean Plateau||43|
|Lewis Lake Divide||29||West Yellowstone||14|
|Madison Plateau||24||Whiskey Creek||19|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - December 16, 2011 - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.
Yesterday another 2 to 3 inches of snow fell in most areas except the southern Madison Range and the mountains near West Yellowstone which only got a trace. This morning temperatures were in the teens Fahrenheit and ridgetop winds were blowing 10-20 mph from the West-northwest. In the Bridger Range ridgetop winds were blowing 35-40 mph. Today will have sunshine and temperatures in the mid to high 20s Fahrenheit with little change in the winds. The next chance for snow may be Sunday evening.
Curious why La Nina hasn't brought more snow to Southwest Montana? Read a brief explanation from the National Weather Service office in Missoula here.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Bridger, Gallatin and Madison Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone and mountains around Cooke City:
One of the biggest factors affecting the avalanche danger is significant snowfall. Without much stress from new snow, there have been few avalanches. Although the snowpack is weak in most areas, it is generally stable because it has little stress. This situation will change if or when a big storm arrives, but for now the waiting game continues.
Weak layer #1: Snow in October provided beautiful images of fall with snow capped mountains in the background, but this snow has become a layer of weak, faceted crystals called depth hoar lying at the bottom of the snowpack. Avalanches in late November and early December occurred on this layer. Yesterday, my partners and I toured into the Flanders drainage of Hyalite Canyon. Along the way we dug multiple snowpits. In some places where the snow was deepest, this layer was less obvious. In many other places this layer was very obvious and very weak.
Weak layer #2: Recent dry weather created strong temperature gradients at the snow surface. This means the upper few inches of snow experienced big temperature differences which metamorphosed (changed) the old, broken snowflakes into small faceted crystals called near-surface facets. Additionally, many areas have a layer of surface hoar (photo) on top of these facets. Wednesday's snow covered and preserved both these layers. Until more snow falls, these layers are not much of an avalanche hazard.
The current situation: Some slopes have a snowpack more than 2 feet deep with depth hoar at the bottom, a slab in the middle, and more facets on top. Other slopes have a snowpack less than 2 feet deep with depth hoar at the bottom, facets in the middle, and more facets on top. Avalanches require a slab resting on a weak layer. For this reason, slopes with more than 2 feet of snow and any wind deposited snow have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger. Slopes with less than 2 feet of snow and no wind loading have a LOW Avalanche Danger.
The next advisory tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. If you have any snowpack or avalanche observations, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at: 406-587-6984.
PHOTOS, SNOWPITS, and VIDEOS
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.
Information provided by Yellowstone National Park, National Weather Service and Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
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