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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - 11 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 27 17 14 2 33 OC Calm
East Entrance 31 14 14 6 38 OC Calm
Grant Village 30 6 27 3 44 C Calm
Lake 27 17 24 3 36 OC Calm
Lamar 21 15 21 0 12 OC Calm
Madison 32 28 32 0 20 OC Calm
Mammoth 33 10 12 T 5 OC SSE@2-3mph
Old Faithful 32 27 32 0 28 OC S@1-5mph
Pahaska 17 15 15 .11 - OC Calm / Snowing
Snake River 31 17 26 3.5 57 OC Calm
Soda Butte 16 15 16 T - OC Calm
Thumb Divide 29 28 28 .30 41 OC Calm
Tower 19 13 19 T 17 OC Calm
West Entrance 30 20 24 0 31 OC Calm
BC=Broken Clouds / C=Clear / OC=Overcast / SC=Scattered Clouds / T=Trace
All Temperatures are in °F ~ All Snow Depths are in Inches

* * * Road Conditions * * *
Road Section Status Conditions Public Access / Info
Gardiner to Mammoth YR - Snow Tires Advised
Mammoth to Tower YR - Snow Tires Advised
Tower to NE Entrance YR - Snow Tires Advised
Beartooth Highway CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Canyon to Lake Open - All oversnow vehicles
Canyon to Tower CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Firehole Canyon Drive CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Grant to South Entrance Open - All oversnow vehicles
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance Open - All oversnow vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open - All oversnow vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open - All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open - All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open - All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open - All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open - All oversnow vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open - All oversnow vehicles

YR = Open Year Round / NR = No Restrictions


# 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 11 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 30°F to 36°F.

Tonight...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 28°F to 34°F.

Sunday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 11°F to 17°F.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 25°F to 31°F.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Tuesday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 25°F to 31°F.

Tuesday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Wednesday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Thursday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Friday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 24°F to 30°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 80 Parker Peak 62
Blackwater 59 Snake River Station 50
Canyon 38 Sylvan Lake 50
Evening Star 76 Sylvan Road 40
Fisher Creek 83 Thumb Divide 41
Grassy Lake 75 Two Ocean Plateau 81
Lewis Lake Divide 69 West Yellowstone 30
Madison Plateau 49 Whiskey Creek 38
Northeast Entrance 33 Wolverine 31

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 11 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Since yesterday most areas received 4 to 6 inches of snow. Winds have been incredibly calm but, yesterday evening they blew westerly 15-20 mph with 30-40 mph gusts. This morning winds were blowing 5-10 mph mostly from the west except in the Bridger Range where cold east winds dropped temperatures into the single digits to teens Fahrenheit. In all other places this morning, temperatures were in the low-mid 20s Fahrenheit. There may be some flurries today but no accumulation. Very calm winds will continue and mostly cloudy skies should keep temperatures from rising more than a few degrees.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Do not trust the snowpack. It produced several large avalanches about one week ago after receiving only a few inches of new snow. One massive avalanche occurred on Mount Abundance and another occurred on Lionhead. Another slide was seen on Thursday in Sheep Creek near Cooke City. Today's new snow may have added just enough weight, thus enough stress to produce more large avalanches. These can be triggered near the bottom of a slope as Eric found last weekend. He was surprised by this avalanche but wisely traveling in safe terrain just outside the runout zone. When experienced avalanche professionals get surprised, we should take note and be extra conservative in our decisions about where to ride.

Another concern is a layer of weak snow that formed on the snow surface last weekend during a period of clear, sunny weather. This layer formed on all aspects and will easily break just under the new snow mostly on slopes with wind deposited snow from last night's increased wind. The good news is that this weak layer will make the powder seem deeper than it is. For today, new snow has improved riding conditions but made avalanche conditions worse and the Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE on all slopes.

The northern Madison, northern Gallatin, and Bridger Ranges:

Near Big Sky and Bozeman, the primary avalanche concern is a layer of near surface facets that formed last weekend and was buried yesterday. It exists on all aspects. Ski Patrollers at the Yellowstone Club took amazing photos of these small delicate crystals, and I found this layer in Hyalite on Tuesday and on Sacajawea Peak yesterday. Ski patrollers at Big Sky reported this layer to be very reactive yesterday afternoon near ridgelines. Westerly winds increased significantly last night easily transporting the new snow. Fresh wind slabs and drifts resting on this weak layer will easily produce avalanches today.

A secondary concern is faceted snow deeper in the snowpack. On Sacajawea Peak yesterday, my partner was shocked seeing weak depth hoar near the ground. As he isolated a column for a compression test, he said "I'm surprised this column is still standing." In fact it took lots of force to break the column (CT21 Q1, CT25 Q1) because the snowpack had no stress on it. With the new snow, it now has stress. A smaller avalanche breaking near the surface will add even more stress and big avalanches are a real possibility. One exception is Hyalite Canyon where the snowpack is generally much stronger and avalanches breaking deep in the snowpack are unlikely. For today, all wind loaded slopes have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. Non wind loaded slopes have a MODERATE 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 or call us at: 406-587-6984.

Beacon Parks

The Friends of the Avalanche Center installed a Beacon Training Park outside West Yellowstone. It's located south of town on the main snowmobile trail. Stop by and do a quick practice before heading off into the mountains!


10th Annual King and Queen of the Ridge

The 10th Annual King and Queen of the Ridge Hike/Ski-a-thon fundraiser is Saturday, Feb 11th. The event supports avalanche education in southwest Montana. Collect pledges for one, two or the most Ridge hikes you can do in the five hours of competition. 100% of the proceeds go to the Friends of Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Kids and families are encouraged to hike too! More Information / Registration Form.

You can help raise money two ways:

    1). Get pledges and hike the ridge. You don't have to do 20 laps – you can get flat pledges and hike just once!

    2). Sponsor someone. If you don't have someone to sponsor, consider sponsoring the GNFAC since we'll be hiking for dollars. Email us at with a pledge!

Go to for more information and registration forms.

PRIZES INCLUDE: 4frnt skis, two pair of Schnee's Hunter boots, three Mystery Ranch backpacks and three pair of Oboz shoes.

1. We've recently uploaded more photos and snowpits to our web site, more than what are linked in the advisory.

2. We're creating a series of "How To…" stability test videos. So far we've got clips on performing a CT and ECT. There are located under Stability Tests on the Resources page.

3. Check out all our education programs, Click Here.

Information provided by Doug Chabot, Mark Staples, and Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. For Events and Education, or 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.

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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