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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Wednesday - 15 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 29 4 5 1 34 BC Calm / Snowing
East Entrance 29 2 2 .5 37 SC Calm
Grant Village 21 2 21 0 43 SC Calm
Lake 27 5 5 1 36 C Calm
Lamar 32 3 6 .10 14 BC Calm / Snowing
Madison 35 4 10 .5 22 OC Calm
Mammoth 23 14 17 T 8 BC SW@2-3mph
Old Faithful 29 4 4 1 29 - Calm / Foggy
Pahaska 19 10 11 T - SC Calm
Snake River 32 7 8 3 59 C Calm
Soda Butte 13 -6 -6 T - SC Calm
Thumb Divide 17 6 6 T 43 SC Calm
Tower 32 3 7 T 19 OC Calm / Snowing
West Entrance 28 11 28 0 31 BC 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 Intermittent Snow pack & Ice Snow Tires Required
Mammoth to Tower YR Intermittent Snow pack & Ice Snow Tires Required
Tower to NE Entrance YR Intermittent Snow pack & Ice Snow Tires Required
Beartooth Highway CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Canyon to Lake Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Canyon to Tower CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Firehole Canyon Drive CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Grant to South Entrance Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open Good to Fair All oversnow vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open Good to Fair 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 15 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Rest Of Today...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning...then slight chance of snow in the afternoon. Chance of snow 40 percent. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Tonight...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Patchy fog after midnight. Lows -2°F to 6°F.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy. Patchy fog in the morning. Occasional flurries through the day. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Thursday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the evening...then occasional flurries after midnight. Patchy fog after midnight. Chance of snow 20 percent. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Saturday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Sunday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Monday - Washingtons Birthday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°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 83 Parker Peak 62
Blackwater 66 Snake River Station 50
Canyon 36 Sylvan Lake 49
Evening Star 76 Sylvan Road 41
Fisher Creek 80 Thumb Divide 43
Grassy Lake 79 Two Ocean Plateau 81
Lewis Lake Divide 75 West Yellowstone 30
Madison Plateau 50 Whiskey Creek 41
Northeast Entrance 31 Wolverine 28

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 15 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Before the storm ended yesterday morning an additional inch of snow fell in most locations. Winds blew westerly at 15-20 mph yesterday, but have calmed to 10 mph. Today skies will be mostly sunny, although the mountains around West Yellowstone and Cooke City will remain cloudy for most of the morning. No snow is in the immediate forecast. This morning mountain temperatures are in the single digits Fahrenheit, but will warm to the upper teens Fahrenheit as winds remain eerily calm.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The mountains around Cooke City:

Yesterday, the mountains around Cooke City received four inches by mid-morning. West winds moved a bit of snow and we got reports of a few natural slides on east-facing slopes. These slides, although small, were the second time avalanches occurred on these slopes. Repeat avalanches challenge the incorrect assumption that a slope is stable for the rest of the season once it slides.

Weak snow at the ground continues to get buried deeper making it more difficult to trigger. Another layer of weak snow formed at the surface during previous clear spells which is now buried under 1 to 2 feet of snow. Signs of instability will decrease quickly with our stable weather, but you'll still be able to trigger slides on a few slopes. For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE on any slope that was wind-loaded yesterday. All other slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

The southern Madison and southern Gallatin Ranges and the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:

The southern mountains got three inches of light powder yesterday. Although the snowpack is very weak it will support this new snow, especially since wind-loading is minimal. Yesterday, skiers on Bacon Rind found even better stability than their trip a week ago. The weak, faceted snowpack in these mountains will have good stability until they get a substantial snowfall. If you look at the layers in Eric's snowpit from Sunday and imagine they are children's building blocks, it's easy to see how they would topple. For today, it's still not out of the question to trigger avalanches and the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE.

The Bridger, northern Madison and northern Gallatin Ranges:

Yesterday, on his day off, Eric went to Mount Ellis and reported good stability and skiing on four inches of new snow. I toured into Beehive and Bear Basins and found plenty of facets and good stability. In an east-facing snowpit on the Bear Basin side I was able to get a layer of facets to propagate in my extended column test with a lot of whacks (23). On the Beehive side I dug into three feet of facets with a few ice crusts, but found good stability. Mark was in the Bridger Range on Friday and found a thin, weak snowpack. His snowpit showed depth hoar at the ground, near surface facets a few inches from the top, yet nothing was moving in his stability tests. He summed up his concerns in his video when his partner asks him, "So what's your point?" and he answers, "We're just going to have to wait and see what happens". This recent storm was not enough to make anything "happen". For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on slopes steeper than 35 degrees and there is a LOW Avalanche Danger on all other terrain.

NRCS Snowpack Summary Graphs:

For the current state of our snowpack depth (about 70% of average on the Gallatin), check out these two graphs generated by NRCS (graph 1, graph 2).

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!


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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