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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Thursday - 16 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 26 -24 -22 0 33 C Calm
East Entrance 29 -15 -14 0 36 C Calm
Grant Village 1 -18 1 0 42 C Calm
Lake 22 -12 -8 T 35 C Calm
Lamar 34 -18 -15 0 14 C Calm
Madison 28 -20 -18 0 22 C Calm
Mammoth 12 4 9 0 8 SC SSE@3-5mph
Old Faithful 30 -16 -7 0 27 - Calm / Foggy
Pahaska 5 0 4 0 - OC Calm
Snake River 33 -18 -10 0 57 C Calm
Soda Butte -10 -19 -13 0 - OC Calm
Thumb Divide -5 -18 -18 0 43 OC Calm
Tower 32 -10 -9 T 19 SC Calm
West Entrance 9 -18 9 0 30 SC 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 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 16 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Rest Of Today...Partly cloudy early in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Patchy fog early in the morning. Occasional flurries through the day. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the afternoon. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Tonight...Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Southwest winds around 15 mph until early morning. Chance of snow 70 percent. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 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 6°F to 12°F.

Saturday...Patchy fog in the morning. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the afternoon. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Saturday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 8°F to 14°F.

Sunday...Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Light snow accumulations. Chance of snow 60 percent. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. Chance of snow 40 percent. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Monday - Washingtons Birthday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

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

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Tuesday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Wednesday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°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 60
Blackwater 65 Snake River Station 51
Canyon 38 Sylvan Lake 49
Evening Star 74 Sylvan Road 40
Fisher Creek 79 Thumb Divide 43
Grassy Lake 78 Two Ocean Plateau 81
Lewis Lake Divide 72 West Yellowstone 30
Madison Plateau 51 Whiskey Creek 40
Northeast Entrance 31 Wolverine 28

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 16 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Clear skies overnight helped drop temperatures into the single digits to low teens Fahrenheit this morning. The recent period of abnormally calm winds may be ending. This morning westerly winds were averaging 10-15 mph with gusts in the 20s except in the Bridger Range and Hyalite Canyon where ridgetop winds were blowing 20-35 mph. Today, temperatures will warm into the high teens and low 20s Fahrenheit. Westerly winds will blow 10-15 mph with gusts of 20-30 mph. Tonight, moisture will descend from the northwest and produce an inch or two of new snow by tomorrow morning.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The mountains around Cooke City:

During dry, clear weather last week, the snow surface formed a new weak layer which is now buried about 1 foot deep. Recent natural avalanche activity occurred on this layer. Slopes receiving wind-blown snow will be the best places to trigger avalanches on this layer. Fortunately this instability is easy to assess since it is not buried deeply.

Weak snow near the ground remains a concern. Recent avalanches have not broken on this layer, but it remains a serious concern because avalanches occurring on this layer will be hard to trigger, difficult to predict, and potentially deadly. This situation is a "low probability, high consequence" scenario, and not enough time has passed for me to feel comfortable ignoring this layer. As a snowmobiler I would be boondocking today not hill climbing. As a skier I wouldn't be skiing slopes much steeper than 30 degrees and avoiding any wind loaded areas. For today, a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger exists on wind loaded slopes. All other slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

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

In the southern Madison and Gallatin ranges and areas near West Yellowstone, there have been many avalanches this season. Unfortunately the snowpack structure responsible for this avalanche activity hasn't changed much. During the last 6 days, light snowfall has not stressed the snowpack enough to get avalanches. Winds have been more calm in these areas than in the northern half of the advisory area. Until winds increase or more snow falls, triggering an avalanche is not likely but remains possible. Today the Avalanche Danger is MODERATE.

The Bridger, northern Madison and northern Gallatin Ranges:

Plenty of weak snow exists in the mountains near Big Sky and Bozeman but there has been less snowfall and fewer avalanches in these areas. Two days ago Eric found stable conditions on Mount Ellis and Doug found stable conditions in Beehive and Bear Basins. Although the snowpack is weak in many places, it is not unstable because it does not have a load. On Friday last week in the Bridger Range on Sacajawea Peak, I found depth hoar near the ground and near-surface facets buried only a few inches deep. In Hyalite the snowpack is generally stronger but has this layer of near surface facets. Westerly winds increased mostly in the Bridger and northern Gallatin ranges. With some fresh wind slabs potentially resting on small facets, heightened avalanche conditions exist on specific terrain features. This avalanche problem is not widespread yet. For today, the Avalanche Danger is MODERATE on all wind loaded slopes and on all slopes steeper than 35 degrees. Non-wind loaded slopes less than 35 degrees have a LOW Avalanche Danger.

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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