Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Thursday - 23 February 2012
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|Tower||40||18||19||.4||20||OC||E@6-8mph / Snowing|
|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||CLOSED||CLOSED||CLOSED|
|Canyon to Tower||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Firehole Canyon Drive||CLOSED||CLOSED||CLOSED|
|Grant to South Entrance||Caution||Low Visibility & High Drifts||All oversnow vehicles|
|Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Lake to East Entrance||CLOSED||Avalanche Control||CLOSED|
|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
* NOTE: CLOSED FOR THE WINTER 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 ********
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.
* * Be prepared for bitter cold (sub-zero) temperatures (some of the temperatures below DO NOT have the Wind Chill factored in). See NWS Weather Forecast below for detailed information. * *
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming
Today...Breezy. Numerous snow showers. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 1 to 4 inches. West winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent. Highs 20°F to 26°F.
Tonight...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. West winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent. Lows -2°F to 6°F.
Friday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Highs 23°F to 29°F. Lowest wind chill readings -10°F to -20°F in the morning.
Friday Night...Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the evening...then chance of snow after midnight. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 30 percent. Lows 8°F to 14°F.
Saturday...Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 6 to 7 inches. Southwest winds around 15 mph shifting to the west in the afternoon. Chance of snow 70 percent. Highs 23°F to 29°F.
Saturday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.
Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°F.
Sunday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. Chance of snow 30 percent. Lows -2°F to 4°F.
Monday...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 -5°F to 1°F.
Tuesday...Partly cloudy. Highs 20°F to 26°F.
Tuesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 0°F to 6°F.
Wednesday...Partly cloudy with slight chance of snow in the morning...then mostly cloudy with chance of snow in the afternoon. Chance of snow 30 percent. Highs 23°F to 29°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||96||Parker Peak||73|
|Blackwater||72||Snake River Station||63|
|Evening Star||89||Sylvan Road||48|
|Fisher Creek||91||Thumb Divide||49|
|Grassy Lake||94||Two Ocean Plateau||89|
|Lewis Lake Divide||84||West Yellowstone||39|
|Madison Plateau||63||Whiskey Creek||49|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 23 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.
♦ ♦ Backcountry Avalanche Warning ♦ ♦
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is issuing a Backcountry Avalanche Warning for the Bridger Range and the mountains around Cooke City. Heavy snowfall, extreme winds and a very weak snowpack are causing unstable conditions. Today the Avalanche Danger is HIGH on all slopes. Areas of unstable snow exist. Natural and human triggered avalanches are likely. Avalanche terrain including avalanche runout zones should be avoided.
This warning will either be terminated or updated by 6:00 AM on February 24, 2012.
♦ ♦ AVALANCHE FATALITY ♦ ♦
Yesterday a snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche along the groomed trail to Daisy Pass near Cooke City. Four people were caught in this avalanche. The victim was fully buried, two others were buried with their arms sticking out of the snow, and the fourth was buried up to his knees. There were seven riders total and all were carrying beacons, probes, and shovels. The victim was uncovered in less than ten minutes. He was caught when he got off his sled which still had its tail end on the groomed trail. Doug and Eric are investigating this avalanche today and will have more information tomorrow. All of us at the Avalanche Center send our deepest sympathies to family and friends.
In the last 24 hours the heaviest snowfall occurred in the Bridger Range and the mountains near Cooke City. Yesterday's snow was wet and heavy while snow that fell late last night had a much lower density because temperatures dropped into the low teens and single digits Fahrenheit. The exact amount of snow is hard to gauge, but the Snow Water Equivalency (SWE) is measured exactly and tells how much weight was added to the snowpack:
• Near Cooke City 1 inch of SWE (5 to 10 inches of snow)
• In the Bridger Range 0.5 to 0.9 inches of SWE (3 to 5 inches of snow)
• Near Big Sky, Hyalite, and West Yellowstone 0.4 to 0.6 inches of SWE (2 to 4 inches of snow)
• Near the Taylor Fork 0.2 inches of SWE (1 to 2 inches of snow)
Further complicating snowfall totals is yesterday's extreme winds which averaged 50 mph from the West with gusts of 60-90 mph. This morning winds were blowing 15-20 mph from the West-northwest with gusts of 40 mph. Today will be mostly cloudy with an additional 2 to 4 inches of snow falling. Temperatures will warm into the high teens Fahrenheit.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Bridger Range and the mountains around Cooke City:
In the last 72 hours almost 3 inches of snow water equivalent has fallen in the Bridger Range and the mountains around Cooke City. This is a lot of weight for the snowpack to support. Yesterday's extreme winds made the situation worse. The snowpack contains weak layers that produced avalanches prior to and at the onset of this storm. More avalanches will occur today. Avalanches, like yesterday's fatal slide, will occur in areas that do not often see avalanches because the extreme winds loaded many slopes that typically do not receive wind drifted snow. One avalanche occurred on "Town Hill" just above Cooke City. It was skier triggered and broke 2 feet deep and 300 feet wide. In the Bridger Range, one natural avalanche occurred just north of Bridger Bowl in a popular spot called Peter's Pinnacle.
Many slides near Cooke City are breaking on a layer of near surface facets found on all slopes. In the Bridger Range, avalanches will break on a similar layer but quickly step down to weak snow near the ground and produce very large avalanches. Today the Avalanche Danger is HIGH on all slopes. Avoid avalanche terrain including avalanche run out zones.
The Gallatin and Madison Ranges and the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:
The Gallatin and Madison Ranges and the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone have unstable conditions in most places as well. There have been many recent avalanches before yesterday (see photos of many recent slides on the Avalanche Page link here and a video from a slide in Beehive Basin). With more snow overnight and yesterday's extreme winds, more avalanches will occur today.
In some places signs of instability are not obvious due to very warm temperatures at lower elevations. During a tour up Flanders drainage in Hyalite Canyon yesterday, Eric found stable conditions early in his tour at lower elevations, but conditions quickly became unstable as he climbed higher. He experienced collapsing and cracking and got unstable results in stability tests. Another skier saw many recent natural avalanches in the upper bowls of Hyalite. Guides near West Yellowstone reported poor visibility but did see one recent avalanche. For today, the Avalanche Danger is HIGH on any wind loaded slope, and CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger exists on non-wind loaded slopes. These danger ratings mean human triggered avalanches are likely on any slope over 30 degrees. Avalanches can also be triggered from low angle slopes under or next to steeper slopes.
For Photos, Videos and other Information related to this report, please visit the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.
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.
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!
EDUCATION, EVENTS, PHOTOS, SNOWPITS, and VIDEOS
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 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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