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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Friday - 24 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 23 -11 2 .5 40 BC Calm
East Entrance 26 6 16 .5 41 BC W@5mph
Grant Village 17 5 17 0 43 BC Calm
Lake 22 -3 8 T 43 BC N@5mph
Lamar 27 7 18 T 16 OC W@8-12mph
Madison 29 -1 3 0 25 C Calm
Mammoth 22 17 18 0 7 BC SSW@13-18mph
Old Faithful 26 -4 4 T 32 SC W@4-7mph
Pahaska 23 15 23 T - C Calm
Snake River 28 1 13 T 68 OC Calm
Soda Butte 16 11 16 T - C Calm
Thumb Divide 11 5 10 0 47 C Calm
Tower 29 11 15 T 19 BC SW@1-3mph
West Entrance 28 -1 11 0 39 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 POOR All oversnow vehicles
Canyon to Tower CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Firehole Canyon Drive CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Grant to South Entrance Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Lake to West Thumb Open POOR All oversnow vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open Fair to Poor All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open Fair to Poor All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open POOR 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 24 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Tonight...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 9°F to 15°F.

Saturday...Breezy...snow. Snow accumulation of 6 to 8 inches. West winds 15 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Saturday Night...Breezy...colder. Numerous snow showers and slight chance of thunderstorms in the evening...then snow likely after midnight. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 7 to 10 inches. West winds 20 to 25 mph decreasing to around 15 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation 70 percent. Lows 2°F to 8°F.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. West winds around 15 mph in the morning. Highs 17°F to 23°F.

Sunday Night...Colder. Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -5°F to 1°F.

Monday...Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy with slight chance of snow in the evening...then mostly cloudy with chance of snow after midnight. Chance of snow 30 percent. Lows 0°F to 6°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning... Then chance of snow in the afternoon. Chance of snow 40 percent. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Tuesday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

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

Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°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 96 Parker Peak 72
Blackwater 72 Snake River Station 61
Canyon 46 Sylvan Lake 58
Evening Star 87 Sylvan Road 47
Fisher Creek 92 Thumb Divide 47
Grassy Lake 91 Two Ocean Plateau 87
Lewis Lake Divide 82 West Yellowstone 38
Madison Plateau 61 Whiskey Creek 48
Northeast Entrance 43 Wolverine 40

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 24 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Lingering snowfall yesterday produced 2 to 3 inches in most areas. Last night winds increased blowing 20 mph and gusting to 40 mph from the West. This morning winds calmed and were blowing 10-15 mph with gusts of 25 mph. Temperatures were in the single digits to low teens Fahrenheit. A short-lived, upper level ridge will bring dry weather today with a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures near 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds will remain about the same speed but shift to the Southwest as a trough of low pressure approaches tonight. Snowfall will begin tomorrow morning.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The mountains around Cooke City:

On Wednesday, a snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche on the groomed road leading to Daisy Pass. Four people were caught, one was fully buried and died, two were buried with an arm sticking out of the snow, and one was buried to his knees. All had rescue gear and the victim was uncovered in less than ten minutes. He was caught with the tail of his sled still on the groomed road as he got off to turn it around. Yesterday Doug and Eric investigated this avalanche and will publish a full accident report in the next day or two. Unfortunately they were not able to examine the snowpack at the crown because snowfall and high winds had reloaded the starting zone of this avalanche. It may have been a naturally triggered avalanche and these riders were unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time. This fact is scary because avalanche terrain above the road is not obvious and I have parked my sled near this area many times.

Doug and Eric observed many other recent avalanches, but some were difficult to identify because the starting zones had been reloaded as well. Also on Wednesday, skiers triggered an avalanche on "Town Hill" just above Cooke City. It broke 2 feet deep and 300 feet wide. An avalanche warning was in effect for this area yesterday, and today the avalanche danger has only slightly dropped. Any slope steeper than 35 degrees has a HIGH Avalanche Danger. Less steep slopes have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger.

The Bridger Range:

The Bridger Range had an avalanche warning for the past two days. Since Monday the snowpack increased in water content by 40% at the Brackett Creek SNOTEL site. This new snow is a dramatic addition of stress on a very faceted snowpack that has yet to be tested by a large storm. Yesterday during avalanche control work at Bridger Bowl, ski patrollers experienced collapsing of the snowpack, a sure sign of unstable conditions. Karl and I skied north of Bridger Bowl where we observed a few slides that occurred during the storm. Unfortunately in this area, these avalanches were difficult to spot and signs of instability were not obvious, but we cautiously avoided all avalanche terrain. Our stability tests showed that avalanches will break either deep in the snowpack or at the ground. Today the Avalanche Danger is HIGH on slopes steeper than 35 degrees and a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger on less steep slopes.

This is a tricky time because you may see someone ride a steep slope and not trigger an avalanche. With a thick slab of dense snow covering weak layers in the snowpack, it's hard to say whether the 1st person, the 2nd, or even the 10th person on a slope will trigger it. Seeing ski tracks on a slope doesn't mean it's stable, tracks only mean someone got lucky.

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

The Gallatin and Madison Ranges and the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone were not included in the avalanche warning only because these areas received less snow this week. These areas contain a thin layer of near-surface facets buried about 2 feet deep on all aspects; however, it does not exist in some lower elevation areas. I did not find it on Mount Ellis on Wednesday. This layer produced avalanches prior to this week's snowfall. A good example is an avalanche that occurred in Beehive Basin last weekend. This layer will continue to produce avalanches, but they will be bigger. Yesterday, the Moonlight Basin Ski Patrol triggered an avalanche that initially broke 20 inches deep, then broke on deeper layers in the snowpack producing an avalanche 4 to 6 feet deep. This is a likely scenario for the backcountry. Today the Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE on all slopes.

For Photos, Videos and More Detailed 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 or call us at: 406-587-6984.


31st Annual Pinhead Classic

Come to Bridger Bowl on Saturday, March 17th (Saint Patrick's Day) with telemark skis, AT skis, alpine skis, snowboards, split boards, or even snow blades. The theme is Snowpocalypse based on the wildly popular Mayan 2012 apocalypse. $ 30 gets you into the races, a pint glass, t-shirt, a good time, a raffle ticket, and food by Cafe Fresco. Pre-register at Mystery Ranch or Grizzly Ridge: March 11-16. Visit or the Pinhead Facebook Page for more info.

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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