Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Friday - 02 March 2012
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present 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||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||Good||All oversnow vehicles|
|Madison to Old Faithful||Open||POOR||All oversnow vehicles|
|Madison to West Yellowstone||Open||POOR||All oversnow vehicles|
|Mammoth to Norris||Open||Fair||All oversnow vehicles|
|Norris to Canyon||Open||Good||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
* 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: Scattered snow showers, mainly after 11:00 am. Breezy, with a west northwest wind between 11 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 19°F. Wind chill values as low as -10°F.
Tonight: Snow likely, mainly after 11:00 pm. Breezy, with a west southwest wind between 18 and 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5°F. Wind chill values as low as -15°F.
Saturday: Snow likely. Breezy, with a west southwest wind between 17 and 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Cloudy, with a high near 26°F. Wind chill values as low as -15°F.
Saturday Night: A 50% chance of snow. Breezy, with a west southwest wind between 18 and 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16°F. Wind chill values as low as 0°F.
Sunday: A 20% chance of snow. West southwest wind between 11 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Mostly sunny, with a high near 33°F.
Sunday Night: Southwest wind between 10 and 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Partly cloudy, with a low around 12°F.
Monday: Southwest wind between 10 and 14 mph. Sunny, with a high near 34°F.
Monday Night: A 20% chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17°F.
Tuesday: A 40% chance of snow. Mostly cloudy and breezy, with a high near 31°F.
Tuesday Night: A 50% chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4°F.
Wednesday: A slight chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 27°F.
Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 6°F.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 29°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||112||Parker Peak||77|
|Blackwater||74||Snake River Station||67|
|Evening Star||87||Sylvan Road||48|
|Fisher Creek||96||Thumb Divide||57|
|Grassy Lake||108||Two Ocean Plateau||95|
|Lewis Lake Divide||94||West Yellowstone||46|
|Madison Plateau||73||Whiskey Creek||57|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 02 March 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.
Since yesterday morning most areas received 2 to 3 inches of snow, except Lionhead which received 4 inches of new snow, and Bridger Bowl which had received 8 inches of very low density snow by 7:00 am. Temperatures this morning were near 0 degrees Fahrenheit and winds were blowing 10-20 mph from the West and Northwest with gusts of 30 mph. Today temperatures will struggle to reach the low teens Fahrenheit. Winds will continue from the West and Northwest averaging 15 mph and gusting 25-30 mph.
Snow should end this morning allowing some sunshine today but snowfall will return late this afternoon or this evening and be snowing tomorrow morning. By tomorrow morning the mountains near Bozeman will get another 4 inches of new snow, the mountains near Big Sky and Cooke City will get 2 to 4 inches, and the mountains near West Yellowstone will get 1 to 3 inches. Saturday will be warmer and windier.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:
The Lionhead area near West Yellowstone received just over 1 inch of snow water equivalent (about 1 foot of snow) in the last 48 hours. On Monday just south of Hebgen Lake, Doug and Eric experienced collapsing and shooting cracks, clear signs of unstable conditions (photo). They found a weak layer of near surface facets that is now buried 2.5 feet deep. Recent snow added significant stress to this weak layer making conditions more unstable. On Wednesday strong winds blew from the Southwest, and this morning strong winds were blowing from the Northwest. Today, a HIGH Avalanche Danger exists on wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees. All other slopes have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. Under these conditions it is very possible to trigger an avalanche from flat terrain underneath steeper slopes.
The Bridger Range:
Last weekend avalanches occurred throughout the Bridger Range. Some broke at the ground like ones on Saddle Peak and Wolverine Bowl (photos). Others broke on a layer of near surface facets in the middle of the snowpack. With only 0.5 inches of snow water equivalent in the last 48 hours, the most likely avalanches to occur today will be ones involving fresh wind slabs. However, avalanches breaking deeper in the snowpack are entirely possible especially with snow falling this morning. I do not trust these deeper layers and would not be riding on any slope steeper than 30 degrees. Today the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE.
The Madison and Gallatin Ranges and the mountains around Cooke City:
In the Madison and Gallatin Ranges and the mountains around Cooke City fresh wind slabs will easily make small avalanches today. The Big Sky Ski Patrol found these wind slabs to be very reactive above 9500 feet yesterday. I skied in Beehive and Middle Basins yesterday where I still had some concerns with depth hoar near the ground but only on isolated slopes with a thin snowpack; otherwise, my main concern was a layer of near surface facets buried 1.5 to 3 feet deep.
This layer is tricky. On many slopes yesterday I found this layer to be strong, but nearby on Buck Ridge a snowmobiler triggered an avalanche on this layer (photo). This avalanche broke over a very wide area showing the potential for this weak layer to propagate fractures over long distances. Near Cooke City yesterday, Doug found this layer buried 3 feet deep (photo), and it appeared to be gaining strength. On Tuesday I found this layer in the southern Madison Range near Cabin Creek. It also seemed to be gaining strength, but we also spotted a recent natural avalanche on this layer on a low elevation East facing slope. On some slopes this layer is gaining strength while on others it is very weak and will make large avalanches.
For today the Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE on all wind loaded slopes and all slopes steeper than 35 degrees. All other slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.
* * Accident Report * *
The accident reports for the avalanche fatality near Cooke City and the slide on Saddle Peak are now available. See this link.
* * * Last Saturday Francis Skierka from Cut Bank, Montana died in an avalanche in northwestern Montana near Marias Pass. Sadly his wife, Andrea, is pregnant and due in two months. A memorial fund to help Andrea and her baby has been established: The Francis Skierka Family Memorial, Stockman Bank, 125 West Main, Cut Bank MT 59427, 406-873-9400. * * *
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.
For Photos, Videos and More Detailed Information related to this report, Please Visit the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.
~ EVENT ~
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 http://pinheadclassic.com/ or the Pinhead Facebook Page for more info.
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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