Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Sunday - 04 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||Fair||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 before 11:00 am. Breezy, with a west southwest wind between 17 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Mostly sunny, with a high near 34°F.
Tonight: Breezy, with a southwest wind between 17 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Partly cloudy, with a low around 15°F. Wind chill values as low as 0°F.
Monday: Breezy, with a southwest wind between 17 and 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Mostly sunny, with a high near 33°F. Wind chill values as low as 0°F.
Monday Night: A 40% chance of snow, mainly after 11:00 pm. Breezy, with a southwest wind around 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19°F.
Tuesday: Snow showers likely. Breezy, with a southwest wind 13 to 23 mph becoming northwest. Winds could gust as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. Cloudy, with a high near 26°F.
Tuesday Night: A 40% chance of snow, mainly before 11:00 pm. Northwest wind between 3 and 10 mph. Mostly cloudy, with a low around -5°F.
Wednesday: West wind between 3 and 8 mph. Mostly sunny, with a high near 23°F.
Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 1°F.
Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 32°F.
Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 8°F.
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 36°F.
Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 6°F.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 38°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||117||Parker Peak||77|
|Blackwater||72||Snake River Station||69|
|Evening Star||89||Sylvan Road||48|
|Fisher Creek||99||Thumb Divide||55|
|Grassy Lake||105||Two Ocean Plateau||93|
|Lewis Lake Divide||96||West Yellowstone||46|
|Madison Plateau||74||Whiskey Creek||58|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 04 March 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.
Since yesterday morning southwest Montana picked up another 4 to 6 inches, although the Hyalite area only got 2 to 3 inches. This was our fourth day of snow and our second of high winds. West to northwest winds are still averaging 30 mph with gusts in the 50s. Today will continue to be windy and warm with mountain temperatures in the high 20s Fahrenheit. High pressure moves in on a northwest flow today bringing mostly sunny skies for the next few days.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Bridger Range:
Since Wednesday the Bridger Range has gotten over two feet of new snow (about 2 inches SWE). Two days of strong west winds culminated yesterday with gusts reaching 50 mph at the ridgetops and blowing equally strong from the south at mid-mountain. Forest Service snow rangers could barely stand up in these gusts near Frazier Basin. Expect a moonscape of wind scouring on windward slopes and fat whales of windblown snow on leeward sides. The snowpack in the Bridger Range is faceted and weak at the ground, more so on lower elevation slopes and gullies. Gullies are notorious terrain traps and even small wind drifts on its edges could bury a person.
Traveling in terrain that was benign a few days ago could be quite dangerous today.
Cross-loading from southerly winds will effect both the east and west side of the range. This recipe of strong winds, days of snowfall, and underlying weak snow is reminiscent of the conditions leading up to the Truman Gulch snowboarder fatality last year. Wind-loaded slopes are our greatest concern today and these have a HIGH Avalanche Danger. Given the steady snow loading over the last four days, all other terrain the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE.
The Madison and Gallatin Ranges, the mountains around Cooke City and the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:
There are similarities in snow stability in the mountains from Bozeman to Big Sky to West Yellowstone and Cooke City. All these areas received 1 to 2 feet of snow since Wednesday, all areas received strong west winds and all are showing some signs of instability. Our primary avalanche concern is on steep wind-loaded slopes where it's very likely to trigger avalanches. Two to three feet under the surface is a thin layer of faceted snow that is breaking in our stability tests. In areas with a thinner snowpack, avalanches can break on facets at the ground. Recent activity includes:
• Reports of collapsing and cracking on slopes in Hyalite and Mount Wheeler in the northern Gallatin Range on Friday.
• Snowmobiler triggered slides on wind-loaded slopes in Buck Ridge in the Madison Range. On Friday an avalanche broke on the thin layer of facets mid pack (photo), and yesterday one broke on the ground (100 feet x 100 feet).
We have spent the last three field days around Lionhead, Cooke City, Cabin Creek and Teepee Basin, and Beehive. Stability tests are showing strengthening (video), but this current round of loading is keeping the snowpack near its breaking point (photo). If folks get into avalanche terrain today I anticipate some will trigger avalanches. Sunny weather can make everything in the backcountry feel better and safer than it really is. Don't let this influence your decisions; the mountains just got a few feet of new snow along with ripping winds. Today the Avalanche Danger is HIGH on all wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees. All other terrain the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE.
* * 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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