Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Thursday - 15 March 2012
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|Old Faithful||39||32||35||.5||31||OC||Calm / Rain-Snow mix|
|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||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||Good||All oversnow vehicles|
|Madison to West Yellowstone||Open||Good||All oversnow vehicles|
|Mammoth to Norris||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Norris to Canyon||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Norris to Madison||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Old Faithful to Grant||Open||Good||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 ********
* Boiling River Hours - 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
* The Grand Loop Road from Mammoth to Norris Junction, Norris to Canyon, Canyon to Fishing Bridge, Norris to Madison and Lake Butte Drive to the East Entrance have closed for the season.
* The East Entrance Road from the East Entrance to Lake Butte has closed to public oversnow travel for the season (01 March 2012).
* The Grand Loop Road from Mammoth to Norris Junction closed for the season Sunday evening (04 March 2012).
* The road from Norris Junction to Madison, and Norris Junction to Canyon closes tonight at 9:00 PM (06 March 2012).
* The Mammoth Hotel, Dining Room, and Gift Shop close today (06 March 2012).
* The Old Faithful Snowlodge, cabins, and dining room closed for the season on Sunday (11 March 2012).
* The Geyser Grill and Old Faithful Visitor Center remain open through March 15.
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: A chance of snow before noon, then a chance of rain. Southwest wind between 14 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41°F.
Tonight: A chance of rain and snow before midnight, then a chance of snow. South southwest wind between 16 and 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29°F.
Friday: Snow likely before noon, then rain likely. Breezy, with a southwest wind between 18 and 22 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Cloudy, with a high near 40°F.
Friday Night: Snow, mainly after midnight. South southwest wind between 7 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Low around 24°F.
Saturday: Snow likely before noon, then rain likely. South wind between 10 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42°F.
Saturday Night: Snow likely, mainly before midnight. South wind between 10 and 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Cloudy, with a low around 23°F.
Sunday: A chance of snow showers before noon, then a chance of rain and snow showers. South southwest wind between 8 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38°F.
Sunday Night: A 50% chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13°F.
Monday: A 40% chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 32°F.
Monday Night: A 30% chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 10°F.
Tuesday: A slight chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 31°F.
Tuesday Night: A slight chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 14°F.
Wednesday: A slight chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 36°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||107||Parker Peak||70|
|Blackwater||75||Snake River Station||56|
|Evening Star||90||Sylvan Road||41|
|Fisher Creek||96||Thumb Divide||58|
|Grassy Lake||93||Two Ocean Plateau||92|
|Lewis Lake Divide||92||West Yellowstone||38|
|Madison Plateau||72||Whiskey Creek||51|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 15 March 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.
Since yesterday 5 to 8 inches of snow (0.8-1.0 inches of SWE) fell in the southern Madison Range and in the mountains near West Yellowstone and Cooke City. 3 to 5 inches fell in the Bridger Range and mountains near Big Sky (0.3-0.5 inches of SWE), and the Hyalite Canyon area received 1 inch. This morning winds were averaging about 20 mph from the Southwest gusting to 35 mph. Temperatures were near 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Today will be warm and windy again. Temperatures in the mountains near Bozeman will be in the 40s Fahrenheit while other areas will have temperatures in the 30s Fahrenheit. Winds will continue from the Southwes blowing 20-30 mph and increase by this afternoon with gusts of 50 mph. The mountains near West Yellowstone and Cooke City should receive another 2 to 4 inches while other areas will get a dusting of snow or a sprinkle of rain.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Bridger, Gallatin and Madison Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:
Now is a tricky time because avalanche conditions can change rapidly and vary significantly from one slope to another. In general most slopes have layers of faceted snow near the ground and 2 to 3 feet above the ground. A snowmobile guide found these facets 2 feet above the ground (buried 3.5 feet deep). This layer produced unstable results in his stability tests (photo) and they stuck to low angle slopes. These layers have gained strength on many slopes but remain weak on many others. I do not trust them for two reasons:
1. There have been many avalanches on these layers in recent weeks. A snowmobiler triggered and was caught in an avalanche on Lionhead on Sunday (helmet cam video). A large natural avalanche occurred on the west side of the Bridger Range yesterday (photo).
2. These layers have been stressed by precipitation during the last 48 hours. Snowfall amounts have varied but the snow water equivalent in most of the advisory area is about 1.3 inches. Strong Southwest winds transported some of this snow adding further stress to buried layers of facets.
An additional concern in isolated areas will be a layer of graupel (photo). Graupel is little pellets of snow that act as a temporary weak layer and typically rolls downhill accumulating on aprons under ridges and below cliff bands. Last year on March 17th a skier was caught in a slide north Bridger Bowl in the "Hourglass" under very similar conditions (see last year's video).
Heavy new snow, buried facets, and avalanche activity are clear signs of dangerous avalanche conditions that require careful stability evaluations and terrain selection. For today the Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE on any wind loaded slope or any slope steeper than 35 degrees. Less steep slopes without a wind load have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.
The mountains around Cooke City:
Throughout this winter the mountains near Cooke City have received 1.5 times to 2 times the snowfall of other areas. Consequently the snowpack is generally deeper and stronger. During the last two days, I found many slopes with a deep and strong snowpack. My partner and I were mostly concerned with lower elevation slopes, especially ones that had previously avalanched because these have a thinner and weaker snowpack. Although our stability tests on these slopes showed that the snowpack has gained strength, it was stressed by yesterday's heavy snow. Additionally a skier nearby found graupel (photo) buried under the new snow which cracked under his skis. For today the Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE on slopes steeper than 35 degrees and MODERATE Avalanche Danger on less steep slopes.
Recent avalanche in Utah
A snowmobiler was caught and buried in an avalanche in Utah on Sunday. He was not wearing a beacon and was buried for about 20 minutes. He was incredibly lucky. Few people buried this long survive. Also, notice a recent avalanche on the adjacent slope. Recent avalanches are clear signs of unstable conditions: http://vimeo.com/38078462.
* * 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 Audio, 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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by John William Uhler
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