Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Friday - 16 March 2012 - Last Daily Winter Report
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|Mammoth||43.6||40.2||40.7||.06||4||OC||Gusting to 8mph|
|Tower||38.6||35.4||37.4||.04||14||OC||Gusting to 2mph|
|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||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Lake to East Entrance||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Lake to West Thumb||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Madison to Old Faithful||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Madison to West Yellowstone||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Mammoth to Norris||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Norris to Canyon||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Norris to Madison||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Old Faithful to Grant||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
YR = Open Year Round / NR = No Restrictions
* NOTE: CLOSED FOR THE WINTER SEASON. ROADS ARE NOW BEING PLOWED FOR THE SPRING 2012 OPENING.
# 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: Snow likely. Breezy, with a southwest wind around 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Cloudy, with a high near 41°F.
Tonight: Snow likely, mainly after midnight. South southwest wind between 10 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Cloudy, with a low around 26°F.
Saturday: Snow likely, mainly after noon. Some thunder is also possible. Breezy, with a south wind between 11 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 43°F.
Saturday Night: Scattered snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. South wind between 14 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Cloudy, with a low around 25°F.
Sunday: Scattered snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. South southwest wind between 10 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Cloudy, with a high near 38°F.
Sunday Night: Scattered snow showers. West southwest wind between 9 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13°F.
Monday: A 50% chance of snow showers. West southwest wind between 7 and 10 mph. Partly sunny, with a high near 27°F.
Monday Night: A 30% chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 7°F.
Tuesday: A 20% chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 27°F.
Tuesday Night: A 20% chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13°F.
Wednesday: A slight chance of rain and snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 37°F.
Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 15°F.
Thursday: A slight chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 47°F.
|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||106||Parker Peak||69|
|Blackwater||73||Snake River Station||55|
|Evening Star||87||Sylvan Road||40|
|Fisher Creek||95||Thumb Divide||55|
|Grassy Lake||90||Two Ocean Plateau||89|
|Lewis Lake Divide||89||West Yellowstone||37|
|Madison Plateau||69||Whiskey Creek||48|
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 16 March 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.
Yesterday's weather had rain, sun, clouds, snow, and wind; everything but cold temperatures. Since yesterday morning areas near the Taylor Fork, West Yellowstone, and Cooke City received 0.2 - 0.4 inches of water in the form of rain in valleys and snow above about 7500 feet. This morning winds were blowing 20 mph from the South and Southwest with gusts of 40-50 mph. Temperatures did not cool overnight and this morning remained near freezing at ridgetops and in the high 30s Fahrenheit in mountain valleys.
Strong Southwest winds and above freezing temperatures will continue today. More precipitation will fall mostly near West Yellowstone where the mountains will receive 4 to 6 inches of snow by tomorrow morning. The mountains near Cooke City will receive 2 to 4 inches and the rest of the area will receive 1 to 3 inches.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
The Bridger, Gallatin and Madison Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone, and the mountains around Cooke City:
Stability is changing rapidly and difficult to assess with many factors affecting the snowpack right now:
1. Above freezing temperatures, wet snow, and rain can produce wet slab avalanches especially below 7500 feet and abnormal conditions above this elevation. Eric found weird conditions during avalanche control work yesterday at Bridger Bowl. Avalanches occurred in steep, rocky terrain with buried, wet facets covered by fresh wind slabs (photo).
2. Recent snow in most of the advisory area added stress to buried facets and depth hoar 1 to 3 feet above the ground. Yesterday on Lionhead these facets required hard force to break in Doug's stability tests, ECTP25 and 29 (video, photo). A snowmobile guide in Teepee Basin found similar conditions yesterday (photo) and stuck to low angle slopes.
3. Recent strong winds from the Southwest transported snow to the lee sides of both ridges and gullies. The wind slabs themselves are not the problem. The additional stress they add to buried facets is the problem.
Recent avalanches have demonstrated the ability of buried facets to fracture and produce avalanches. These avalanches will be hard to trigger but will be big, a low probability high consequence situation. An avalanche on Lionhead last Sunday (four days after the last snowfall) is a good example (helmet cam video). This avalanche also shows that many people can ride on a slope before it avalanches. The trigger point is often a spot with shallow snow.
The snowpack this season has given us little reason to trust it. Additionally, recent weird weather can lead to weird avalanches and catch us by surprise. Now is a good time to be conservative in terrain selection and decision making. Today, on wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees, the Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE. Other slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.
We define avalanche danger by avalanche size, avalanche distribution, avalanche likelihood, and travel advice. Today's danger rating is based primarily on travel advice. Frankly, if avalanches weren't my business, I'd be home watching March Madness and rooting for my hometown favorite, the VCU Rams
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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