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Daily Winter Weather Report
Date: Monday - 24 December 2012
|Station||Max Temp||Min Temp||Pres Temp||New Snow||Depth||Sky||Present Conditions|
|Lake||19.0||17.1||17.1||.13||OC||Calm / Snowing|
|Mammoth||24.7||22.3||23.5||.01||6.61||OC||S@2 to 4 mph|
|Old Faithful||23.5||19.4||22.9||0||8.43||OC||SE@3 - 5 mph|
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|Road Section||Status||Conditions||Public Access / Info|
|Gardiner to Mammoth||YR||Good||STR|
|Mammoth to Tower||YR||Good||STR|
|Tower to NE Entrance||YR||Good||STR|
|Beartooth Highway||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Canyon to Lake||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Firehole Canyon Drive||CLOSED||CLOSED||CLOSED|
|Grant to South Entrance||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
|Lake to East Entrance||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Lake to West Thumb||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Madison to Old Faithful||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Madison to West Yellowstone||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Mammoth to Norris||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Norris to Canyon||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Norris to Madison||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Old Faithful to Grant||Open||Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles|
|Tower to Canyon||CLOSED *||CLOSED *||CLOSED *|
YR=Year Round / NR=No Restrictions / STA=Snow Tires Advised / STR=Snow Tires Required
* NOTE: CLOSED FOR THE 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 ********
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Caution advised for snow falling off of building roofs. Park accordingly.
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.
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by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY
Today: Breezy. Snow in the morning...then numerous snow showers and isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent. Highs 21°F to 27°F.
Tonight: Cloudy. Snow likely in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 3 to 9 inches. Northwest winds around 15 mph early in the evening. Chance of snow 70 percent. Lows -3°F to 3°F.
Christmas Day / Tuesday: Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Southwest winds around 15 mph late in the afternoon. Highs 15°F to 21°F. * Merry Christmas *
Christmas Night / Tuesday Night: Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Lows -2°F to 4°F. * Merry Christmas *
Wednesday: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. South winds around 15 mph in the morning. Highs 18°F to 24°F.
Wednesday Night: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.
Thursday: Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 18°F to 24°F.
Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 2°F to 8°F.
Friday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 16°F to 22°F.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows -2°F to 6°F.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs 17°F to 23°F.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows 5°F to 1°F1.
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Highs 19°F to 25°F.
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|* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *|
|Station||Depth (inches)||Station||Depth (inches)|
|Black Bear||69||Parker Peak||41|
|Blackwater||46||Snake River Station||29|
|Evening Star||49||Sylvan Road||20|
|Fisher Creek||68||Thumb Divide||34|
|Grassy Lake||46||Two Ocean Plateau||58|
|Lewis Lake Divide||62||West Yellowstone||16|
|Madison Plateau||44||Whiskey Creek||24|
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from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - December 24, 2012 - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.
Over the past 24 hours the mountains around West Yellowstone and Cooke City picked up 2 to 3 inches of snow. The southern Madison Range and mountains around Big Sky including the northern Gallatin Range picked up 1 to 2 inches. The Bridger Range has remained dry. Today, the southern ranges will see an additional 3 to 5 inches while the north will pick up 2 to 4 inches. Currently, temperatures are in the teens Fahrenheit and winds are blowing 10 to 20 out of South-southwest. Today, highs will reach into the 20s Fahrenheit and winds will remain out of the West-southwest at 10 to 20 mph. Snow will taper off this evening as the storm pushes east. Very little snow is expected tonight and Christmas Day looks to be dry.
Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:
Avalanches are all about timing. When conditions are stable, there is nothing wrong with playing in avalanche terrain. If conditions are unstable, playing in avalanche terrain is like gambling - the house has better odds and you'll likely to end up losing.
But what happens when stability is somewhere in between? In this case, some slopes are stable while others are not. Since it may be difficult to figure out which is which, assessing the snowpack carefully and using cautious route finding and conservative decision making is the best way to approach riding in the backcountry.
A recently released interactive article by the New York Times discusses the fatal avalanche at Stevens Pass last winter and describes how decision making contributed to this accident.
Today, there will be two main avalanche problems to consider.
2. Buried Persistent Weak Layers: These continue to produce avalanches on isolated slopes. Yesterday, Doug got unstable results during stability tests on a layer of buried facets in the northern Bridger Range (video, snow pit, photo). Skiers also found facets near the ground in Middle Basin north of Big Sky. Buried facets are not present on all slopes, but seem to be most prevalent in areas where the snowpack is less than a meter deep. Avoiding steep, upper elevation slopes with a shallow snowpack will be the best way to mitigate this problem (photo).
Southern Gallatin and Southern Madison Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone and mountains around Cooke City:
Over the past 48 hours 4 to 6 inches of snow has fallen in the southern ranges with more forecasted through today. New snow and wind will form sensitive soft slabs on the lee side of ridgelines and cross loaded terrain features. Wind slabs will likely increase in size and distribution as more snow and wind impact the area.
Buried facets are not widespread in the southern ranges, but are something to look out for in steep, rocky terrain.
Today, human triggered avalanches are likely on wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees which have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. All other slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.
The Bridger, Northern Gallatin and Northern Madison Ranges:
The northern ranges have only received 1-2 inches of snow over the past few days. This load is not enough to increase the avalanche hazard.
However, buried persistent weak layers and a variable snowpack continue to make human triggered avalanches possible. Steep, upper elevation slopes, specifically those with a shallow snowpack will be the most likely to produce an avalanche.
Today, human triggered avalanches are possible and the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE. The Avalanche Danger could climb to CONSIDERABLE on steep wind loaded slopes if today's storm comes in stronger than expected.
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.
PHOTOS, SNOWPITS, and VIDEOS
1. For links to all photos and videos listed in the above report, please visit this Link.
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.
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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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