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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Tuesday - February 15, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 39 -4 26 0 42 SC Brezzy
East Entrance 46 4 26 0 36 SC Calm
Grant Village 44 30 44 T 42 SC Calm
Lake 40 10 28 0 41 OC Calm
Lamar 46 30 46 T 25 SC Calm
Madison 42 19 24 0 30 SC Calm / Clear
Mammoth 45 34 45 0 18 SC S@11mph / gust 17mph
Old Faithful 44 14 33 0 28 SC Calm / Clear
Snake River - - - - 46 SC Calm
Tower 46 8 25 0 27 BC S@6-8mph
West Entrance 44 20 30 0 36 SC Windy / clear
T=Trace / BC=Broken Clouds / OC=Overcast / SC=Scattered Clouds
All Temperatures are in °F ~ All Snow Depths are in Inches

* * * Road Conditions * * *
Road Section Status Conditions Public Access / Info
Gardiner to Mammoth YR Good STR
Mammoth to Tower YR Good STR
Tower to NE Entrance YR Fair STR
Beartooth Highway CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Canyon to Lake Open Poor Oversnow
Firehole Canyon Drive Open - Oversnow - Snowcoaches only in the morning
Grant to South Entrance Open - Oversnow
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance Open Good Oversnow
Lake to West Thumb Open - Oversnow
Madison to Old Faithful Open Good Oversnow
Madison to West Yellowstone Open - Oversnow
Mammoth to Norris Open Good Oversnow
Norris to Canyon Open Good Oversnow
Norris to Madison Open Good Oversnow
Old Faithful to Grant Open - Oversnow

YR=Year Round / NR=No Restrictions / STA=Snow Tires Advised / STR=Snow Tires Required


# 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 ********


Yellowstone Seven Day Forecast on February 15, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then slight chance of rain and snow in the afternoon. Highs 33°F to 39°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.

Tonight...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 19°F to 25°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Wednesday...Breezy. Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Highs 30°F to 36°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Wednesday Night...Snow. Snow accumulation of 4 to 6 inches. Lows 14°F to 20°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Thursday...Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Total snow accumulation 8 to 12 inches. Highs 19°F to 25°F. West winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Thursday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 0°F to 6°F.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 20°F to 26°F. Lowest wind chill readings -11°F to -21°F in the morning.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 8°F to 14°F.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Sunday Night...Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Presidents' Day / Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Snowflake Hazardous Weather Snowflake Gibbon Falls Forecast Snowflake Mammoth Forecast Snowflake Midway Forecast Snowflake Norris Forecast Snowflake Old Faithful Forecast Snowflake

* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *
Station Depth (inches) Station Depth (inches)
Black Bear 89 Parker Peak 76
Blackwater 59 Snake River Station -
Canyon 44 Sylvan Lake 55
Evening Star 72 Sylvan Road 41
Fisher Creek 89 Thumb Divide 47
Grassy Lake 76 Two Ocean Plateau 69
Lewis Lake Divide 72 West Yellowstone 37
Madison Plateau 59 Whiskey Creek 47
Northeast Entrance 36 Wolverine 36

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 15, 2011 - this report is by Doug Chabot

Mountain Weather

Yesterday was gorgeous with sunny skies, mountain temperatures in the mid thirties and westerly winds at 20-30 mph. Today will start out sunny, but clouds will roll in late this afternoon. Mountain temperatures will reach 40 Fahrenheit in the mountains from the high 20s Fahrenheit this morning. Winds increased overnight and are currently blowing west to southwest at 30 mph with gusts reaching 50 mph. Wind, warmth and sun will hopefully give way to cold, clouds and snow sometime tomorrow. The mountains could use a facelift.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The Bridger Range, The Madison and Gallatin Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone, the mountains around Cooke City and the Washburn Range:

I am sad to report that a 22 year old male snowboarder died in an avalanche yesterday. He and his partner ascended Truman Gulch on the west side of the Bridger Range. They stopped about 200 feet from the ridgetop, dug two snowpits and decided to stay on the northern edge of the large avalanche path at the head of the drainage since this side was not wind-loaded. The partner descended first. The victim came second and skied toward an adjacent gully to the north where he triggered a hard wind slab. The avalanche reportedly broke 2-3 feet deep, 40-50 feet wide and ran at least 700 feet down the steep gulley. The victim was located and probed by his partner. Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol assisted digging him out, but he did not survive. We will be investigating the avalanche site today and post a detailed accident investigation later in the week.

Hard slabs of wind deposited snow formed during the hurricane force winds on Saturday through Sunday morning. There were many natural avalanches during this wind storm with many north to east aspects getting loaded at all elevations. These slabs of dense, chalky snow are on many slopes, but they are bonded and unmovable on a great percentage of these--but not all. Eric only found thin wind slab avalanches releasing in Lionhead, which was similar to what a skier saw outside Cooke City. It's imperative to test the exact slope you intend to descend. A hard slab in one gully may be stuck in place while an adjacent one will avalanche. With the slabs getting harder to trigger, the avalanche danger is decreasing. We are happy to see this, but without obvious signs of instability analyzing the slope is important.

Although wind-loading is our paramount concern, there are two lesser ones to keep in mind too. A layer of facets one to two feet under the surface is visible to the naked eye. This layer has strengthened and has not propagated a fracture in our stability tests lately, but it could still surprise us. The other concern is on thin snows less than four feet deep where the lower half of the pack is nothing but unbonded, sugary facets. Sinking to the ground with a simple step is a big clue to head elsewhere. I found this in one of my three pits near Taylor Fork in the southern Madison on Sunday. Skiers touring in the southern Gallatin Range on Sunday experienced collapses on a thin snowpack too.

Wind-loaded slopes should be approached with caution since hard slab avalanches are a nasty beast. It's still possible to trigger slides and the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE.

Wet Avalanche Danger

Mountain temperatures are expected to reach 40+ Fahrenheit degrees today. The snow on sunny, south facing slopes will get moist at the surface. I expect wet point release avalanches on slopes getting direct, intense solar radiation today. Rock outcroppings absorb the heat and are prone to moisten the snow around them at a fast clip.

Information provided by Doug Chabot, Mark Staples, and Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. For Photos and Videos, please visit the Avalanche Centers Website!

If you have any snowpack or avalanche observations, drop them a line at or call: 406-587-6984.

For detailed Avalanche Terms utilized here, please see the Avalanche Glossary.

West Yellowstone: Beacon Park Operational

Skiing or riding near West Yellowstone? Test your beacon skills at a beacon park near the old airport where you can search for pre-placed beacons switched on/off by a control panel. Look for it by orange snow fence and signage just south of the snow cross track.

Avalanche Danger Scale

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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