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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Thursday - February 17, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 34 0 7 4 44 OC Calm / lite snow
East Entrance 41 8 16 1 36 OC Calm / lite snow
Grant Village 35 8 11 5 49 OC Calm / snowing
Lake 38 8 10 1.5 43 OC WSW@9mph / gust 24mph
Lamar 39 8 18 0 25 OC Calm
Madison 43 4 8 5 35 OC Calm / moderate snow
Mammoth 43 13 14 2 19 OC S@1mph
Old Faithful 38 10 15 7 36 OC W@10-15mph / snowing
Snake River 42 6 17 6 49 OC Windy / snowing
Tower 44 13 9 2 28 OC SW@6-8mph
West Entrance 38 1 9 7.5 44 OC Calm
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 *
Firehole Canyon Drive Open - Oversnow - Snowcoaches only in the morning
Grant to South Entrance Open Poor Oversnow
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance Open Fair Oversnow
Lake to West Thumb Open Fair Oversnow
Madison to Old Faithful Open Good Oversnow
Madison to West Yellowstone Open Good Oversnow
Mammoth to Norris Open Good Oversnow
Norris to Canyon Open Good Oversnow
Norris to Madison Open Good Oversnow
Old Faithful to Grant Open Poor 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 17, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Windy. Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Total snow accumulation 3 to 6 inches. Highs 19°F to 25°F. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph early in the morning. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Tonight...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 4°F to 10°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph.

Friday...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Friday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 12°F to 18°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Saturday...Not as cold. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 32°F to 38°F. South winds around 15 mph in the morning.

Saturday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 12°F to 18°F.

Sunday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Sunday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Presidents' Day / Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Presidents' Day / Monday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Tuesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°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 94 Parker Peak 77
Blackwater 61 Snake River Station -
Canyon 46 Sylvan Lake 56
Evening Star 76 Sylvan Road 42
Fisher Creek 95 Thumb Divide 51
Grassy Lake 82 Two Ocean Plateau 71
Lewis Lake Divide 76 West Yellowstone 45
Madison Plateau 66 Whiskey Creek 52
Northeast Entrance 37 Wolverine 36

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 17, 2011 - this report is by Mark Staples

Mountain Weather

Overnight 7-10 inches of snow fell throughout the advisory area with right side up snow (warm and dense snow with cold light snow on top). The storm started warm with temperatures near 30 degrees Fahrenheit dropping to the low teens and single digits Fahrenheit this morning. Ridgetop winds throughout the storm and into this morning were blowing 20-40 mph from the Southwest. Cold air advection will prevent temperatures from rising today. Winds should decrease somewhat and blow 20-25 mph from the Southwest. Although the heaviest snow has ended, more will come today and tonight producing another 4-6 inches. An unsettled weather pattern for the next few days will not bring any major storms but generally cool and snowy weather.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Prior to last night's snowfall, the main avalanche problems were hard slabs of wind-blown snow following 8 days of strong winds. Hard slabs are tricky because they are unpredictable. At ski areas they do not always slide when hit with explosives unless the explosive is put on the "sweet spot." For a skier or rider in the backcountry, this often means touching them on the thinnest part of the slab. A hard wind slab on the West side of the Bridger range killed a snowboarder on Monday. This avalanche was 3 feet deep, 50 feet wide, and ran 1,300 feet vertical. Stay tuned for a full report from our accident investigation. Two other avalanches were observed on the East side of the Bridger range that likely occurred on Tuesday. These were 20-50 feet wide and appeared to have been triggered by falling cornices. Similar conditions exist throughout the advisory area.

Now what? New snow overnight (7-9 inches) plus strong winds (20-40 mph from the Southwest) have created many fresh wind slabs that will easily be triggered by a skier or rider. Many of these wind slabs also rest on slopes where older hard slabs exist. These hard slabs will be stressed by the additional weight of new snow. If you trigger a fresh wind slab, it could step down causing the old hard slab to release as well and creating a large avalanche.

The good news: On slopes that were unaffected by recent winds or slopes that were scoured, new snow has likely bonded well. On these slopes without wind-blown snow, a quick snowpit about 1 foot deep can confirm this bonding. If you step out of your skis or off your sled and sink to the ground, dig a deeper snowpit. These slopes have weak snow and a relatively thin snowpack that should support the new snow, but it's worth checking with a stability test; otherwise, avoid these slopes.

For today, Dangerous Avalanche conditions exist on all wind loaded slopes where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE and human triggered avalanches are likely. On slopes without wind deposited snow, a careful evaluation of snow and terrain is still required and the Avalanche Danger on these slopes is rated MODERATE.

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.

3rd Annual Montana Ale Works Fundraiser

When & Where: March 1, Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Railcar.

Cost: $20 to benefit the Friends of the Avalanche Center

Details: Chef Roth at Montana Ale Works is creating tapas style servings that will be paired with select beer from Lone Peak Brewery. More information HERE.


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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