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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Friday - February 18, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 16 3 12 2 43 OC Calm / snowing
East Entrance 22 3 13 1 36 OC Calm / lite snow
Grant Village 16 0 15 5 51 OC Calm / snowing
Lake 18 -1 10 T 43 OC Calm
Lamar 19 8 12 0 25 OC Calm
Madison 21 5 14 1 35 OC Calm / moderate snow
Mammoth 26 14 20 T 18 OC S@4-5mph / snowing
Old Faithful 17 4 17 5 39 OC SE@6-9mph / snowing
Snake River 19 14 16 2.5 50 OC Calm / lite rain
Tower 24 10 15 0 28 OC SW@1-2mph
West Entrance 38 1 13 3 45 OC Calm / lite snow
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 - Poor visibility
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 18, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph.

Tonight...Breezy. Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F. South winds 15 to 20 mph.

Saturday...Cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs 30°F to 36°F. South winds around 15 mph in the morning. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Saturday Night...Snow likely. Snow accumulation around 2 inches. Lows 9°F to 15°F. East winds around 15 mph shifting to the south after midnight. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Sunday...Snow likely in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 4 to 6 inches. Highs 22°F to 28°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Sunday Night...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Presidents' Day / Monday...Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

Presidents' Day / Monday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Tuesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 18°F to 24°F.

Wednesday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows -3°F to 3°F.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 9°F to 17°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 98 Parker Peak 75
Blackwater 62 Snake River Station -
Canyon 47 Sylvan Lake 57
Evening Star 76 Sylvan Road 41
Fisher Creek 94 Thumb Divide 51
Grassy Lake 82 Two Ocean Plateau 72
Lewis Lake Divide 78 West Yellowstone 44
Madison Plateau 68 Whiskey Creek 53
Northeast Entrance 37 Wolverine 35

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 18, 2011 - this report is by Mark Staples

Mountain Weather

Since yesterday morning the mountains near Cooke City and West Yellowstone received an additional 1-2 inches of snow. Most areas received strong winds which were blowing 15-45 mph from the SouthSouthWest this morning except in the Bridger Range where winds calmed overnight and were blowing 10-15 mph. Temperatures were in the low teens and high single digits Fahrenheit this morning. A moist Southwest flow will bring more snow by tomorrow morning with the southern parts of the advisory area receiving 2-3 inches and a trace to 1 inch further north. Today temperatures will be in the upper teens and low 20s Fahrenheit. Winds should decrease slightly and blow 10-30 mph.

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:

The main event continues to be wind, which combined with new snow, has created many soft wind slabs. Yesterday on Mount Blackmore in Hyalite Canyon I found wind speeds that were perfect for transporting snow and forming fresh wind slabs. These wind slabs readily cracked under my skis. Similar conditions were observed by the Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol, Moonlight Basin Ski Patrol, and an observer in Cooke City. In all cases these slabs were most reactive on slopes steeper than 35 degrees. Unfortunately winds continued overnight and will keep these fresh wind slabs sensitive today.

A secondary concern is that many of these wind slabs formed by Southwest winds are resting on older hard slabs formed during extremely high winds early this week and last weekend. One of these hard slabs was responsible for a fatality on Monday on the West side of the Bridger Range in Truman Gulch. Triggering a fresh wind slab may trigger a hard slab underneath it though this possibility decreases each passing day.

One concern in the northern Gallatin Range near Hyalite Canyon is a weak layer formed at the beginning of February now buried 1.5 - 2 feet deep. I found it on Mount Blackmore and skiers in the Flanders drainage nearby found an identical layer which produced very similar stability test results. See a video of their results and contrast this with Doug's stability test and video from 10 days ago when it took much less force to break. This layer does not have enough stress from new snow to cause widespread problems unless it is stressed by a heavy wind load. This layer may also persist in pockets in the Bridger Range though it has healed during recent warm weather on many slopes.

Regardless of snowpack structure and potential weak layers which can vary widely, the main problems are fresh wind slabs and slopes loaded by strong Southwest winds. For today the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE on all wind loaded slopes. On slopes without a wind load, the Avalanche Danger 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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