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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Monday - February 21, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 17 1 9 4 49 OC Calm
East Entrance 21 3 16 4 44 OC W@5mph / lite snow
Grant Village 24 13 13 0 51 OC Calm
Lake 19 7 11 T 46 OC Calm
Lamar 15 0 13 0 25 OC Calm
Madison 23 7 15 T 36 OC Calm
Mammoth 17 0 16 1.5 21 BC S@5-7mph
Old Faithful 21 9 12 1 39 OC NE@2-5mph / snowing
Snake River 23 16 16 T 49 OC Calm
Tower 7 -1 5 T 28 OC Calm
West Entrance 26 9 19 T 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 *
Canyon to Lake Open Fair Oversnow
Firehole Canyon Drive Open - Oversnow - Snowcoaches only in the morning
Grant to South Entrance Open Good 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 Fair Oversnow
Norris to Canyon Open Fair 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 21, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Presidents' Day / Today...Breezy. Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Areas of blowing snow. Highs 16°F to 22°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph.

Presidents' Day / Tonight...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Areas of blowing snow. Lows 5°F to 11°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to around 40 mph.

Tuesday...Breezy. Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Areas of blowing snow through the day. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs 19°F to 25°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to around 40 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Tuesday Night...Breezy. Snow likely in the evening...then chance of snow after midnight. Areas of blowing snow through the night. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Lows 2°F to 8°F. Southwest winds 20 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Wednesday...Breezy. Areas of blowing snow in the morning. Snow likely. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 3 to 5 inches. Highs 13°F to 19°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph in the morning. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Wednesday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows -3°F to 3°F. Wind chill readings -16°F to -26°F.

Thursday...Snow likely. Moderate snow accumulations. Highs 9°F to 19°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Thursday Night...Colder. Snow likely. Moderate snow accumulations. Lows -2°F to -10°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 14°F to 20°F.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -4°F to -12°F.

Saturday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 9°F to 15°F.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -4°F to -10°F.

Sunday...Partly cloudy. Highs 16°F to 22°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 106 Parker Peak 82
Blackwater 64 Snake River Station -
Canyon 52 Sylvan Lake 67
Evening Star 81 Sylvan Road 52
Fisher Creek 98 Thumb Divide 54
Grassy Lake 92 Two Ocean Plateau 73
Lewis Lake Divide 88 West Yellowstone 47
Madison Plateau 77 Whiskey Creek 59
Northeast Entrance 41 Wolverine 40

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 21, 2011 - this report is by Eric Knoff

Mountain Weather

A surprise storm has hammered the Bridger Range, depositing 14 inches of cold smoke powder over the past 24 hours, and it's still snowing! Cooke City is the runner up receiving 6-8 inches over the past 24 hours while the mountains around West Yellowstone and Big Sky including the northern Gallatin Range have picked up 3-4 inches. Ridgetop winds are strongest in the Bridger Range blowing 30-40 mph out of the West; the rest of our advisory area is receiving winds out of the West-North-West at 15-30 mph. Temperatures are ranging from the single digits in the north to the low teens in the south. Today, winds will continue to blow 15-30 mph shifting to the West-South-West and temperatures will climb into the 20's. Snow will likely taper off by early afternoon and skies will become partly to mostly cloudy. No major accumulations are expected over the next 24 hours.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The Bridger Range:

The Bridger Range has gone from high and dry to powder central overnight. This rapid load will spike the avalanche danger; once again putting the Bridger Range in a category all its own. The main issue today will be new snow instabilities. I do not expect the new snow to bond well to the old snow surface. Strong winds will make wind loaded slopes near the ridgelines the most dangerous, but loose snow avalanches in steep terrain will also pack a punch. Managing terrain carefully will be essential for safe backcountry travel. Avoiding steep and wind loaded slopes as well as avalanche run out zones is highly advised. Also, the wind chill on the ridge at Bridger Bowl is -37 Fahrenheit, so if you are heading that way bundle up!

Today, Very Dangerous Avalanche Conditions exist on wind loaded slopes where the Avalanche Danger is rated HIGH. Slopes that have not received a wind load have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger.

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

I like it when moisture and cold air meet; it creates a light and enjoyable experience. Not only is light snow enjoyable to ride, it adds very little weight (stress) to the snowpack. However, low density snow is easily transported by the wind; often producing sensitive soft slabs on leeward slopes.

Yesterday, the Moonlight Basin Ski Patrol witnessed rapid soft slab development on upper elevation, north and east facing slopes. These fresh slabs were not very thick - 4 to 6 inches, but they easily moved with ski cuts and propagated long distances. The Big Sky Ski Patrol also observed fresh slab development in upper elevation terrain.

This is opposite from what Doug and I found in Beehive Basin yesterday. On mid elevation, non-wind loaded slopes we found soft and stable conditions. Mark also found stable conditions in the southern Madison Range on Saturday.

Upper elevation, wind loaded slopes will be today's primary avalanche concern. A more isolated concern is a buried weak layer 1.5 to 2 feet below the surface that exists in the northern Gallatin Range. This layer continues to propagate fractures in stability tests and should be readily assessed before skiing steep terrain.

Today, human triggered avalanches are likely on wind loaded slopes where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Non-wind loaded slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

Truman Avalanche Report:

The report on the avalanche fatality from February 14th in Truman's Gulch on the west side of the Bridger Range is posted online. You can read it here:

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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