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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - February 26, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 15 -29 -26 .5 48 BC Calm
East Entrance 19 -2 8 1 45 SC Calm
Grant Village 18 -9 -4 2 56 BC Calm
Lake 18 -10 -5 .5 52 BC Calm
Lamar 18 -17 -12 0 25 OC Calm
Madison 22 -21 -16 T 36 BC Calm
Mammoth 11 -6 -1 T 20 - Calm / clear
Old Faithful 18 -15 -6 1.5 41 BC Calm
Pahaska 21 0 11 T 46 OC Calm
Snake River 20 7 8 1 58 OC Calm
Soda Butte 19 -17 -7 0 25 OC Calm
Thumb Divide 22 -1 5 0 60 OC Calm
Tower 20 -18 -13 T 32 SC NE@5-7mph
West Entrance 27 -23 -23 0 53 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 Good Oversnow
Norris to Canyon Open Fair Oversnow
Norris to Madison Open Good Oversnow
Old Faithful to Grant Open Good 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 26, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Rest Of Today...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 18°F to 24°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph in the late morning and afternoon. Lowest wind chill readings -17°F to -27°F in the morning.

Tonight...Breezy. Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -2°F to 4°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Wind chill readings -10°F to -20°F.

Sunday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 18°F to 24°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 50 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -13°F to -23°F in the morning.

Sunday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Monday...Windy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 23°F to 29°F. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent.

Monday Night...Windy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F.

Tuesday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Tuesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 29°F to 35°F.

Wednesday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 13°F to 19°F.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 8°F to 14°F.

Friday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°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 116 Parker Peak 85
Blackwater 66 Snake River Station -
Canyon 51 Sylvan Lake 67
Evening Star 83 Sylvan Road 52
Fisher Creek 98 Thumb Divide 60
Grassy Lake 103 Two Ocean Plateau -
Lewis Lake Divide 94 West Yellowstone 49
Madison Plateau 79 Whiskey Creek 61
Northeast Entrance 40 Wolverine 41

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 26, 2011 - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

No snow fell in the last 24 hours. This morning temperatures dropped into the negative single digits Fahrenheit, and in some valley locations temperatures dropped into the negative teens. Winds were mostly calm yesterday and last night but increased this morning to 20-40 mph from the West and Southwest. Today winds will continue and maybe increase a bit more. Fortunately more sunshine is expected and high temperatures in the upper teens Fahrenheit. Clouds may return Sunday and more snowfall should come early next week.

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:

Today's ridgetop winds combined with plentiful soft snow will form fresh wind slabs which will be the main avalanche problem. A related problem is the growth of cornices. It's hard to know when they have reached their breaking point, but when they do, falling cornices make good triggers for avalanches.

Eric went to Buck Ridge and MacAtee Basin yesterday near Big Sky. He did not observe any recent avalanche activity and none of his stability tests propagated fractures, a good sign. See his snowpits posted here. Just north of Big Sky, a skier found similar results in his stability tests and only observed some loose snow sluffs. Further away near Cooke City, a skier didn't find any major concerns in the bonding between new and old snow, but he did get small soft slab to move on a test slope. Deeper layers in the snowpack are generally well bonded, but a fresh wind slab can fracture and avalanche within the surface layers of snow.

Assessing unstable avalanche conditions can be easy. Assessing stable conditions can be more difficult and requires evidence similar to a criminal trial where a conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. For a conclusion of stability, the proof must be a combination of: NO recent avalanche activity, NO collapsing or cracking, and NO "bad" results in multiple stability tests. Lastly we need to ask "Is the weather contributing to instability?" Recent snowfall occurred over many days (versus overnight) and the snowpack has been able to adjust to this loading. The main issue is wind loading near ridgetops, but this avalanche problem is easily avoided.

For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on all wind loaded slopes and MODERATE all slopes steeper than 35 degrees. On less steep slopes unaffected by wind, the Avalanche Danger is LOW.

New Snowpits Page

In response to our survey we added a new page to the website with images of our snowpit profiles. This page is under the Resources/Other Info tab at

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.

Backcountry Skier Survey – Researchers at Alaska Pacific University are studying decision making in backcountry skiers and would like to get information from you. If interested in this 10-15 minute survey, go to this website:

Upcoming Events

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.

Pinhead Classic

The 30th Annual Pinhead Classic on is Saturday, March 5th. "Gangsters and Flappers" is this year's costume theme, so come dressed up to race, socialize and wind great prizes. Registration is $30 but get you all sorts of cool stuff. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Avalanche Center. Check out the website for details.

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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