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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - March 05, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 27 15 17 3 49 OC Calm / lite snow
East Entrance 31 16 20 0 40 OC Calm
Grant Village 24 8 16 T 58 OC Calm / lite snow
Lake 29 13 21 T 50 OC Calm
Lamar 32 19 24 0 30 OC Calm
Madison 41 8 20 T 34 OC Calm / lite snow
Mammoth 37 22 27 T 18 OC SW@2-5mph / lite snow
Old Faithful 28 14 25 1 37 OC SE@5-7mph / lite snow
Pahaska 33 23 25 T 40 OC Calm
Snake River 31 18 19 T 56 OC Calm
Soda Butte 32 20 21 T 22 OC Calm
Thumb Divide 29 15 20 0 55 OC Calm
Tower 34 10 25 T 31 OC N@1-3mph / lite snow
West Entrance 35 22 24 1 48 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 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 CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
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 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 March 05, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation around 2 inches. Highs 27°F to 33°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Tonight...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 15°F to 21°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Sunday...Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Highs 29°F to 35°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Sunday Night...Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Lows 10°F to 16°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Monday...Cloudy. Snow likely in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 5 to 7 inches. Highs 28°F to 34°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Monday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F.

Tuesday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Tuesday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 3°F to 9°F.

Wednesday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 29°F to 35°F.

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 31°F to 37°F.

Thursday Night...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 13°F to 19°F.

Friday...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°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 85
Blackwater 64 Snake River Station -
Canyon 51 Sylvan Lake 64
Evening Star 84 Sylvan Road 48
Fisher Creek 101 Thumb Divide 58
Grassy Lake 95 Two Ocean Plateau -
Lewis Lake Divide 90 West Yellowstone 45
Madison Plateau 73 Whiskey Creek 57
Northeast Entrance 43 Wolverine 41

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - March 05, 2011 - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Over the past 24 hours a trace to one inch of new snow has fallen over the mountains of our advisory area. Currently, winds are blowing 15-30 mph out of the Westsouthwest and temperatures are in the mid teens to low 20s Fahrenheit. Today, winds will gradually increase out of the Westsouthwest with ridgetop gusts reaching close to 40 mph. Temperatures will rise into the mid 20s to low 30s Fahrenheit under cloudy skies. An approaching storm will impact our area by late afternoon producing light mountain snow showers. 2 to 4 inches of snow will likely accumulate in most areas by tomorrow morning with the exception of Cooke City which will likely pick up 4 to 6 inches.

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:

Avalanche activity seems to have taken an early spring break. I spoke with multiple parties who ventured into the backcountry yesterday; all had a similar response - it's pretty quiet out there. Warm and calm conditions over the past 24 hours have likely reduced any avalanche threat from the snow that fell Thursday night. Yesterday, Mark logged in the miles in the Taylor Fork hunting for lingering instability; in four different snowpits he found stable dense snow. This seems to be a theme throughout our advisory area.

If stable conditions have you seeking adventure in steep consequential terrain, there are few things to keep in mind. Moderate westerly winds over the past few days have produced small wind drifts on leeward aspects. The most likely areas to find pockets of windblown snow will be on upper elevation slopes, especially slopes with an easterly component. Pockets of windblown snow likely have bonded well to the old snow surface, but triggering a small wind slab will not be impossible. Paying close attention to the consequences of triggering a slide is important. Even a small side has the potential to carry you into trees, rocks, gullies or over cliffs.

Although generally stable conditions exist; the avalanche danger could potentially increase throughout the day with an early arrival of snow and wind. Always be cognizant of the current weather and the effects it is having on your surroundings.

For today, generally safe avalanche conditions exist and the Avalanche Danger is rated LOW.

Since yesterday morning the mountains near Cooke City received 6 inches of snow while all other areas received 1 to 3 inches. Yesterday evening westerly winds increased to 20-30 mph but decreased this morning to 10-20 mph. Temperatures this morning were in the low teens Fahrenheit and should warm to the mid 20s Fahrenheit. Today will be mostly cloudy and only a trace of snow might fall by tomorrow morning. Snowfall should resume on Saturday.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The Bridger, Madison and Gallatin Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:

    The current weather pattern is perfect - a few inches of snow everyday with light winds and mostly cloudy skies. This type of weather:

    • Prevents the formation of new persistent weak layers.

    • Limits wind slab formation.

    • Keeps the skiing and riding good without stressing the snowpack.

Avalanche issues in the new snow are minimal. New snow has mostly bonded well to the old snow surface. Some new snow fell as little pellets called graupel which can be a temporary weak layer but usually bonds within 24-48 hrs. Also, a few fresh wind slabs may exist after a few hours of increased westerly winds last night.

Avalanche issues in the old snow primarily involve hard wind slabs that formed last weekend and early this week. Fortunately these hard slabs have mostly bonded and triggering one will be difficult though not impossible. Likely areas to trigger one of these hard slabs are slopes that have been scoured by winds and have a thin and weak snowpack. The Big Sky Ski Patrol triggered a small pocket of old snow with explosives in one of these areas Most of these slopes remain scoured, but a few may have slabs from cross loading winds.

For today, with mostly light winds and no widespread stability concerns, the Avalanche Danger is rated LOW. Generally safe avalanche conditions exist, but watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features because a LOW Danger ≠ NO Danger.

The mountains around Cooke City and the Washburn Range:

The mountains near Cooke City received 6 inches of new snow. Much of this snow fell as little pellets called graupel that can be a temporary weak layer. Deeper layers of snow are well bonded and human triggered avalanches should be small. One isolated exception – a skier triggered avalanche near Round Lake on Sunday. This avalanche occurred on facets near an ice crust about 2 feet deep. Fortunately this layering does not exist on most slopes.

For today the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on wind loaded slopes. All other slopes have a LOW Avalanche Danger.


1. We've recently uploaded more photos and snowpits to our web site, more than what are linked in the advisory.

2. We're creating a series of "How To…" stability test videos. So far we've got clips on performing a CT and ECT. There are located under Stability Tests on the Resources page.

3. The results from our survey are posted online. Thanks to all who participated. You can check out the results at

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.

Upcoming Events

TODAY - SATURDAY - 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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