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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Wednesday - March 16, 2011 - Last Daily Report

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 38 25 33 .5 47 OC Calm
East Entrance 43 29 34 T 40 OC Calm
Grant Village 37 26 31 .5 63 OC Calm
Lake 36 21 30 .5 50 OC N@7mph
Lamar 37 28 32 T 27 OC Calm
Madison 45 29 32 T 34 OC Calm
Mammoth 41 33 33 T 14 OC N@7-12mph
Old Faithful 39 27 31 T 39 OC Calm
Pahaska 43 29 34 T 40 OC Calm
Snake River 38 21 33 T 61 OC Calm
Soda Butte 37 28 32 T 40 OC Calm
Thumb Divide 37 26 31 .5 61 OC Calm
Tower 42 31 36 T 30 OC NNW@10-15mph
West Entrance 43 34 35 .5 45 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 * * *

* * * The East, South, and West Entrances are CLOSED to oversnow travel. Plowing of roads for the Spring Opening has begun. The North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana remains OPEN. * * *

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 CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Firehole Canyon Drive CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Grant to South Entrance CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to West Thumb CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Madison to Old Faithful CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Madison to West Yellowstone CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Mammoth to Norris CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Norris to Canyon CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Norris to Madison CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Old Faithful to Grant CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *

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 16, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Rest Of Today...Windy...snow. New snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Highs 31°F to 37°F. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph decreasing to 15 to 20 mph with gusts to around 35 mph in the afternoon. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Tonight...Breezy. Snow in the evening...then snow likely after midnight. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Total snow accumulation 4 to 11 inches. Lows 14°F to 20°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 90 percent.

Thursday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Friday...Partly cloudy with isolated snow showers. Highs 29°F to 35°F. Chance of snow 20 percent.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 15°F to 21°F.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers in the morning... Then chance of snow showers and rain showers in the afternoon. Highs 31°F to 37°F. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 13°F to 19°F.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers in the morning... Then chance of snow showers and rain showers in the afternoon. Highs 31°F to 37°F. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 12°F to 18°F.

Monday...Partly cloudy with slight chance of snow showers in the morning...then mostly cloudy with slight chance of snow showers and rain showers in the afternoon. Highs 32°F to 38°F. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 14°F to 20°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers in the morning... Then chance of snow showers and rain showers in the afternoon. Highs 32°F to 38°F. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

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 119 Parker Peak 86
Blackwater 76 Snake River Station 41
Canyon 55 Sylvan Lake 64
Evening Star 88 Sylvan Road 45
Fisher Creek 109 Thumb Divide 61
Grassy Lake 101 Two Ocean Plateau -
Lewis Lake Divide 101 West Yellowstone 45
Madison Plateau 84 Whiskey Creek 60
Northeast Entrance 42 Wolverine 40

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - March 16, 2011 - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

In the last 24 hours 16 inches of snow has fallen in the southern Madison Range and a foot near Cooke City. Moonlight Basin received seven inches while two to three inches fell in Hyalite and the Bridger Range. The storm is not done. Westerly winds are averaging 20-30 mph with gusts hitting 60 mph. Mountain temperatures are in the high 20s Fahrenheit. Today I expect 8 to 12 inches in the southern mountains and 4 to 6 inches in the northern ranges as winds slightly abate and temperatures drop into the low 20s Fahrenheit.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The Bridger, the northern Madison and northern Gallatin Ranges:

Snowfall in the north has been sporadic. At 6:00 a.m. seven inches has fallen around Lone Peak while the mountains around Bozeman got two to three inches so far. The wind was not so discretionary. It's blowing strong everywhere. It's quite possible to find natural avalanche activity today and I feel confident a skier or snowmobiler could trigger wind drifts. Without buried weak layers, avalanche activity will be confined to the last few days' new snow.

More snowfall and strong winds today are creating a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger on all wind-loaded slopes and a MODERATE Avalanche Danger elsewhere.

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

The southern mountains are getting fire hosed. Over two feet has fallen in 48 hours and it's still snowing. The snow is not light powder either—its 10 percent density cream. This snowfall measures two inches of snow water equivalency—a lot of stress to be added in such a short period of time. Eric found faceted layers around Bacon Rind and Teepee Creek which will be straining to support this new load. Mark rode around Cooke City yesterday and saw a large avalanche on Republic Peak (Photo), but no activity anywhere else. He also hunted for weak layers, but came up empty. Other than the facets Eric found, we have not seen widespread instabilities. The upper few feet of the snowpack is a hodgepodge of ball bearing graupel pellets, ice crusts underlying the new snow, and fluctuating densities in the storm snow. But the real driving force behind the rising avalanche danger is the heavy rate of snowfall and ripping winds. Large snow loads can stress even the strongest layers to their breaking point (Video).

With winds gusting to 60 mph, two feet of new snow and more falling every hour, slopes will be unstable today and have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger.

Cooke City, Montana Snowpack Video.

Avalanche Video Clip from Utah

This is a great clip of a snowmobiler triggering a slide on March 9th in the Uinta Mountains, Utah. He hurt his leg, trashed his machine, but should recover fine. Watching the clip a few things stand out:

1. Small slopes can be dangerous, especially when slides push you into trees.

2. His helmet cam shows how fast even a small slide accelerates.

3. Partners watching from a safe zone are worth their weight in gold.


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.

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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