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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Friday - 03 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 30 -13 -13 0 34 C Calm
East Entrance 28 1 2 1 32 C Calm
Grant Village 9 -6 9 0 42 C Calm
Lake 29 0 0 T 34 C Calm
Lamar 34 -11 -10 0 12 C Calm
Madison 28 -12 -10 0 21 C Calm
Mammoth 22 10 10 0 6 C S@5-6mph
Old Faithful 30 -14 -14 0 31 C Calm
Pahaska 12 4 12 0 - C Calm
Snake River 36 0 0 0 60 C Calm
Soda Butte -1 -7 -1 .14 - C Calm
Thumb Divide 6 -6 -6 0 - C Calm
Tower 34 -5 -3 0 17 C Calm
West Entrance 33 -12 -12 0 35 C Calm
BC=Broken Clouds / C=Clear / OC=Overcast / SC=Scattered Clouds / T=Trace
All Temperatures are in °F ~ All Snow Depths are in Inches

* * * Road Conditions * * *
Road Section Status Conditions Public Access / Info
Gardiner to Mammoth YR   Snow Tires Required
Mammoth to Tower YR   Snow Tires Required
Tower to NE Entrance YR   Snow Tires Required
Beartooth Highway CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Canyon to Lake Open   All oversnow vehicles
Canyon to Tower CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Firehole Canyon Drive CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Grant to South Entrance Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance Open   All oversnow vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open   All oversnow vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open Fair All oversnow vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open   All oversnow vehicles

YR = Open Year Round / NR = No Restrictions


# 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 03 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Partly cloudy. Highs 24°F to 30°F. East winds around 15 mph early in the morning.

Tonight...Partly cloudy. Lows 2°F to 8°F.

Saturday...Mostly sunny. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Saturday Night...Mostly clear. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Sunday...Mostly sunny. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly clear. Lows 3°F to 9°F.

Monday...Partly cloudy. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Monday Night...Mostly clear. Lows 1°F to 9°F.

Tuesday...Mostly sunny. Highs 25°F to 31°F.

Tuesday Night...Mostly clear. Lows 4°F to 12°F.

Wednesday...Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 8°F to 14°F.

Thursday...Mostly sunny. 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 82 Parker Peak 59
Blackwater 62 Snake River Station 53
Canyon 39 Sylvan Lake 47
Evening Star 75 Sylvan Road 37
Fisher Creek 85 Thumb Divide 44
Grassy Lake 77 Two Ocean Plateau 85
Lewis Lake Divide 73 West Yellowstone 32
Madison Plateau 53 Whiskey Creek 40
Northeast Entrance 29 Wolverine 29

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 03 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Yesterday morning, lingering snowfall deposited an additional trace to one inch of snow. Winds remained calm since then and were blowing 5-15 mph from the eastern half of the compass this morning. On the Bridger Ridge winds increased at midnight and were blowing easterly at 20-25 mph. Temperatures were in the upper single digits to low teens Fahrenheit this morning. Today will be beautiful and sunny with temperatures near 20 degrees Fahrenheit and continued calm winds.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Yesterday, Eric triggered a large, deadly avalanche on the south face of Mount Abundance. He was near the bottom of the slope on relatively flat terrain cautiously approaching this area. Eric and his partner unintentionally hit a sweet spot where they initiated a fracture (or a collapse) in weak, faceted snow at the ground. This fracture travelled 600 feet above them and across the entire slope. The resulting avalanche broke 3 to 6 feet deep. This avalanche is a major warning sign. There have been many other avalanches in this area in recent days.

Today's conditions are ones cause avalanche fatalities for three reasons:

    1. The snowpack can easily produce more deadly avalanches. Unfortunately, it will give few warning signs and may allow several people to ride on a slope which will not break until someone finds the right trigger point. It is difficult to know where these trigger points exist.

    2. The weather will inspire a false sense of security. It's easy to be cautious during a storm. It will be much harder today especially if you see other people riding in avalanche terrain and getting away with it. Know that they are playing Russian Roulette.

    3. Eric commented that while snowmobiling, conditions "feel" stable but they are not. It will be easy to ride and climb steep slopes because the snowpack is supportable, but supportable does not mean stable.

The snowpack near the Taylor Fork and near West Yellowstone is just as weak and unstable. The only difference is that it has received less snow making slopes a bit less sensitive and avalanches not quite as big. Today dangerous avalanche conditions exist and the Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE.

The Bridger Range and northern Madison Range:

The Bridger Range and the mountains near Big Sky have plenty of weak snow, but these areas have received less snow in the past week. Less snow means less stress on the snowpack and fewer avalanches. Ones that occurred last weekend did so on heavily wind loaded slopes. Yesterday's snowfall wasn't enough to tip the balance and calm winds didn't transport any snow except at the Bridger Ridge where East winds increased overnight and blew snow to the West side of the ridge. Today human triggered avalanches are possible and the Avalanche Danger is MODERATE.

The northern Gallatin Range:

The northern Gallatin Range especially the Hyalite Canyon area has received more consistent snowfall throughout this season. This snowfall has been just enough to build a snowpack lacking widespread weak layers. Today, slopes steeper than 35 degrees have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger. Slopes less than 35 degrees have a LOW Avalanche Danger.

The next advisory tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. If you have any snowpack or avalanche observations, drop us a line at or call us at: 406-587-6984.

Beacon Parks

The Friends of the Avalanche Center installed a Beacon Training Park outside West Yellowstone. It's located south of town on the main snowmobile trail. Stop by and do a quick practice before heading off into the mountains!


February 4: Poker Run

The Gallatin Valley Snowmobile Association is sponsoring their annual Buck Ridge Poker Ride this Saturday. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the GNFAC. Registration is at 9 a.m. in the Buck Ridge parking lot. More info at

February 8: 4th Annual Montana Ale Works Wine Dinner

Come join us for a wonderful, social evening at Montana Ale Works. Menu and ticket information is here:

10th Annual King and Queen of the Ridge

The 10th Annual King and Queen of the Ridge Hike/Ski-a-thon fundraiser is Saturday, Feb 11th. The event supports avalanche education in southwest Montana. Collect pledges for one, two or the most Ridge hikes you can do in the five hours of competition. 100% of the proceeds go to the Friends of Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Kids and families are encouraged to hike too! More Information / Registration Form.

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. Check out all our education programs, Click Here.

Information provided by Doug Chabot, Mark Staples, and Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. For Events and Education, or 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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