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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Wednesday - 08 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 27 -19 -19 0 32 C Calm
East Entrance 31 -13 -6 0 31 SC Calm
Grant Village 21 -20 -19 0 41 BC Calm
Lake 29 -9 -6 0 33 SC Calm
Lamar 25 -15 -15 0 12 SC Calm
Madison 29 -21 -19 0 20 C Calm
Mammoth 14 9 10 0 5 SC S@7-8mph
Old Faithful 29 -13 -4 0 29 BC Calm
Pahaska 10 6 10 0 - SC Calm
Snake River 27 -15 -14 0 55 C Calm
Soda Butte -1 -10 -6 0 - SC Calm
Thumb Divide -6 -16 -15 0 - SC Calm
Tower 28 -7 -7 0 17 C S@1-3mph
West Entrance 32 -18 -17 0 31 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 08 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Partly cloudy with isolated snow showers. Highs 24°F to 30°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph late in the afternoon. Chance of snow 20 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -10°F to -20°F in the morning.

Tonight...Partly cloudy with slight chance of snow in the evening... Then mostly cloudy with chance of snow after midnight. Lows 3°F to 9°F. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 14°F to 20°F.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

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

Sunday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 8°F to 14°F.

Monday...Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°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 78 Parker Peak 55
Blackwater 58 Snake River Station 50
Canyon 37 Sylvan Lake 44
Evening Star 69 Sylvan Road 35
Fisher Creek 78 Thumb Divide 42
Grassy Lake 73 Two Ocean Plateau 78
Lewis Lake Divide 68 West Yellowstone 30
Madison Plateau 50 Whiskey Creek 39
Northeast Entrance 28 Wolverine 25

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 08 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Yesterday was a splitter day with lots of sun, temperatures in the teens Fahrenheit and light winds. Ridgetop winds picked up slightly last night and are currently blowing 15-25 mph out of the west to southwest. Winds will continue today as temperatures rise into the mid 20s Fahrenheit. Valley fog will give way to sunny skies this morning before more clouds roll in tonight and drop an angstrom or two of snow (one ten-millionth of a millimeter, aka flurries). By the way, has anyone seen La Nina? She's missing and frankly I'm upset with her.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Yesterday, Karl was in Bacon Rind, I was in Carrot Basin and Cabin Creek and skiers were nearby in Taylor Fork. We were all in the southern Madison Range, yet our findings were dissimilar. Karl skied to the same slope we visited a week ago, but instead of collapsing, cracking and columns popping out in his stability tests, he got nothing. I was seven miles away and although I found no obvious signs of instability my three snowpits showed unstable results about half the time. Further to the northwest of me skiers got two large collapses with cracks shooting hundreds of feet; indisputable signs of dangerous conditions.

As the snowpack strengthens and becomes less hair-trigger determining stability becomes more slope specific. A few slopes are good, some are fair, and a few are still very poor. The skiers did not dig any pits because they did not have to; Mother Nature gave them the equivalent of a flashing neon warning and they stuck to low angled terrain. In general, my confidence with this snowpack is low. I don't completely trust it. For today, the Avalanche Danger remains CONSIDERABLE on slopes steeper than 35 degrees and MODERATE Avalanche Danger on less steep slopes.

The northern Madison and Bridger Ranges:

The mountains around Bozeman have not gotten snow since Thursday. Winds have also been light, which minimizes loading. The snowpack in the Bridger Range is only 2 to 3 feet deep and is comprised mostly of weak, faceted snow. But at this time, weak is not unstable and the faceted base is easily supporting winter's meager load. It's the 90 pound weakling of snowpacks; just don't ask it to do any heavy lifting. The northern Madison Range has a poor structure of weak faceted grains underlying thicker slabs of snow. This architecture will not change anytime soon, but without new snow or wind-loading the snowpack is trending toward stability. Two days ago Karl and his partners were out investigating wind slabs perched on facets. He could not get anything to break in his tests, but still stuck to lower angled slopes since he felt it would be possible to trigger something steep. Slopes steeper than 35 degrees or any slope with a hard wind slab has a MODERATE Avalanche Danger. Less steep slopes without a wind slab have a LOW Avalanche Danger.

The northern Gallatin Range:

In the northern Gallatin Range, Mark found stronger and deeper snows on Elephant Mountain in Hyalite. There's been no snow or significant wind in days and he had no immediate stability concerns, which he describes in this video. For today, since natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely, the Avalanche Danger is rated LOW.

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 8th: 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.

You can help raise money two ways:

    1). Get pledges and hike the ridge. You don't have to do 20 laps – you can get flat pledges and hike just once!

    2). Sponsor someone. If you don't have someone to sponsor, consider sponsoring the GNFAC since we'll be hiking for dollars. Email us at with a pledge!

Go to for more information and registration forms.

PRIZES INCLUDE: 4frnt skis, two pair of Schnee's Hunter boots, three Mystery Ranch backpacks and three pair of Oboz shoes.

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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