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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - 18 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 27 -4 14 T 35 OC Calm / Snowing
East Entrance 31 4 15 0 34 OC Calm
Grant Village 28 2 14 T 42 OC Calm
Lake 24 12 14 1 39 OC Calm / Snowing
Lamar 20 13 20 T 14 OC Calm
Madison 30 4 10 0 23 OC Calm
Mammoth 37 19 28 0 8 OC SE@3-8mph
Old Faithful 32 5 20 T 27 OC NE@5-10mph
Pahaska 20 17 20 0 - SC Calm
Snake River 26 4 12 .5 58 OC Calm
Soda Butte 17 13 17 T - SC Calm
Thumb Divide 16 8 16 0 43 SC Calm
Tower 35 7 23 T 19 OC SSE@1-2mph
West Entrance 33 9 22 0 33 OC 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 Intermittent Snow pack & Ice Snow Tires Required
Mammoth to Tower YR Intermittent Snow pack & Ice Snow Tires Required
Tower to NE Entrance YR Intermittent Snow pack & Ice 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 18 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 50 percent. Highs 25°F to 31°F.

Tonight...Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Sunday...Snow likely in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 3 to 6 inches. Chance of snow 70 percent. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. Chance of snow 30 percent. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Monday - Washingtons Birthday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Tuesday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Tuesday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 14°F to 20°F.

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

Wednesday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Thursday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 18°F to 24°F.

Thursday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Friday...Not as cold. Mostly cloudy with a 20 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 82 Parker Peak 62
Blackwater 63 Snake River Station 51
Canyon 39 Sylvan Lake 52
Evening Star 72 Sylvan Road 39
Fisher Creek 78 Thumb Divide 42
Grassy Lake 79 Two Ocean Plateau 80
Lewis Lake Divide 73 West Yellowstone 32
Madison Plateau 52 Whiskey Creek 41
Northeast Entrance 30 Wolverine 28

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 18 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Since yesterday morning a trace to one inch of snow has fallen over the mountains of our advisory area. Currently, mountain temperatures are in the teens Fahrenheit and winds are blowing out of the West-southwest at 10-20 mph. Today, temperatures will warm into the 20s Fahrenheit and winds will shift to the West-northwest blowing 15-25 mph. An approaching cold front will produce an increased chance of snow showers by this afternoon. 3 to 5 inches will likely accumulate in the mountains by tomorrow morning.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Winter is doing its best to make an appearance. Fresh snow has fallen nearly every day this past week, making riding conditions some of the best of the year. As the snow gradually piles up, the snowpack is working to support the new load.

Although snow totals over the past week have been respectable, the light-dry nature of the snow has amounted to less than 1 inch of SWE in most areas. While this snowfall has not added a tremendous amount of stress to the snowpack, it has provided enough ammunition for moderate winds to build fresh wind slabs. These wind slabs are today's primary avalanche concern.

The most likely areas to find and trigger pockets of windblown snow will be the leeward side of upper elevation ridgelines. Cornices are a good clue as to which direction the wind has been blowing and slopes below cornices should be avoided. Yesterday, Mark was in Cooke City and found wind loaded slopes, specifically those with a southerly aspect to be the most unstable. A facet crust combination about a foot below the surface provided the proper structure for wind slabs to move. A skier in Hyalite found similar conditions on Thursday.

Recently formed wind slabs should stay manageable in size. I don't expect areas of windblown snow to propagate across entire ridgelines. However, it does not take a large slide to produce severe consequences.

A secondary concern is avalanches breaking on deeper layers in the snowpack. Yesterday, my partner and I toured to Ernie Miller Ridge from Bacon Rind. We found a poor snowpack structure and received unstable results during stability tests. Triggering an avalanche on deeper layers will require finding the right combination of a strong slab resting over a thin weak section of the snowpack. The most likely areas to find this condition would be in steep, upper elevation, rocky terrain.

Today, human triggered avalanches are likely on wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees which have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. Less steep, non-wind loaded slopes have a MODERATE 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!


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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