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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Tuesday - 21 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 18 7 13 3 38 OC Calm / Snowing
East Entrance 27 13 22 3 38 OC West winds / Snowing
Grant Village 20 11 18 1 44 OC Light winds
Lake 19 10 19 2 39 OC Calm / Snowing
Lamar 27 4 23 T 15 OC Calm
Madison 23 4 18 1 23 OC Calm / Snowing
Mammoth 26 22 26 T 8 OC SSW@12-16mph / Snowing
Old Faithful 20 13 19 2 31 OC S@3-5mph / Snowing
Pahaska 35 32 33 .5 - BC Calm
Snake River 29 18 20 12.5 71 OC Calm / Snowing
Soda Butte 32 29 31 T - BC Calm
Thumb Divide 31 30 31 0 46 BC Calm
Tower 26 0 22 T 21 OC S@7-9mph
West Entrance 20 12 20 4 40 OC Snowing
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 CLOSED Avalanche Control CLOSED
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 21 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Rest Of Today...Breezy...snow. Areas of blowing snow. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Tonight...Windy...snow. Areas of blowing snow. Snow accumulation of 4 to 7 inches. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Lows 20°F to 26°F.

Wednesday...Very windy. Snow. Areas of blowing snow. Snow accumulation of 4 to 6 inches. Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts to around 50 mph increasing to 35 to 40 mph with gusts to around 55 mph late in the afternoon. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Highs 31°F to 37°F.

Wednesday Night...Very windy. Colder...snow. Areas of blowing snow. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. West winds 30 to 40 mph decreasing to 20 to 25 mph after midnight. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Thursday...Breezy...colder. Snow likely. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 14 to 26 inches. West winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent. 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 -2°F to 4°F. Wind chill readings -13°F to -23°F.

Friday...Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Chance of snow 30 percent. Highs 22°F to 28°F. Lowest wind chill readings -13°F to -23°F in the morning.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F.

Saturday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Saturday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 2°F to 8°F.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 16°F to 22°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. Chance of snow 30 percent. Lows -3°F to 3°F.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 18°F to 24°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 94 Parker Peak 65
Blackwater 64 Snake River Station 57
Canyon 41 Sylvan Lake 54
Evening Star 73 Sylvan Road 41
Fisher Creek 81 Thumb Divide 45
Grassy Lake 92 Two Ocean Plateau 81
Lewis Lake Divide 80 West Yellowstone 37
Madison Plateau 60 Whiskey Creek 47
Northeast Entrance 30 Wolverine 29

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 21 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

At 6:00 a.m. seven to nine inches of new snow has fallen throughout southwest Montana. A moist Pacific storm is driving through on a northwest flow. Mountain temperatures are in the teens Fahrenheit and ridgetop winds are blowing west to northwest at 25-35 mph. The storm is expected to pick up later this morning and last through Wednesday. Today winds will pick up to 30-40 mph and more snow will fall. By morning I expect 10 to 12 inches in the mountains.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

If you enter avalanche terrain today you will likely trigger an avalanche. Today is not a day to trifle with the snowpack. It's ornery and getting more dangerous as more snow falls and wind blows.

Last week we formed a weak layer at the surface that quickly became unstable once it was buried. This layer of small-grained facets is buried about a foot deep and is found on all aspects of the compass throughout our entire advisory area. In the last two days it was propagating fractures and avalanching. Our current snow storm is rapidly loading slopes increasing stress on this layer. On slopes with thin snow cover, like in the Bridger and northern Madison Range, I expect avalanches to step down to the ground on large, sugary grains of depth hoar. Avalanche activity is Mother Nature's warning sign that slopes are unstable. Activity includes:

    • Outside of Cooke City on Saturday, Mark triggered a slide on this layer of near-surface facets. Yesterday, a snowboarder and his friends were able to trigger pockets on every run they took near Fisher Peak. The winds were ripping and loading slopes during the day and have not abated.

    • I investigated an avalanche in Beehive Basin that ran 500 feet wide on Sunday on this layer. It broke to the ground in spots too.

    • Skiers also triggered a large slide on Yellow Mountain on Sunday.

    • Yesterday, a skier in Hyalite triggered two small pockets on steep slopes near Divide Peak when the snow broke on these facets.

    • I saw debris from natural slides in the Bridger Range early Sunday morning near Sacajewea and Hardscabble Peak.

For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated HIGH on wind-loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees with a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger on all other slopes. Instability is widespread. If the storm continues the avalanche danger will rise further.

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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