Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC
Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Grizzly Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC

Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Sunday - 26 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 23 -11 2 .5 39 OC Calm / Snowing
East Entrance 28 12 12 3 42 OC Calm / Snowing
Grant Village 20 3 4 6 49 SC Calm
Lake 22 -2 0 2 46 OC Calm
Lamar 20 9 18 T 16 OC Calm
Madison 26 -12 -4 4 31 BC Calm
Mammoth 30 13 17 T 8 OC SE@5mph
Old Faithful 24 3 12 5 38 C SW@5-10mph
Pahaska 18 14 14 .10 - OC Windy
Snake River 29 12 20 12 75 OC Calm / Snowing
Soda Butte 14 11 11 T - OC Windy
Thumb Divide 12 6 6 .30 54 OC Windy
Tower 31 7 13 2 20 BC NE@1-3mph
West Entrance 30 4 12 9 46 SC Breezy
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 POOR 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 POOR All oversnow vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open POOR All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open POOR All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open POOR All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open POOR All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open POOR All oversnow vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open Fair 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 26 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Highs 16°F to 22°F.

Tonight...Partly cloudy. Southwest winds around 15 mph early in the evening. Lows -3°F to 3°F.

Monday...Not as cold. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Chance of snow 40 percent. Highs 24°F to 30°F. Lowest wind chill readings -10°F to -20°F in the morning.

Monday Night...Cloudy. Snow likely in the evening...then chance of snow after midnight. Snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches. Chance of snow 70 percent. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Tuesday...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. West winds 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

Tuesday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Wednesday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 17°F to 23°F.

Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 2°F to 8°F.

Friday...Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°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 99 Parker Peak 71
Blackwater 73 Snake River Station 71
Canyon 46 Sylvan Lake 60
Evening Star 88 Sylvan Road 49
Fisher Creek 98 Thumb Divide 54
Grassy Lake 106 Two Ocean Plateau 96
Lewis Lake Divide 86 West Yellowstone 45
Madison Plateau 69 Whiskey Creek 52
Northeast Entrance 42 Wolverine 39

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 26 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 26 2012 AT 5:00 am

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is issuing a Backcountry Avalanche Warning for the Bridger Range, southern Madison and southern Gallatin Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone and mountains around Cooke City. Heavy snowfall, high winds and an extremely weak snowpack are causing unstable conditions. Today the Avalanche Danger is HIGH on all slopes. Natural and human triggered avalanches are likely. Avalanche terrain including avalanche runout zones should be avoided.

You are urged to contact the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Advisory for more detailed information.


Avalanche Hotline: 406-587-6981

Mountain Weather

Over the past 24 hours the Bridger Range and mountains near west Yellowstone picked up 8 inches of new snow, 5 to 7 inches fell elsewhere. Winds blew 30-40 mph out of West-northwest during the storm, but have decreased to 20-30 mph out of the West-northwest. The exception is the Bridger Range where ridgetop winds are still blowing 30-40 mph. Mountain temperatures are ranging between 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit under cloudy skies. Today, temperatures will warm into the mid to high teens Fahrenheit and winds will gradually decrease to 15-25 mph out of the west. Lingering snow showers could produce 1 to 2 inches of new snow by this afternoon, but conditions will dry out by this evening.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Yesterday, 6 to 8 inches of snow fell in under eight hours, applying a rapid load to a weak and fragile snowpack. This new load will likely push the snowpack past its breaking point, producing widespread natural activity. If slopes are failing naturally, there is little chance they will support the weight of a skier or rider.

Prior to this latest storm, the snowpack was already displaying its ability to produce large natural and human triggered avalanches. On Friday, Mark and his partner observed extensive natural activity near Fairy Lake in the northern Bridger Range. On the same day a skier triggered and was caught in a potentially deadly slide on Saddle Peak. A skier also triggered a large and dangerous slide in Wolverine Bowl north of Bridger Bowl ski area.

Farther south, natural and human triggered avalanches have been reported in the mountains around Cooke City. This past Wednesday a snowmobiler was killed by an avalanche on the road leading to Daisy Pass. Yesterday, in the mountains around West Yellowstone, skiers experienced widespread cracking and collapsing, obvious signs of instability.

All these clues are sending a very clear message - THE SNOWPACK IS HIGHLY UNSTABLE! Staying off any steep slope, this includes lower angle slopes connected to steeper slopes is highly recommended. It's important to remember that even small slopes such as road cuts can produce deadly avalanches.

Today, if you travel in avalanche terrain you will likely find avalanches. For this reason the Avalanche Danger is rated HIGH on all slopes.

The northern Gallatin and northern Madison Ranges:

Although the northern Madison and northern Gallatin Ranges have slipped just under the avalanche warning criteria, they still have dangerous avalanche conditions. Yesterday, six inches of snow fell in a short period of time, applying additional stress to an already struggling snowpack. In addition to the new snow, winds blew 30-40 mph out of the west/northwest during the storm, heavily loading slopes on the east half of the compass. Today, wind loaded slopes will be the most likely to produce natural and human triggered avalanches, however, slopes steeper than 35 degrees will also be prone to avalanche activity.

Many avalanches will fracture on a layer of weak, near surface facets buried 1 to 2 feet deep. This layer exists on all aspects and in all areas. However, a few low elevation areas do not have it, mainly in the northern Gallatin Range. When avalanches break on this layer, they can easily step down to facets near the ground. This scenario occurred over the past few days at both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin ski areas during control work. Also, a skier near Big Sky observed 6 natural avalanches and remotely triggered a slide from thirty feet away on Friday.

Today, staying safe in the backcountry will depend entirely on decision making. Slopes full of untracked powder will have a powerful allure, but the avalanche dragon will be lurking. Make sure terrain is assessed carefully and always stay in visual and voice contact with your partner.

Today, very dangerous avalanche conditions exist on all wind load slopes and slopes steeper than 35 degrees which have a HIGH Avalanche Danger. Less steep, non wind loaded slopes have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger.


The accident reports for the avalanche fatality near Cooke City and the slide on Saddle Peak are now available. See links below.

Also, another avalanche fatality occurred yesterday near Marias Pass outside of Glacier National Park. This makes the third avalanche fatality to hit Montana in the past six days and raises the total number of avalanche fatalities in the United States to 20.

For Photos, Videos and More Detailed Information related to this report, Please Visit the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

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.


31st Annual Pinhead Classic

Come to Bridger Bowl on Saturday, March 17th (Saint Patrick's Day) with telemark skis, AT skis, alpine skis, snowboards, split boards, or even snow blades. The theme is Snowpocalypse based on the wildly popular Mayan 2012 apocalypse. $30 gets you into the races, a pint glass, t-shirt, a good time, a raffle ticket, and food by Cafe Fresco. Pre-register at Mystery Ranch or Grizzly Ridge: March 11-16. Visit or the Pinhead Facebook Page for more info.

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

Yellowstone National Park by Page Makers, LLC © Copyright All Rights Reserved
I n d e x
Accessibility Earthquakes Maps Video Page
Address Email Newspaper Visitor Centers
Adult Programs Entrances Old Faithful Live WebCam Visitor Stats
Amphibians Entrance Fees Pets Volcano Observatory
Animals Fall Closure Phone Numbers Waterfalls
Backcountry Fish Picnic Areas Weather
Bear Management Fishing Fees Ranger Led Activities WebCams
Bear Sightings Fishing Regulations Reptiles Wildflowers
Biking Getting Here Reunions Winter Closing
Boating Hiking Rivers, Creeks & Streams Winter Opening
Books History Roads Winter Weather Reports
Butterflies Junior Ranger Program Schedule Wolf Project
Camping Lakes Search Page Wolf Sightings
Campground Maps Location Spring Opening Wolverine Help
Challenges Lodging Star Talks Yellowstone ~ the Name
Chat Page Lynx Help Trip Planner pdf Young Scientist
Clinics / Medical Mammal List Trip Reports Youth Conservation Corps
Not all who wander are lost by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien © Page Makers, LLC
Yellowstone National Park WebCams
Old Faithful Live All Old Faithful Old Faithful Static Old Faithful VC North Entrance Mt Washburn Mammoth YVO WebCam

Rexburg Idaho WebCams
  Rexburg, Idaho WebCams  

Yellowstone Area Highway WebCams
Alpine Junction Hwy 89 (South) Monida Pass I-15 (North)
Bozeman Pass I-90 (North) Osborne Bridge Hwy 20 (West)
Henry's Lake North Hwy 20 (West) Raynolds Pass MT 87 (North or West)
Henry's Lake South Hwy 20 (West) Teton Pass WY 22 (South)
(North) = Closest Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

State Road Reports
Idaho Utah
Montana Wyoming

Entrance Cities and Gateway Towns
Gardiner, Montana Silver Gate, Montana West Yellowstone, Montana Cooke City, Montana
Livingston, Montana Cody, Wyoming Jackson Hole, Wyoming Yellowstone National Park

The Great Outdoors Net Great Outdoor Recreational Places
Gardiner, Montana World Humanity

Contact Us

by John William Uhler

Back to: Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 Page Makers, LLC and Yellowstone Media ~ All Rights Reserved