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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Tuesday - 28 February 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 26 -2 9 1 40 OC Calm / Snowing
East Entrance 31 -2 15 .5 41 OC Calm / Snowing
Grant Village 22 13 22 .30 49 OC Calm / Snowing
Lake 22 -1 15 1 45.5 OC Calm / Snowing
Lamar 19 4 18 .15 16 OC Calm / Snowing
Madison 27 -1 14 2 29 OC Calm / Snowing
Mammoth 20 16 17 T 8 OC N@3-4mph / Snowing
Old Faithful 27 0 17 2 36 OC Calm / Snowing
Pahaska 17 14 16 T - OC Calm / Snowing
Snake River 24 1 16 .5 71 OC Calm / Snowing
Soda Butte 16 4 16 .15 - OC Calm / Snowing
Thumb Divide 17 13 17 .30 51 OC Calm / Snowing
Tower 30 8 12 .5 21 OC N@6-8mph / Snowing
West Entrance 26 0 15 1 45 OC Calm / 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 Good 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 Fair All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open Good 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 28 February 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Rest Of Today...Chance of snow early in the morning...then snow in the afternoon. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 1 to 3 inches. West winds around 15 mph late in the afternoon. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Tonight...Breezy. Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Wednesday...Breezy. Snow likely in the morning...then snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 90 percent. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Wednesday Night...Breezy. Snow in the evening...then snow likely after midnight. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Southwest winds 20 to 25 mph decreasing to around 15 mph after midnight. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Thursday / March 1st...Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 5 to 9 inches. West winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening... Then slight chance of snow after midnight. Chance of snow 50 percent. Lows -1°F to 5°F. Wind chill readings -11°F to -21°F.

Friday...Breezy. Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 17°F to 23°F. Wind chill readings -11°F to -21°F.

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

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

Saturday Night...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 11°F to 17°F.

Sunday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 29°F to 35°F.

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

Monday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 29°F to 35°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 68
Blackwater 71 Snake River Station 66
Canyon 45 Sylvan Lake 58
Evening Star 85 Sylvan Road 47
Fisher Creek 92 Thumb Divide 51
Grassy Lake 100 Two Ocean Plateau 91
Lewis Lake Divide 91 West Yellowstone 41
Madison Plateau 66 Whiskey Creek 51
Northeast Entrance 40 Wolverine 37

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 28 February 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

In the last 24 hours a trace to one inch of snow fell in the southern mountains. Temperatures are near 10 degrees Fahrenheit and east winds are light at 5-10 mph. Today will be cloudy with snow showers near West Yellowstone and Cooke City while the rest of our area enjoys mostly sunny skies. Winds will shift to the northwest today, but remain light as temperatures rise into the high teens Fahrenheit. By morning I expect 2 to 3 inches in the southern mountains.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

As days pass without substantial loading, triggering avalanches becomes more difficult even though the weak layer can still fracture. Center-punching a big line is still risky business and might be for the rest of the season. We are seeing skiers nibble around the edges of big avalanche paths and get away with it. Don't confuse "getting away with it" with stability. Many folks skied off the summit of Saddle Peak on Friday without any problems. They got away with it. Yet only eight inches of snow on Saturday was enough to rip out the slope that night. And let's not forget that a skier took the ride of her life on Friday when she triggered a large slide off the south summit of Saddle during the same time that folks were getting away with skiing lines a few hundred yards away. Stability assessment was not terribly tricky then, but it's becoming more so now.

Eric, Karl and I toured near Hebgen Lake yesterday. Other skiers in this area had widespread collapsing and cracking on Saturday, but we only found it in a few localized spots. Our stability tests are propagating cracks and taking more force to break with each passing day, yet there are a few facts we should not forget:

    1. Cracking or collapsing indicates slopes are dangerously close to avalanching.

    2. Our mountains have a widespread weak layer of small facets buried 1.5 to 3 feet deep that were responsible for much of the recent avalanche activity.

    3. Avalanches may also break at the ground since many slopes have large, weak grains of depth hoar at its base. Examples of this include Saddle Peak, the south side of Bradley Meadow and Wolverine Bowl in the Bridger Range.

    4. Just two days ago a skier remotely triggered an avalanche on a slope less than 35 degrees north of Big Sky; scary stuff. And yesterday Moonlight Basin Ski Patrol noted a large slide on the northeast flank of Cedar Mountain.

    5. Natural activity is still being spotted around Cooke City.

Eric summed up our thoughts about the buried facets in yesterday's video when he said, "We definitely do not trust it". We are remaining conservative and staying out of avalanche terrain. We are on the backside of an avalanche cycle and instability is less obvious. This is the time we can get surprised. Given the widespread weak layer, recent avalanche activity and cracking/collapsing, I'm rating the Avalanche Danger CONSIDERABLE on all slopes today.


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 on Saturday near Marias Pass outside of Glacier National Park. This makes the third avalanche fatality to hit Montana in the past week and raises the total number of avalanche fatalities in the United States to 21.

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.

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


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

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