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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - 16 February 2013

Yellowstone National Park Winter Weather Links
Avalanche Advisory Special Weather Info
Daily Winter Weather Report Winter Road Report
Snow Depth Totals Yellowstone Weather Forecast

Station Pres Temp Max Temp Min Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Bechler 22.0 23.0 21.0 .05   OC Calm
Canyon 24.3 24.3 20.3 0 34 OC  
East Entrance 26.5 26.5 23.3 .04 23 OC  
Lake 21.0 21.0 17.1 0 32 OC Calm
Madison 23.8 24.3 19.1     OC  
Mammoth 21.2 24.4 18.1 .01 9 BC W @ 4 - 5 mph
NE Entrance 26.1 26.1 23.9 0 25 OC  
Old Faithful 23.0 23.1 22.7 0 24 OC NNW @ 1 - 5 mph
Soda Butte 22.1 22.2 19.8 .25   OC  
South Entrance 21.4 23.8 21.3 .01 41 OC  
Sylvan Lake 22.5 22.6 18.5 0 48 OC  
Sylvan Road 26.8 26.8 26.1 0 31 OC  
Thorofare 18.0 18.0 17.0 .05   OC NW @ 3 - 10 mph
Thumb Divide 22.8 22.8 22.6 .10 41 OC  
Tower 17.8 18.1 10.8 0   OC ENE @ 1 mph
West Entrance 27.3 27.3 27.0 0 25 OC  
T=Trace/ BC=Broken Clouds/ C=Clear/ OC=Overcast/ SC=Scattered Clouds
All Temperatures are in °F ~ All Snow Depths are in Inches

* * Live Weather via All Yellowstone WebCams * *

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* * * Road Conditions * * *
Road Section Status Conditions Public Access / Info
Gardiner, MT to Mammoth Open * Good STR - Not Maintained from 4:30 PM to 6:00 AM
Mammoth to Tower Open * Snow Packed/Icy STR - Not Maintained from 4:30 PM to 6:00 AM
Tower to NE Entrance Open * Snow Packed/Icy STR - Not Maintained from 4:30 PM to 6:00 AM
Canyon to Lake Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Canyon to Tower CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED ♦    (over Dunraven Pass)
Grant to South Entrance Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Lake to East Entrance Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Norris to Madison Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles

* = Open year-round to wheeled vehicle travel.
NR=No Restrictions / STA=Snow Tires Advised / STR=Snow Tires Required


The park service plowing schedule for roads for the spring season.

******** FOR CURRENT ROAD INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 307-344-2117 ********

¤ ¤ - Please Note - ¤ ¤
There is NO wheeled vehicle travel East of Cooke City, Montana during the winter. This road (U.S. Highway 212), is Closed to Wheeled Vehicle Travel to the East as it is not plowed or maintained until late spring. In order to exit Silver Gate, Montana, or Cooke City, Montana, and Yellowstone, you must travel West back through Yellowstone to the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana to exit the park and these towns.

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    Caution advised for snow falling off of building roofs. Park accordingly.

    Dangerous avalanche conditions may already exist in many back country areas, please call the Recorded Avalanche Advisory 406-587-6981 for the most current conditions. Also, see the Avalanche Advisory posted below.

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Yellowstone Seven Day Forecast on February 16, 2013
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today: Breezy. Patchy fog in the morning. Partly cloudy. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Tonight: Breezy. Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of snow. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Lows 12°F to 18°F.

Sunday: Snow likely. Snow accumulation around 2 inches. West winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Sunday Night: Colder. Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. Chance of snow 40 percent. Lows 0°F to 6°F.

Monday / Presidents' Day: Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

Monday Night / Presidents' Day Night: Partly cloudy. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F.

Wednesday: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Wednesday Night: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Friday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Snowflake Hazardous Weather Forecast Snowflake Yellowstone & Grand Teton Forecasts Snowflake Gibbon Falls Forecast Snowflake Mammoth Forecast Snowflake Midway Forecast Snowflake Norris Forecast Snowflake Old Faithful Forecast Snowflake

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* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *
Station Depth (inches) Station Depth (inches)
Black Bear 83 Parker Peak 59
Blackwater 54 South Entrance 41
Canyon 34 Sylvan Lake 48
Evening Star 68 Sylvan Road 31
Fisher Creek 80 Thumb Divide 41
Grassy Lake 66 Two Ocean Plateau 66
Lewis Lake Divide 65 West Yellowstone 25
Madison Plateau 54 Whiskey Creek 34
Northeast Entrance 25 Wolverine 26

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Avalanche Advisory

from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 16, 2013 - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

No snow fell since yesterday. This morning temperatures were mostly in the low 20s Fahrenheit. Winds were blowing 15 mph from the West with gusts of 25 mph. A short lived ridge of high pressure will bring another day of mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures. Temperatures will rise into the 30s Fahrenheit with no change in the winds. Clouds will return tonight. Snow will start falling early tomorrow morning and continue through the day.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

Cooke City:

The mountains around Cooke City simply have a lot of new snow which is the main avalanche problem. Fortunately this area mostly lacks persistent weak layers in the snowpack. The exception is areas with a thinner snowpack mostly at lower elevations or isolated slopes at higher elevations (video). Also watch for recently formed wind slabs or drifts. They will be less sensitive than they were yesterday but can still produce an avalanche. For today the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE.

Bridger, Southern Gallatin and Madison Ranges, and Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:

The situation is more complex in the Bridger Range and the mountains near Big Sky and West Yellowstone. In general facets can be found roughly 1.5 to 2 feet deep. Yesterday near West Yellowstone, Eric and his partner skied on mostly South facing terrain. They found unstable conditions (collapsing and cracking) below 8500 feet while at higher elevations the snowpack was generally deeper, stronger, and stable. In the northern Bridger Range yesterday, I found areas of concern to be dependent on where snowpack was thin in January (photo) based on wind patterns and terrain like steep rocky areas that takes longer to build a deep snowpack. Also, downhill winds were loading specific terrain features but not loading many others.

These faceted layers formed during cold weather in January in places that had a thin snowpack due to low elevation or wind scour. Higher elevation, but wind sheltered slopes may have also these facets. Many other high elevation areas did not form these faceted layers due to a deeper snowpack and/or a wind hardened snow surface. Finding stable slopes requires a keen eye and a few snowpits. Today, rating the avalanche danger is tough because it will be higher on some slopes and lower on others. Overall however, the Avalanche Danger today is MODERATE.

Northern Gallatin Range:

Since last Saturday, the northern Gallatin Range received more snow than most other areas. It also has widespread weak layers of facets buried 2 to 3 feet deep either near the ground or in the middle of the snowpack. I wouldn't trust steep slopes in this area until at least a week passes without new snow or major wind events, even then I would be hesitant to venture into avalanche terrain without very careful snowpack evaluations. For today the Avalanche Danger is CONSIDERABLE.

The next advisory tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM. If you have any snowpack or avalanche observations, drop us a line at or call us at: 406-587-6984.


1. For links to Articles, Education and (photos), (snowpits), or (videos) listed in the above report, please visit this Link.

2. They have recently uploaded more photos and snowpits to their web site, more than what are linked in the advisory above.

3. They have creating a series of "How To…" stability test videos. So far they have clips on performing a CT and ECT. They are located under Stability Tests on their Resources page.

Information provided by Doug Chabot, Mark Staples, and Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. For 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

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Information provided by Yellowstone National Park, National Weather Service and Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

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