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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Sunday - 24 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 -11.0 -1.0 -11.0 0   OC N @ 1 - 3 mph
Canyon 2.1 11.3 0.1 .10 39 OC  
East Entrance 2.8 11.1 2.8 .01 24 OC  
Lake -11.0 -4.0 -11.0 .19 33 OC Calm
Madison -7.5 3.7 -7.5     OC  
Mammoth 14.2 17.3 14.2 .04 9 OC S@ @ 2 - 3 mph
NE Entrance -2.1 30.0 1.9 .10 26 OC  
Old Faithful -5.9 -3.4 -6.2 0 24 OC ESE @ 2 mph
Soda Butte -5.2 5.3 -5.2 .06   OC  
South Entrance -9.9 11.9 -9.9 .17 44 OC  
Sylvan Lake -9.2 -13.0 -9.8 .10 52 OC  
Sylvan Road -7.1 32.2 -8.3 0 30 OC  
Thorofare 2.0 6.0 2.0 .03   OC N @ 3 - 5 mph
Thumb Divide -7.2 1.2 -7.2 0 44 OC  
Tower 0.6 8.2 -1.9 .03   OC S @ 2 mph
West Entrance 8.8 31.8 8.8 .10 29 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 24, 2013
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today: Cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the late evening and overnight. Lows 0°F to 6°F.

Monday: Breezy...cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent. Highs 21°F to 27°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 around 2 inches. Total snow accumulation around 3 inches. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the evening. Chance of snow 60 percent. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Thursday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 9°F to 15°F.

Friday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows 12°F to 18°F.

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs 32°F to 38°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 96 Parker Peak 64
Blackwater 61 South Entrance 44
Canyon 39 Sylvan Lake 52
Evening Star 69 Sylvan Road 30
Fisher Creek 81 Thumb Divide 44
Grassy Lake 76 Two Ocean Plateau 70
Lewis Lake Divide 74 West Yellowstone 29
Madison Plateau 62 Whiskey Creek 40
Northeast Entrance 26 Wolverine 27

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Avalanche Advisory

from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - February 24, 2013 - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory Does Not Apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Yesterday, the Bridger Range picked up 8 inches of new snow. The northern Gallatin Range and mountains near Big Sky picked up 5 to 6 inches and the mountains near West Yellowstone and Cooke City picked up 3 to 5 inches. Currently, temperatures are in the single digits Fahrenheit and winds are blowing 5 to 20 mph out the West-northwest. Today, our region will remain under a dry northwest flow which will keep temperatures on the cool side. Highs today will warm into the upper teens to low twenties Fahrenheit under partly cloudy skies and winds will stay light to moderate out of the West-northwest. No new snow is expected today or tonight.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

Bridger, Gallatin, and Southern Madison Ranges, Lionhead Area near West Yellowstone, and Cooke City:

Riding conditions yesterday were better than average. This can be attributed to the heavy snow that fell throughout the day. The trouble with more snow is that the avalanche danger is typically elevated. Today will be no exception. Playing in avalanche terrain safely today will require more skill than luck.

Today's elevated avalanche danger presents multiple avalanche problems. The most prominent avalanche problem today will be wind loaded slopes. Yesterday's blast of low density snow was easily transported by strong west-northwest winds. Prior to the passage of the cold front yesterday morning, winds blew out of the west-southwest which has put loading patterns all over the map. Yesterday, my partners and I toured around Palace Butte in Hyalite and turned around at 9,500 feet on a south facing slope due to rising instability. Wind slabs will be most common in upper elevation terrain, specifically below ridgelines or on the leeward side cross loaded terrain features.

A secondary concern is layer of facets buried 1 to 3 feet deep (video). Yesterday, a skier near Flathead Pass in the northern Bridger Range triggered an avalanche that broke on a layer of facets two feet deep. The side propagated 100 feet wide and failed on a slope less than 35 degrees. This slide sounds similar to the avalanche that occurred on Bridger Peak last Wednesday. A second hand report from Cooke City also mentioned a similar event that took place on a west facing slope south of town. A commonality between these larger avalanches is they were all triggered from areas where the snowpack is thin (photo, photo, video). Keep this in mind when traveling in the backcountry.

The bottom line: Fresh snow, wind and buried weak layers make a great recipe for producing avalanches. Safe travel today will require cautious route finding, conservative decision making and careful snowpack evaluation.

Today, human triggered avalanches are likely on wind loaded slopes which have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. Non-wind loaded slopes have a "HEADS UP" MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

Northern Madison Range:

The northern Madison Range had a wild day yesterday. Heavy snow and strong winds from the NW rapidly loaded leeward slopes. A report from the Big Sky Ski Patrol said snow transport was maxed out and soft slabs were forming faster than you could ski cut them. Slab development was not confined to alpine terrain and the ski patrol triggered many touchy wind slabs at and below treeline. With northwest winds continuing to blow 10 to 20 mph overnight, I expect wind loaded slopes will remain hair trigger. For this reason the Avalanche Danger is rated HIGH on wind loaded slopes.

Non-wind loaded slopes will be less reactive; however, a layer of facets buried 1 to 3 feet deep remains a concern. Yesterday, a skier on Yellow Mountain got unstable results during stability tests and stuck to lower angle terrain. Initiating a slide in the new snow has the potential to step down to faceted layers buried deeper in the pack. Triggering a slide on deeper layers will be most likely in rocky terrain where the snowpack is thin.

Today, non-wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. Less steep, non-wind loaded slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

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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