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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - January 08, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 28 14 20 1 36 OC Calm / lite snow
East Entrance 37 27 30 1 28 OC W@3-5mph / moderate snow
Grant Village 30 11 23 T 44 OC Lite snow
Lake 30 24 25 2 38 OC Lite snow
Lamar 32 22 25 1.4 22 OC W@8-12mph / lite snow
Madison 34 10 22 T 26 OC Calm / lite snow
Mammoth 35 25 29 T 17 OC S@8-10mph
Old Faithful 35 11 23 T 28 OC SW@5mph / lite snow
Snake River 33 21 24 1 40 OC Calm
Tower 29 23 23 T 25 OC Calm
West Entrance 28 9 21 T 34 OC Calm
T=Trace / BC=Broken Clouds / OC=Overcast / SC=Scattered Clouds
All Temperatures are in °F ~ All Snow Depths are in Inches

* * * Road Conditions * * *
Road Section Status Conditions Public Access / Info
Gardiner to Mammoth YR STR STR
Mammoth to Tower YR STR STR - Blowing / Drifting
Tower to NE Entrance YR STR STR - Blowing / Drifting
Canyon to Lake Open Fair Oversnow
Firehole Canyon Drive Open - Oversnow - Snowcoaches only in the morning
Grant to South Entrance Open Good Oversnow
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Lake to East Entrance Open Good Oversnow
Lake to West Thumb Open Fair Oversnow
Madison to Old Faithful Open Good Oversnow
Madison to West Yellowstone Open Good Oversnow
Mammoth to Norris Open Good Oversnow
Norris to Canyon Open Good Oversnow
Norris to Madison Open Good Oversnow
Old Faithful to Grant Open Fair Oversnow

YR=Year Round / NR=No Restrictions / STA=Snow Tires Advised / STR=Snow Tires Required


# 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 08 January 2011 by the NWS Riverton, WY

Today: Snow. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Highs 22°F to 28°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Tonight: Snow. Snow accumulation of 3 to 4 inches. Total snow accumulation 5 to 8 inches. Lows -4°F to 2°F. West winds around 15 mph shifting to the northwest late in the evening. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Sunday: Colder. Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 8°F to 14°F. Lowest wind chill readings -10°F to -20°F in the morning.

Sunday Night: Colder. Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows -7°F to -15°F.

Monday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 0°F to 6°F. Lowest wind chill readings -15°F to -25°F in the morning.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -10°F to -18°F. Wind chill readings -32°F to -42°F.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Highs 3°F to 9°F.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows -3°F to -9°F.

Wednesday: Not as cold. Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 11°F to 17°F.

Wednesday Night: Breezy. Not as cold. Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Thursday: Breezy. Not as cold. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Thursday Night: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 12°F to 18°F.

Friday: Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 19°F to 25°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 86 Snake River Station 24
Blackwater 48 Sylvan Lake 47
Canyon 36 Sylvan Road 32
Evening Star 58 Thumb Divide 44
Grassy Lake 66 Two Ocean Plateau 59
Lewis Lake Divide 66 West Yellowstone 33
Madison Plateau 55 Whiskey Creek 43
Parker Peak 77 Wolverine 27

Avalanche Information - from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center this report is by Eric Knoff

Mountain Weather:

In the past 24 hours, 3 inches of heavy, dense snow has fallen in the Bridger Range, 2-3 inches has fallen in the mountains around Cooke City, and a trace to an inch has fallen elsewhere. Mountain temperatures are in the mid to high 20s and winds are out of the Westsouthwest at 10-20 mph. Today, temperatures will top out around 30 Fahrenheit, but will gradually cool off by this evening as a cold front moves in from the north. Winds will increase from the west as the front approaches, reaching speeds up to 30 mph by this afternoon. Accumulations of 2-4 inches will likely fall throughout our advisory area today, with an additional 2-4 inches falling tonight into tomorrow.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The northern Madison Range:

Buried surface hoar remains an issue in the mountains around Big Sky. Yesterday, Mark and I investigated a human triggered avalanche that occurred on Thursday in Beehive Basin that failed on this layer. This slide was triggered on a Westsouthwest facing slope around 9,000 feet and failed on a layer of buried surface hoar 2 feet deep. The snowboarder who triggered the slide was the third individual to descend the slope and luckily was not buried or injured. The rider set off the slide on a heavily wind loaded roll - a feature the previous two riders had avoided.

Prior to riding the slope on which the slide occurred, this group dug a snowpit on a similar aspect which produced stable results. This incident illustrates the characteristic of this surface hoar layer to exist in certain areas and not in others - even varying on slopes with similar aspects and elevations. The group was using proper backcountry procedures, carrying rescue gear, traveling one at a time and watching one another from safe locations. Using this protocol likely prevented this situation from becoming a more dangerous avalanche incident.

With conditions like these paying close attention to high probability areas, mainly any slope with wind deposited snow, is important. Although wind loaded slopes remain our primary avalanche concern, triggering a slide in non-wind loaded terrain is possible. Yesterday skiers on Yellow Mountain experienced a large collapse on a non-wind loaded, forested slope; an obvious sign buried surface hoar was present in the snowpack. This clear sign of instability altered the groups skiing plans for the day, a wise decision.

With more snow and wind forecasted over the next few days, the weak snowpack of the northern Madison range will be put to the test. In most places avalanches will break within the new snow but can break on deeper layers as Thursday's avalanche demonstrated. Today the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE on all wind loaded slopes. All other slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

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

The snowpack outside of the northern Madison Range lacks persistent weak layers and is generally stable, with the exception of wind loaded slopes. Yesterday, the Bridger Bowl ski patrol triggered multiple avalanches while doing control work in the Slushman's area. These slides were confined to recently wind deposited snow, but did break over 2 feet deep in some areas. One slide ran over 800 vertical feet, propagated over a lower angled slope, and pulled out other pockets of wind deposited snow as it ran. This type of activity will mainly be confined to steep, wind loaded slopes near ridgelines, but cross loaded slopes at lower elevations have the potential to produce avalanches as well.

Outside of wind loaded terrain, triggering an avalanche will be more difficult, but not impossible. On Thursday, Mark and I rode in the Taylor Fork and found a layer 12 inches down on a Northeast facing slope that propagated in our stability test. Although this layer was not a major concern at the time, with more snow and wind over the next few days, this layer could become more active.

Today human triggered avalanches remain likely on wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. On less steep, wind loaded slopes OR steep slopes without a wind load, the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE. Generally safe avalanche conditions can be found on slopes without a wind load that are less than 35 degrees where the Avalanche Danger is rated LOW.

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

For detailed Avalanche Terms lists here, please see the Avalanche Glossary.

Avalanche Danger Scale

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center ~ Mammoth Weather Forecast

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

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