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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Thursday - January 20, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 21 -22 -20 T 39   Clear / Calm
East Entrance 25 -9 -1 .5 40   Clear / Calm
Grant Village 21 -15 -14 T 45   Clear / Calm
Lake 23 -11 -11 T 40   Clear / lite winds
Lamar 27 -18 -18 T 27 SC Calm
Madison 21 -21 -18 1 28   Clear / Calm
Mammoth 30 7 9 0 17   Clear
Old Faithful 26 -13 -5 T 30 SC Calm
Snake River 26 -14 -12 T 54   Clear / Calm
Tower 27 -10 -2 T 24 SC Calm
West Entrance 28 -21 -21 T 37   Clear / 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 Good STR
Mammoth to Tower YR Good STR
Tower to NE Entrance YR Good STR
Beartooth Highway CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
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 Fair / Poor 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 Good 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 20 January 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Breezy. Partly cloudy in the morning...then mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 16°F to 22°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph in the late morning and afternoon.

Tonight...Breezy. Chance of snow in the evening...then snow likely after midnight. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Lows 10°F to 16°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Friday...Not as cold. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 25°F to 31°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Friday Night...Snow. Snow accumulation of 2 to 5 inches. Lows 14°F to 20°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Chance of snow 90 percent.

Saturday...Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Total snow accumulation 4 to 8 inches. Highs 24°F to 30°F. West winds around 15 mph in the morning. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Saturday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 2°F1 to 27°F. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Monday...Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F.

Tuesday...Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Tuesday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Wednesday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°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 85 Parker Peak 71
Blackwater 58 Snake River Station 35
Canyon 41 Sylvan Lake 55
Evening Star 79 Sylvan Road 43
Fisher Creek 85 Thumb Divide 44
Grassy Lake 82 Two Ocean Plateau 72
Lewis Lake Divide 78 West Yellowstone 36
Madison Plateau 58 Whiskey Creek 46
Northeast Entrance 33 Wolverine 39

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - this report is by Mark Staples

Mountain Weather

Winds increased yesterday and were blowing westerly 20-25 mph in most areas this morning except at the Bridger Ridge where they were blowing 40 mph. Clear skies overnight allowed temperatures to drop to near 0°F. Cloudy skies will return around noon today, and snowfall should start sometime this afternoon. High temperatures will be in the high teens to 20°F. Winds may subside a bit this morning but increase again this afternoon blowing 20-30 mph from the West and Southwest with gusts late this afternoon around 40 mph. Snowfall this afternoon and evening will favor the mountains near Bozeman and Big Sky where 3-6 inches should fall by tomorrow morning with other areas receiving 2-4 inches.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

This week most areas received over an inch of snow water equivalent (over 1 foot of snow) except the mountains near Cooke City which received about 2.5 inches of snow water equivalent. In simple terms, more snow = more avalanches, and there are two distinctly different avalanche concerns.

Generally the snowpack is strong and can support the weight of new snow, BUT the stress of this new snow has pushed areas with a weak snowpack to their breaking point. These areas are mostly places that have a snowpack less than 1 meter deep which has become weaker during the last month (Republic, Mineral, Big Sky). The Big Sky Ski Patrol triggered an avalanche with explosives on Tuesday that broke near the ground about 2-5 feet deep. Yesterday they triggered another in the Lenin slide path about 4 feet deep and 150 feet wide. Similar avalanches have been observed nearby on Cedar and Fan Mountains and near Cooke City. These areas are not widespread but deserve special attention. They do not have a specific pattern with respect to aspect or elevation and require a careful examination of specific terrain features. Likely areas are steep and rocky that may have been scoured during previous wind events.

Fresh wind slabs are a more widespread avalanche concern especially with strong winds and plentiful new snow to be transported to the lee sides of ridges and gullies. This morning the Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol noted obvious plumes of snow blowing in the moonlight both at ridgetops and mid-mountain. Yesterday an ice climber half way up a climb called the Dribbles in Hyalite Canyon triggered a slab of new snow resting on a sun crust. Fortunately he was not swept off the climb. He and his partner decided not to climb higher and descended. While this type of instability can heal quickly, it will remain a concern with more strong winds.

For today, wind loaded slopes will have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. All other slopes will have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

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

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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