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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Friday - 06 January 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 34 -1 14 T 24 BC Calm
East Entrance 43 8 26 0 27 SC Calm
Grant Village 35 1 20 T 33 BC Light flurries
Lake 36 8 12 0 25 BC N@3mph
Lamar 30 20 20 T      
Madison 30 3 5 0 16 OC Calm
Mammoth 32 20 20 0 5 OC WSW@2-3mph
Old Faithful 41 20 20 0 24 OC SW@5-8mph
Pahaska 34 28 28 0      
Snake River 29 5 22 0 33 OC Calm
Soda Butte 30 21 21 T      
Thumb Divide 26 22 22 T      
Tower 28 11 14 T 12 OC WNW@1-2mph
West Entrance 35 4 13 0 24 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 Good STR
Mammoth to Tower YR Good STR
Tower to NE Entrance YR Good STR
Beartooth Highway CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Canyon to Lake Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Firehole Canyon Drive CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Grant to South Entrance Open   All oversnow vehicles
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open   All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open   All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open Fair - drifts & ruts All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open Fair All oversnow vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open   All oversnow vehicles
Tower to Canyon CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *

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 06 January 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Partly cloudy. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Tonight...Mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow after midnight. Lows 3°F to 9°F.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 0°F to 8°F.

Sunday...Partly cloudy. Highs 23°F to 29°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the afternoon.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening then clearing. Patchy fog after midnight. Lows 6°F to 14°F.

Monday...Mostly sunny. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Monday Night...Mostly clear. Lows 9°F to 17°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning... Then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Tuesday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 2°F to 8°F.

Wednesday...Partly cloudy in the morning then clearing. Highs 16°F to 22°F.

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 1°F to 9°F.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 21°F to 27°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 44 Parker Peak 40
Blackwater 46 Snake River Station 28
Canyon 24 Sylvan Lake 34
Evening Star 45 Sylvan Road 24
Fisher Creek 51 Thumb Divide 25
Grassy Lake 40 Two Ocean Plateau 53
Lewis Lake Divide 38 West Yellowstone 19
Madison Plateau 30 Whiskey Creek 22
Northeast Entrance 15 Wolverine 19

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 06 January 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Temperatures dropped overnight and were in the mid teens Fahrenheit this morning. Winds were averaging 5-15 mph from the Northwest with gusts of 25-40 mph. No snow fell overnight and today will be mostly sunny. Winds will blow 10-20 mph from the West and Northwest, and temperatures will climb into the mid 20s Fahrenheit.


Final reports on last weekend's avalanche accidents are available at:

A resident of Cooke City hiked into Hayden Creek yesterday and confirmed that Ole the dog survived for 4 days buried 3 feet deep. He likely heard Doug and Karl walking on the debris conducting the accident investigation while he was still buried. A video was posted documenting this tale of survival.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

The snowpack remains unstable even though it's been nearly a week since the last snowfall. Unfortunately one week of warm temperatures is not enough to improve stability, and the structure of this season snowpack means that it can remain unstable for a long time. Yesterday my partners and I skied north of Bridger Bowl. The surface snow had been affected by recent warm temperatures, but facets in the bottom half of the snowpack remained unchanged and weak. Our stability test scores were low and indicated unstable conditions. They were similar to what Karl found on Lionhead on Wednesday, and what snowmobilers found yesterday in the Taylor Fork area. A recent avalanche in the Taylor Fork confirmed this instabilitiy. Skiers in the Dudley Creek area near Big Sky also found weak and unstable snow.

Now is a difficult time. Without more snow, the danger will decrease very slowly. Signs of instability will become less obvious and avalanches will become slightly harder to trigger. In fact the snowpack may even let a few people ski or ride on a slope before it avalanches. Don't let tracks on a slope trick you into thinking it's stable. A recent visitor from Utah said it best: Right after this weekend's storm skiing or riding in avalanche terrain was like playing Russian roulette with a bullet in 5 of the 6 chambers. Now it's like playing Russian roulette with a bullet in 1 of the 6 chambers.

Rating the avalanche danger is difficult. There are three categories that describe each danger rating: travel advice, likelihood, and size and distribution. The likelihood of triggering an avalanche and the size and distribution are slowly changing. Travel advice is not. For today, based on travel advice, I'm rating the Avalanche Danger CONSIDERABLE. This means dangerous avalanche conditions exist, and these conditions require careful snowpack evaluations, cautions route-finding, and conservative decision making. See the complete danger scale below.

The northern Gallatin Range:

Stability is better in the northern Gallatin Range. On Wednesday Eric and his partners skiied in Hyalite Canyon where they found obvious facets near the ground, but thought it would be difficult to trigger an avalanche on this layer. They also saw evidence of a large cornice that broke and hit the slope below but did not trigger an avalanche – a good sign. Some areas have a layer of surface hoar buried about a foot deep. I found it on Mount Ellis and did not ski steeper open areas under the burn based on the existence of this layer. Buried surface hoar was also found near Lick Creek. With buried surface hoar on some slopes and some facets near the ground, human triggered avalanches are possible and the Avalanche Danger is MODERATE.

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.


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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