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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Sunday - January 09, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 22 -18 -18 2 37 SC Calm
East Entrance 31 3 3 1 28 BC Calm
Grant Village 23 -8 14 0 44 OC Calm
Lake 25 -6 -3 1.5 36   Clear / N@3mph
Lamar 23 -10 12 0 22 OC Calm
Madison 23 -10 17 0 26 OC Calm
Mammoth 31 2 4 T 18 SC SE@2-4mph
Old Faithful 20 -14 13 T 28 OC W@3mph / gust 6mph
Snake River 25 0 -3 2 40   Clear / Calm
Tower 24 -10 -4 1.5 25 BC SW@6-8
West Entrance 23 -6 21 0 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
Tower to NE Entrance YR STR STR
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 09 January 2011 by the NWS Riverton, WY

Today: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 8°F to 14°F.

Tonight: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows -6°F to -12°F.

Monday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 0°F to 6°F. Lowest wind chill readings -17°F to -27°F in the morning.

Monday Night: Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -10°F to -18°F.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 3°F to 9°F. Lowest wind chill readings -25°F to -35°F in the morning.

Tesday Night: Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -2°F to -10°F.

Wednesday: Not as cold. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 15°F to 21°F. Lowest wind chill readings -19°F to -29° in the morning.

Wednesday Night: Breezy. Not as cold. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Thursday: Not as cold. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 25°F to 31°F.

Thursday Night: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 16°F to 22°F.

Friday: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Friday Night: Colder. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Saturday: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. 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 87 Snake River Station 28
Blackwater 52 Sylvan Lake 50
Canyon 38 Sylvan Road 33
Evening Star 63 Thumb Divide 44
Grassy Lake 75 Two Ocean Plateau 64
Lewis Lake Divide 68 West Yellowstone 34
Madison Plateau 59 Whiskey Creek 45
Parker Peak 59 Wolverine 31

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

Mountain Weather:

Since yesterday morning, 4-6 inches of new snow has accumulated in the Bridger Range, northern Gallatin Range and mountains around Cooke City. The rest of our advisory area picked up 2-3 inches. As the snow moved out the cold temperatures moved in. Currently, mountain temperatures are in the single digits above or below zero and winds are blowing out of the west at 5-15 mph. Today, conditions will remain cold and calm with temperatures struggling to reach the double digits. Winds will stay light out of the west blowing at 5-15 mph under mostly cloudy skies. Snow showers will likely taper this morning with no real accumulations expected over the next 24 hours.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The northern Madison Range:

Over the past 24 hours, 2-3 inches of low density snow has fallen in the mountains around Big Sky. This new snow alone is likely not enough to push the buried surface hoar layer in this area to its breaking point, but with the added stress of a wind load, things could get interesting.

On Thursday, a snowboarder in Beehive Basin triggered and was caught in a slide. This avalanche failed on buried surface hoar already stressed due to a heavy wind load. Although this layer has gained strength over time, it continues to demonstrate the ability to propagate fractures and produce avalanches. The surface hoar layer responsible for the slide on Thursday is spatially variable, meaning it is found on some slopes but not on all - even on slopes with similar aspects and elevations. With this sort of variability, careful snowpack evaluation is necessary before riding in avalanche terrain.

Strong westerly winds have accompanied the delivery of the new snow, forming sensitive soft slabs on leeward slopes. These fresh slabs now rest over a variety of snow surfaces, one being a thin rain crust that formed during the warm, wet weather on Thursday and Friday. The Moonlight Basin Ski Patrol reported finding this crust over 9,000 feet and mentioned the new snow is having problems bonding to this layer. Although this layer is thin and not found in all areas, it has the potential to be problematic, mainly in steep wind loaded terrain.

Today, human triggered avalanches are likely on wind loaded slopes where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Slopes without a wind load 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:

New snow and wind have loaded leeward slopes creating dangerous avalanche conditions in wind loaded terrain. Yesterday, the Bridger Range and northern Gallatin Range received strong winds and 4-6 inches of new snow in a short period of time, developing sensitive soft slabs that will easily fail under the weight of a skier or rider. The Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol reported the new snow as being manageable if you were prepared, but did mention it produced enough force to knock a person over or carry someone into rocks or trees if caught off guard. Doug also found wind loading to be an issue in the steep gullies up Hyalite. In this type of steep, narrow terrain, it does not take a large avalanche to create a serious situation.

Cooke City also picked up 6+ inches out of this latest storm. An observer in the area reported strong winds forming drifts near the ridgelines. He also found a thin rain crust up to elevations of 10,000 feet on westerly exposed aspects. This curst does not appear to be a problem in the area, but will be something that needs to be considered as we get more snow.

Slopes that have received recent wind loading are today's primary avalanche concern. Recognizing and avoiding areas of wind drifted snow is the best way to avoid being caught in an avalanche. Avalanche activity will likely stay confined to the new snow since the snowpack is generally stable in most areas.

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. Slopes without a wind load that are less than 35 degrees have a LOW Avalanche Danger.

I will issue 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 587-6984.

Feeling rusty with your avalanche transceiver? The new beacon park at Beal Park in Bozeman is up and running. It's got 4 transmitters and the park is open 9:00 am to 8:00 pm every day. The Friends of the Avalanche Center and the city of Bozeman worked together to make this service possible.

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

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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