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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Monday - January 10, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 13 -2 11 0 36 OC Calm
East Entrance 16 -8 6 1 29 OC W@3-5mph
Grant Village 19 -9 0 0 44 OC Calm
Lake 11 -7 -3 0 36 OC Calm
Lamar 15 -6 -5 0 22 OC Calm
Madison 21 -8 -6 0 26 OC Calm
Mammoth 14 -5 -4 0 17 OC NNE@2mph
Old Faithful 14 -14 1 0 30 OC E@5mph
Snake River 21 -4 -3 0 40 OC Calm
Tower 12 -9 -4 T 24 OC N@10-15mph / lite snow
West Entrance 16 -12 -8 T 33 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 10 January 2011 by the NWS Riverton, WY

Today: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then scattered snow showers in the afternoon. Highs 7°F to 13°F. Chance of snow 30 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -15°F to -25°F in the morning.

Tonight: Cloudy. Scattered snow showers in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. Lows -4°F to -10°F. Chance of snow 40 percent. Wind chill readings -15°F to -25°F.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 7°F to 13°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Lowest wind chill readings -20°F to -30°F in the morning.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -6°F to 0°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the evening.

Wednesday: Breezy. Not as cold. Cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs 16°F to 22°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -14°F to -24°F in the morning.

Wednesday Night: Breezy. Not as cold. Snow likely. Light snow accumulations. Lows 10°F to 16°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Thursday: Not as cold. Snow likely. Light snow accumulations. Highs 25°F to 31°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Thursday Night: Snow likely. Light snow accumulations. Lows 17°F to 23°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Friday: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Friday Night: Snow likely. Light snow accumulations. Lows 17°F to 23°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Saturday: Snow likely. Light snow accumulations. Highs 25°F to 31°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Saturday Night: Snow likely. Lows 12°F to 18°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Sunday: 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 85 Snake River Station 24
Blackwater 52 Sylvan Lake 48
Canyon 37 Sylvan Road 33
Evening Star 62 Thumb Divide 44
Grassy Lake 71 Two Ocean Plateau 63
Lewis Lake Divide 67 West Yellowstone 34
Madison Plateau 57 Whiskey Creek 44
Parker Peak 64 Wolverine 30

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

Mountain Weather:

Frigid cold temperatures are the word this morning with most mountain locations reading 5-10 below zero F. Fortunately winds are light, blowing out of the Westsouthwest at 5-15 mph. Mountain temperatures will fight to break zero today with highs reaching 5-10 above. Winds will stay light out of the Westsouthwest under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Temperatures will plunge back to double digits below zero tonight, with a gradual warming trend starting tomorrow.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The northern Madison Range:

The northern Madison Range, specifically the mountains around Big Sky, holds the weakest snowpack in our advisory area. The main culprit for this current designation is a layer of buried surface hoar located 2-3 feet below the surface in many areas. This layer formed over three weeks ago and has gradually gained strength. This strengthening is a trend we like to see but it does cause some stability assessment problems.

The main hurdle with this surface hoar layer is gauging its strength and distribution. A good example of this layer's unpredictable nature was the human triggered avalanche that caught a snowboarder in Beehive Basin on Thursday. This slide occurred on a Westsouthwest facing slope that does not have a wide distribution of buried surface hoar. To trigger the slide, the rider needed to find a very specific spot, which they did and produced the resulting avalanche. A good strategy for travelling in an area with buried surface hoar is to dig numerous snowpits and avoid high probability zones - specifically steep and wind loaded slopes.

Along with the lingering threat posed by the buried surface hoar, recent wind loading has created sensitive soft slabs on aspects favored by Westnorthwest winds. Triggering a pocket of wind drifted snow will likely stay confined to the new snow, but the possibility of a wind slab stepping down to deeper layers is real.

Today, human triggered avalanches are likely on all wind loaded slopes where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Slopes that have not received wind loading 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:

Yesterday, a skier triggered a wind slab avalanche off the south peak of Saddle while travelling to Argentina Bowl. The skier who triggered the slide was the third skier to descend the slope and luckily escaped unharmed. This is a poignant reminder that our snowpack has the potential to avalanche, primarily on slopes that have been wind loaded. Although wind loaded terrain is our main avalanche concern, triggering an avalanche on a non-wind loaded slope also remains a possibility.

Yesterday, I skied on the west side of the Bridgers and found variable conditions. My partner and I experienced collapsing and propagations during stability tests on Southwest facing slopes. However, Westnorthwest facing slopes held a deeper, more stable snowpack. The difference between a stable and unstable slope was only a matter of a few degrees in aspect. Buried facets are not widespread in the mountains of our advisory area - but they do exist. Paying close attention to shallow areas in the snowpack, such as wind scoured areas, rock outcroppings and convex knolls is an effective practice to avoid triggering a slide on deeper layers.

The slide in the Bridgers comes on the heels of a human triggered slide in the northern Madison Range. The theme to these two slides is that human triggered avalanches are likely when skiing or riding in steep, wind loaded terrain. The take home message from these two events is that our snowpack is capable of producing avalanches and backcountry travelers should practice safe backcountry protocol and be prepared if an avalanche does occur.

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

Doug will issue 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.

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 am to 8 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

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

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