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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Wednesday - January 19, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 24 2 2 2 40 BC Calm
East Entrance 30 12 15 6 34 SC Calm
Grant Village 29 7 7 5 45   Clear / Calm
Lake 25 9 9 1 41 BC Calm
Lamar 31 17 18 1 27 OC NW@4-7mph
Madison 31 -4 2 3 28   Clear / Calm
Mammoth 34 16 20 T 18 BC Calm
Old Faithful 24 7 7 T 29 BC S@1mph
Snake River 27 13 13 8 58 BC Calm
Tower 33 11 16 1 24 OC SE@6-8mph / lite snow
West Entrance 25 5 11 T 36 OC Calm / Foggy
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 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 Fair Oversnow
Madison to West Yellowstone Open Good Oversnow
Mammoth to Norris Open Fair Oversnow
Norris to Canyon Open Fair 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 19 January 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Mostly cloudy. Snow likely in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 2 to 6 inches. Highs 16°F to 22°F. Chance of snow 70 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -13°F to -23°F early in the afternoon.

Tonight...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -7°F to 1°F.

Thursday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. 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.

Thursday Night...Breezy. Not as cold. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Friday...Not as cold. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Friday Night...Snow. Moderate snow accumulations. Lows 14°F to 20°F. Chance of snow 90 percent.

Saturday...Snow likely. Moderate snow accumulations. Highs 24°F to 30°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 8°F to 14°F.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F.

Monday...Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 7°F to 13°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 25°F to 31°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 Parker Peak 73
Blackwater 60 Snake River Station 35
Canyon 41 Sylvan Lake 56
Evening Star 81 Sylvan Road 44
Fisher Creek 87 Thumb Divide 45
Grassy Lake 82 Two Ocean Plateau 72
Lewis Lake Divide 78 West Yellowstone 36
Madison Plateau 59 Whiskey Creek 47
Northeast Entrance 35 Wolverine 39

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - this report is by Doug Chabot

Mountain Weather

Last night's 6-9 inches around Big Sky and 11 inches at Bridger Bowl fell with barely a whisper of wind. Cooke City picked up an additional five inches with the southern Madison Range getting only 2 inches. Ridgetop winds have been blowing 5-10 mph out of the northwest as temperatures dropped to near 10°F. This storm will give us another inch or two before leaving this morning. Clouds will decrease throughout the afternoon and temperatures will rise into the high teens as winds increase out of the west to 15-20 mph.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The mountains around Cooke City and the Washburn Range:

The mountains around Cooke City have gotten 2-3 feet of settled snow since Saturday night (3 inches Snow Water Equivalent). Winds blew out of the west to northwest during most of the storm. Mark and a partner checked on stability yesterday and had to keep their throttles pinned to chew a track through all the new snow. They rode around Lulu and Daisy Passes and only saw a few avalanches that were confined to wind-blown snow in steep, rocky areas. Given the huge load that these mountains were faced with, he was pleasantly surprised at the isolated activity. His snowpits indicated a strong snowpack.

Three inches of snow water equivalency is a lot of weight to support, even for a strong snowpack. These mountains will need a few days without snowfall to fully adjust to the load. Winds on Sunday and Monday heavily drifted snow at all elevations.

For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE on all wind-loaded slopes. Slopes steeper than 35 degrees also have CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger while all other terrain has a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

The Bridger, Madison and Gallatin Ranges including the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:

Last night's 6-9 inches from Big Sky to the Bridger Range's 11 inches fell as 6-7% density powder with winds so calm I had to check the data twice to really believe it. Before this storm, winds blew 20-30 mph out of the west loading many slopes. We are finding that the snowpack, in general, is lacking widespread weak layers and can handle the 12-16 inches of snow that fell since Saturday night. Our main stability concern is on slopes that got wind-loaded the past few days, and also on terrain that has a thinner, more faceted snowpack. Gallatin National Forest Snow Rangers saw a slide on Cedar Mountain in the northern Madison Range yesterday that broke on a rocky rollover.

My partners and I skied down the west side of the Bridger Range yesterday and found weak, sugary snow on west to southwest aspects where the depth was only a meter deep. This mirrored what I saw in Beehive Basin on Sunday. In both pits I was unpleasantly surprised at how easily these facets fractured. The Big Sky Ski Patrol triggered a slope on the south face of Lone Peak with explosives that also failed on facets that had gotten weaker. Slopes with underlying facets are isolated and easy to ferret out. If you poke a ski pole to the ground or sink to your crotch when stepping off a sled, you found it. These slopes, as well as slopes with wind loads, are where avalanches can be triggered from.

For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE on all wind-loaded slopes. All other terrain has 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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