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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - January 22, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 20 13 17 5 44 OC Calm
East Entrance 27 21 22 4 40 OC W@10mph / lite snow
Grant Village 21 13 17 3 47 OC Snowing
Lake 23 14 19 1.5 43 BC Calm
Lamar 31 24 24 T 29 OC Calm
Madison 26 14 18 2 32 OC Calm / Snowing
Mammoth 28 25 28 T 17 OC NNW@14mph / gust 18mph
Old Faithful 25 16 20 1 30 OC Calm
Snake River 29 20 26 T 55 OC Calm
Tower 28 22 27 T 24 OC NW@8mph / gust 11mph
West Entrance 23 16 22 2 40 OC NW Wind
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 Fair STR
Mammoth to Tower YR Fair STR
Tower to NE Entrance YR Fair 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 Oversnow
Lake to West Thumb Open Good Oversnow
Madison to Old Faithful Open Good 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 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 22 January 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Rest Of Today...Breezy. Snow late in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. New snow accumulation around 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 4 to 6 inches. Highs 22°F to 28°F. Northwest winds 20 to 25 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Tonight...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening... Then slight chance of snow after midnight. Lows 5°F to 11°F. West winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Sunday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Sunday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph in the evening.

Monday...Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 25°F to 31°F.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Near steady temperature in the lower 20s Fahrenheit.

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

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

Wednesday...Partly cloudy. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 7°F to 15°F.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. Highs 30°F to 36°F.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 11°F to 17°F.

Friday...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 92 Parker Peak 76
Blackwater 65 Snake River Station 35
Canyon 43 Sylvan Lake 58
Evening Star 83 Sylvan Road 44
Fisher Creek 96 Thumb Divide 45
Grassy Lake 85 Two Ocean Plateau 74
Lewis Lake Divide 77 West Yellowstone 38
Madison Plateau 62 Whiskey Creek 50
Northeast Entrance 37 Wolverine 45

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

Mountain Weather

A strong frontal passage moved through our area around 1:00 AM this morning producing strong winds and heavy snow. In a matter of hours, 4-5 inches of snow fell in the mountains around Big Sky and West Yellowstone while the Bridger Range and northern Gallatin Range picked up 2-3 inches. The mountains around Cooke City picked up 7-8 inches.

Winds spiked with the arrival of the front, producing gusts over 60 mph in Hyalite and Big Sky. Winds have mellowed a bit, but are still blowing out of the West North West at 20-30 mph with gusts in the 40s. Temperatures are ranging from 11 degrees in Cooke City to the high teens-low into the 20s Fahrenheit throughout the rest of our advisory area. Today, winds will remain strong out of the West North West and temperatures will rise into the 20s Fahrenheit. Snowfall will taper off this morning and skies will become partly cloudy by this afternoon. No significant accumulation is expected over the next 24 hours.

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 latest round of snow is one of a string of storms that has impacted our area over the past week. This onslaught of storm cycles has brought abundant snow and wind to Southwest Montana, producing numerous natural and human triggered avalanches from Cooke City to the Bridger Range. Nearly every slide over the past week has been due to a heavy wind load - a factor which has pushed many slopes past their breaking point.

Although we saw a quick reprieve from snowfall yesterday, we did not get a break from the winds. Yesterday, Mark and I skied in the northern Bridger Range and struggled to find any slope that had not been wind affected. We observed a natural wind slab avalanche near Ross Peak that occurred on a Northwest facing slope around 8,000 feet. This slide broke 1-2 feet deep and 50-75 feet across. A larger slide with a similar aspect naturally occurred on Saddle Peak Thursday morning. The mountains around Big Sky have also seen recent avalanche activity, with some slides stepping down to deeper layers.

We have been seeing similar activity on wind loaded slopes in the southern ranges as well. On Thursday, skiers in the Taylor Fork triggered a pocket of windblown snow and an observer in Cooke City reported several natural wind-slab avalanches. Many of these slides failed on deeper layers in the snowpack. Areas with weak faceted crystals near the ground do not have a specific pattern with respect to aspect or elevation, but are commonly found where the snowpack is relatively shallow. Experiencing cracking/collapsing and being able to shove a ski pole down to the ground are good indications the snowpack is shallow and potentially unstable.

With a fresh dose of snow and wind last night, human triggered avalanches remain likely on all wind loaded slopes where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Slopes without a wind load 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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