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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Friday - January 28, 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 26 2 3 0 42 SC Calm
East Entrance 39 4 15 0 36   Calm / Clear
Grant Village 20 3 3 0 46 OC Calm
Lake 10 2 6 0 44 BC Calm
Lamar 29 -4 1 0 29 OC Calm / Clear
Madison 33 8 10 0 30 OC Calm
Mammoth 28 24 24 0 17 OC SSW@8.1mph / gust 10.3mph
Old Faithful 32 11 12 0 30 OC SSE@1mph / gust 1.5mph
Snake River 20 13 20 0 53 OC Calm
Tower 30 4 11 0 28 SC Calm
West Entrance 24 8 9 0 37   Calm / Clear
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 Good 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 28 January 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 29°F to 35°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Tonight...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 14°F to 20°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Saturday...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph early in the morning becoming southwest around 15 mph late in the afternoon.

Saturday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 15°F to 21°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Sunday...Snow likely in the morning...then snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Highs 23°F to 29°F. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Sunday Night...Colder. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 6°F to 12°F.

Monday...Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 11°F to 17°F.

Monday Night...Much colder. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -5°F to -15°F.

Tuesday...Partly cloudy. Highs 10°F to 16°F.

Tuesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows -4°F to 4°F.

Wednesday...Not as cold. Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 3°F to 9°F.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. Highs 24°F to 30°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 88 Parker Peak 76
Blackwater 59 Snake River Station 34
Canyon 43 Sylvan Lake 55
Evening Star 76 Sylvan Road 41
Fisher Creek 86 Thumb Divide 46
Grassy Lake 80 Two Ocean Plateau 69
Lewis Lake Divide 74 West Yellowstone 35
Madison Plateau 60 Whiskey Creek 48
Northeast Entrance 35 Wolverine 39

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - January 28, 2011 - this report is by Mark Staples

Mountain Weather

This morning temperatures were in the high 20s Fahrenheit with winds blowing 10-30 mph from the West. Near Cooke City and West Yellowstone temperatures were in the high teens Fahrenheit with winds blowing 5-15 mph. Similar conditions will continue today with high temperatures in the low to mid 30s Fahrenheit while high temperatures near Cooke City and West Yellowstone will reach the low 20s Fahrenheit, and winds shouldn't change much. A few snowflakes may fall tomorrow morning but no accumulations are expected. Colder air should begin arriving this evening and produce a cooling trend through the weekend.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Yesterday a sizeable avalanche was observed on Hardscrabble Peak in the northern Bridger Range near Fairy Lake. It was triggered by a falling cornice and occurred near another avalanche that happened last weekend. While many slopes have a strong and stable snowpack, some do not as illustrated by this avalanche. Yesterday, my partner and I skied in the Lone Lake Cirque, backcountry terrain on the north side of Lone Mountain at Big Sky. We found shallow, weak areas and deep, strong areas in the snowpack, but there is a difference between weak and unstable. We felt comfortable skiing this terrain because many of the shallow, weak areas had been scoured by strong winds thus removing the load of recent snow. We also found a few thin wind slabs which broke under our skis and didn't propagate or run downhill more than a few feet. On southerly aspects these thin wind slabs are more sensitive having some faceted crystals under them. In other areas a similar layer exists about 12-16 inches deep at an interface between old snow and newer snow.

Last week avalanche activity spiked as new snow accumulated and added stress to the snowpack. Overall we have a stable snowpack this year, and avalanche activity quickly subsided once snowfall ended. A few issues linger on specific terrain features making human triggered avalanches possible. A good example of how to select stable slopes occurred on Wednesday in Hyalite Canyon. A group of skiers wanting to ski into a specific basin found a thin snowpack on their chosen line. They quickly changed plans, found a slope with a deep snowpack and enjoyed a good day of skiing in a slightly different area with stable snow.

For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on all slopes steeper than 35 degrees. All other slopes have a LOW Avalanche Danger.

Side Note:  Stability assessments in backcountry areas like Saddle Peak and the Lone Lake Cirque are very difficult. These areas combine easy access with high consequence terrain where even a small avalanche can be deadly. Yesterday I asked many experienced avalanche professionals for advice on where and how to assess stability in the Lone Lake Cirque, and no one gave me a easy "cookie cutter" approach. The point is to be aware of this difficulty, take these areas seriously and focus on bull's eye information like recent avalanche activity, recent snowfall, or recent wind-blown snow. Remember that some information like seeing ski tracks on a slope is not bull's eye information and should not be considered equally.

This Friday: Beacon Park Opening Celebration

The Bozeman Recreation Department is celebrating the opening of the Bozeman Beacon Park on Friday, January 28th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Beall Park, 415 N. Bozeman. The Recreation Department will offer food, refreshments, music, and training on how to use the park with your avalanche beacon. This event is free to the public. For information call: 406-582-2290.

West Yellowstone: Beacon Park Operational

Skiing or riding near West Yellowstone? Test your beacon skills at a beacon park near the old airport where you can search for pre-placed beacons switched on/off by a control panel. Look for it by orange snow fence and signage just south of the snow cross track.


The 9th Annual King and Queen of the Ridge will be held at Bridger Bowl on Saturday, February 12. ALL proceeds go to the Friends of the Avalanche Center who use the money to promote avalanche education in southwest Montana. Last winter we taught 64 classes reaching over 4,900 people. You can help raise money to continue this education in 2 ways:

1). Get pledges and hike the ridge. You don't have to do 20 laps – you can get flat pledges and hike just once! Or you can test your mettle and try and break John Yarington's record of 29 laps in 5 hours.

2). Sponsor someone. If you don't have someone to sponsor, consider sponsoring the GNFAC since we'll be hiking for dollars. Click Here for more information and registration forms.

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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