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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Thursday - 22 December 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 18 -22 -20 .5 18 OC Calm / Foggy
East Entrance 21 -7 -7 1 18 C Calm
Grant Village 20 -19 -16 1 25 C Calm
Lake 19 -16 -13 .25 16 OC Calm
Lamar - - - - - - -
Madison 20 -12 -7 1 13 SC Calm
Mammoth - - - - - - -
Old Faithful 20 -19 -19 1 13 SC Calm
Pahaska - - - - - - -
Snake River 33 -16 -13 1 24 C Calm
Soda Butte - - - - - - -
Thumb Divide - - - - - - -
Tower - - - - - - -
West Entrance 23 -23 -22 .5 16 C Calm
BC=Broken Clouds / C=Clear / OC=Overcast / SC=Scattered Clouds / T=Trace
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 *
Firehole Canyon Drive CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Grant to South Entrance Open   All oversnow vehicles
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Madison to Old Faithful Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Norris to Madison Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open   All oversnow vehicles
Tower to Canyon CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *

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 Forecast on December 22, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 14°F and a low around -17°F. Wind chill values as low as -30°F.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 17°F and a low around -8°F. Wind chill values as low as -35°F. Southwest wind around 8 mph.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 21°F and a low around 4°F. South southwest wind between 8 and 10 mph.

Sunday / Christmas Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 27°F and a low around 6°F. South southwest wind between 7 and 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Monday: A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly sunny, with a high near 22°F and a low around 3°F.

Tuesday and Wednesday: A chance of snow. Partly sunny, with highs near 22°F and lows around 7°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 42 Parker Peak 36
Blackwater 41 Snake River Station 23
Canyon 20 Sylvan Lake 29
Evening Star 36 Sylvan Road 19
Fisher Creek 41 Thumb Divide 20
Grassy Lake 35 Two Ocean Plateau 45
Lewis Lake Divide 32 West Yellowstone 17
Madison Plateau 28 Whiskey Creek 22
Northeast Entrance 12 Wolverine 15

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - December 22, 2011 - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Since yesterday morning an additional 6 to 10 inches of snow fell in the Gallatin and Madison Ranges while the Bridger Range and Cooke City got an inch at most. Temperatures this morning were in single digits Fahrenheit and northerly winds calmed to 5-10 mph with some gusts of 15 mph. During the storm yesterday winds blew stronger at 15-30 mph sometimes from the East. Skies began clearing overnight and today will be mostly sunny with temperatures rising into the low teens Fahrenheit. Winds will remain northerly at 5-10 mph with some gust up to 20 mph.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Sometimes avalanche forecasting is easy and today is one of those times. Yesterday's snow combined with a weak snowpack will produce avalanches. Total snowfall for the storm was:

    • 15 inches in Hyalite Canyon (0.8 inch SWE)

    • 10 to 12 inches on Lone Mountain at Big Sky (0.4-0.8 inch SWE)

    • 10 inches near the Taylor Fork drainage (0.5 inch SWE)

    • 6 to 7 inches near West Yellowstone (0.3-0.4 inch SWE)

Most areas have weak, faceted snow crystals throughout the snowpack which will not support the load of yesterday's snowfall. Some slopes produced avalanches on their own and many others are waiting for skier or rider to trigger an avalanche. The most sensitive slopes will be ones with wind deposited snow. Some strong easterly winds yesterday loaded slopes that often do not receive wind-blown snow. Even though winds have calmed this morning, it did not take very strong winds to transport yesterday's low density snow.

The snowpack in and near Hyalite Canyon is generally stronger but this area received the most snow; therefore, this snowpack has the most stress. During the storm yesterday, skiers near Hyalite Lake found 2 natural avalanches and experienced collapsing of the snowpack, both signs of unstable snow.

For today, a HIGH Avalanche Danger exists on all wind loaded slopes where both natural and human triggered avalanches are likely. A CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger exists on all other slopes.

The Bridger Range and the mountains around Cooke City:

The Bridger Range and the mountains near Cooke City only received 2 to 3 inches of snow. With less new snow there will be fewer avalanches. The snowpack in the Bridger Range is incredibly weak and completely faceted. Near Cooke City the snowpack is much deeper and generally stronger but near the snow surface it has some facets that can produce avalanches. In both these areas watch for recently wind loaded slopes. These slopes may not produce very large avalanches but will easily break if you ski or ride on them. Today a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger exists on all wind loaded slopes. All other slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

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.


1. We've recently uploaded more photos and snowpits to our web site, more than what are linked in the advisory.

2. We're creating a series of "How To…" stability test videos. So far we've got clips on performing a CT and ECT. There are located under Stability Tests on the Resources page.

Information provided by Doug Chabot, Mark Staples, and Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. For Photos and Videos, please visit the Avalanche Centers Website!

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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