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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - 24 December 2011

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 21 -23 -15 0 16 SC Calm
East Entrance 30 -7 2 0 17 BC Calm
Grant Village 9 -16 -11 0 24 SC Calm
Lake 15 -12 -7 0 16 BC Calm
Lamar - - - - - - -
Madison 13 -23 -18 0 13 C Calm
Mammoth 25 5 8 0 6 C S@5-8mph
Old Faithful 25 -7 -4 0 13 C Calm
Pahaska - - - - - - -
Snake River 18 -19 -16 0 24 C Calm
Soda Butte - - - - - - -
Thumb Divide - - - - - - -
Tower 16 -12 -6 0 11 SC SW@3-5
West Entrance - - - 0 15 OC 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 Open   All oversnow vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open   All oversnow vehicles
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 24, 2011
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11:00 am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 31°F. Wind chill values as low as -5°F. South wind around 6 mph becoming calm.

Saturday Night: Patchy fog after 11:00 pm. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 18°F. South wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Sunday / Christmas Day: Patchy fog before 11:00 am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 35°F. Breezy, with a south southwest wind between 10 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 29°F. South southwest wind between 5 and 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph

Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32°F.

Wednesday: A 40 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36°F.

Thursday: A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38°F.

Friday: A slight chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33°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 39 Parker Peak 34
Blackwater 40 Snake River Station 22
Canyon 19 Sylvan Lake 27
Evening Star 34 Sylvan Road 18
Fisher Creek 40 Thumb Divide 20
Grassy Lake 31 Two Ocean Plateau 43
Lewis Lake Divide 30 West Yellowstone 16
Madison Plateau 26 Whiskey Creek 21
Northeast Entrance 11 Wolverine 14

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - December 24, 2011 - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

A dry and mild weather pattern will persist over southwest Montana through the holiday weekend. Santa will likely have smooth sailing while making his rounds tonight into tomorrow. Currently – mountain temperatures are in the mid teens to low 20s Fahrenheit and winds are blowing predominately out of the west at 15-30 mph. Today, temperatures will rise into the mid to high 20s Fahrenheit under partly cloudy skies and winds continue to blow 15-30 mph out of the West-northwest.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

    T'was the day before Christmas
    and all through the hills
    not a snowflake was falling
    but the winds delivered chills

    The new snow was blown
    into puffy wind rolls
    which can easily fail
    if you pick the wrong knoll

    When out in the backcountry
    Dig a pit before you slide
    Look for the weak layers
    That could take you for a ride.

Yesterday, two skiers in Beehive Basin escaped with their hide, after skiing a steep slope and triggering a slide. The avalanche occurred on a west facing slope around 9,000 feet and failed on well developed facets near the ground. The Moonlight Basin Ski Patrol also triggered numerous slides during control work on Thursday. Both are prime indicators that the weak snow structure of the northern Madison Range is having difficulty supporting the most recent load.

These two examples illustrate what's possible throughout our advisory area. Although southwest Montana has not received any new snow since Wednesday, strong winds have been loading leeward slopes. Winds have been blowing predominately out of the west, making slopes on the east half of the compass most prone to slab development. However, the east wind event this past Wednesday/Thursday did deposit additional snow on west facing slopes.

Today, the primary avalanche concern will be slopes that have received wind deposited snow. Recently formed wind slabs will likely be resting over a weak foundation of buried facets, making them sensitive to the weight of skier or rider.

Today natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are likely on all wind loaded slopes where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Slopes that have not received a wind load 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.

Beacon Parks

The Friends of the Avalanche Center installed a Beacon Training Park outside West Yellowstone last Friday. It's located south of town on the main snowmobile trail. Stop by and do a quick practice before heading off into the mountains!


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.

3. Check out all our education programs, Click Here.

Information provided by Doug Chabot, Mark Staples, and Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. For Events and Education, or 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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