Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC
Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Grizzly Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC

Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Tuesday - 03 January 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 25 -5 8 0 26 - Calm
East Entrance 33 6 11 0 28 SC Calm / Clear
Grant Village 22 -1 21 0 36 SC Calm
Lake 15 4 15 0 30 SC Calm / Clear
Lamar 16 4 7 0      
Madison 25 -5 9 0 18 - Calm
Mammoth 37 29 33 0 5 SC SW@10-15mph
Old Faithful 33 19 26 T 30 SC NNE@2-3mph
Pahaska 34 25 30 T      
Snake River 23 -5 0 0 36 - Calm / Clear
Soda Butte 16 4 5 0      
Thumb Divide 27 14 25 T      
Tower 29 6 10 0 14 SC SW@8-10mph
West Entrance 26 -4 1 0 25 - Calm
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   All oversnow vehicles
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   All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open   All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open   All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open   All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open   All oversnow 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 Seven Day Forecast on 03 January 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today...Breezy. Partly cloudy. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph in the morning becoming southwest around 15 mph late in the afternoon.

Tonight...Partly cloudy. Lows 11°F to 17°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph early in the evening becoming southwest around 15 mph early in the morning.

Wednesday...Partly cloudy. Highs 29°F to 35°F. South winds around 15 mph early in the morning.

Wednesday Night...Mostly clear. Lows 13°F to 19°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 30°F to 36°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the evening...then chance of snow after midnight. Lows 10°F to 16°F. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Friday...Partly cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning...then slight chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 18°F to 26°F. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 2°F to 10°F.

Sunday...Partly cloudy. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly clear. Lows 4°F to 12°F.

Monday...Partly cloudy. Highs 22°F to 28°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 44 Parker Peak 40
Blackwater 46 Snake River Station 28
Canyon 24 Sylvan Lake 34
Evening Star 45 Sylvan Road 24
Fisher Creek 51 Thumb Divide 25
Grassy Lake 40 Two Ocean Plateau 53
Lewis Lake Divide 38 West Yellowstone 19
Madison Plateau 30 Whiskey Creek 22
Northeast Entrance 15 Wolverine 19

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 03 January 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Yesterday was sunny and unseasonably warm with high temperatures in the Bridger Range reaching 45 Fahrenheit. Other mountain areas had temperatures in the high 20s to low thirties Fahrenheit. Winds blew hard out of the west to southwest with gusts hitting the 50s, but have lessened overnight and will die down even further this afternoon. Today will be more of the same: sunny and mild. This pattern of high pressure looks to stay with us through Thursday.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

The avalanche danger spiked on Saturday immediately after the storm. In two separate incidents a skier and snowmobiler were killed in avalanches near Cooke City. Further to the west, far outside our forecast area, a snowmobiler on Sunday was also killed in an avalanche east of Phillipsburg. With no new snow and minimal wind-loading, the snowpack is starting to stabilize as it adjusts to the new load. However, this is when stability assessment starts to get tricky. Avalanche activity and other obvious signs of instability are decreasing. Not all slopes are unstable, but a lot are. I'm more worried about human triggered slides this week than I was over the weekend. My advice is simple: Be conservative.

Yesterday Karl and I, plus two locals, investigated the avalanche that killed a backcountry skier on Saturday. The avalanche was triggered south of Cooke City up Hayden Creek. The slide was approximately 800 feet wide, 250 feet vertical with a crown depth averaging 1 to 3 feet deep and 35 degrees steepness. Although the crown was wide, the gulley that the skier was buried in was only 50 feet across. The avalanche broke on facets, some at the ground, others higher in the snowpack. I will have a detailed report later in the week, as will Eric on the fatality on Henderson Mountain. I posted a few photos on the web with more to come.

A lot of reports and observations are streaming into the avalanche center. Some relevant news:

    1. Natural avalanches were seen again yesterday around Cooke City. We had some large, throaty, whumphs as we skied to the accident site yesterday. Eric's video from Sunday illustrates the touchy nature of the snowpack.
    2. Lots of collapsing and cracking down south.
    3. Very poor stability test scores were reported in the Bridger Range (ECTP 2, Q1).
    4. Avalanches continue to release at the ground with explosives at Moonlight Basin.
    5. Slopes that slid earlier in the year are getting reloaded and avalanching again. Fisher Peak outside Cooke City avalanched on Nov 26 an again yesterday. Compare the photos: Nov 26; Jan 2.

We are not out of the woods and should not let our guard down. Dangerous avalanche conditions exist and today the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE on all slopes in our advisory area.

Since yesterday morning we have posted more photos on the avalanche accidents, plus a few others relating to instability. More will be added today along with a video clip. Check these out at Photos and Videos.

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.

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

Yellowstone National Park by Page Makers, LLC © Copyright All Rights Reserved
I n d e x
Accessibility Earthquakes Maps Video Page
Address Email Newspaper Visitor Centers
Adult Programs Entrances Old Faithful Live WebCam Visitor Stats
Amphibians Entrance Fees Pets Volcano Observatory
Animals Fall Closure Phone Numbers Waterfalls
Backcountry Fish Picnic Areas Weather
Bear Management Fishing Fees Ranger Led Activities WebCams
Bear Sightings Fishing Regulations Reptiles Wildflowers
Biking Getting Here Reunions Winter Closing
Boating Hiking Rivers, Creeks & Streams Winter Opening
Books History Roads Winter Weather Reports
Butterflies Junior Ranger Program Schedule Wolf Project
Camping Lakes Search Page Wolf Sightings
Campground Maps Location Spring Opening Wolverine Help
Challenges Lodging Star Talks Yellowstone ~ the Name
Chat Page Lynx Help Trip Planner pdf Young Scientist
Clinics / Medical Mammal List Trip Reports Youth Conservation Corps
Not all who wander are lost by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien © Page Makers, LLC
Yellowstone National Park WebCams
Old Faithful Live All Old Faithful Old Faithful Static Old Faithful VC North Entrance Mt Washburn Mammoth YVO WebCam

Rexburg Idaho WebCams
  Rexburg, Idaho WebCams  

Yellowstone Area Highway WebCams
Alpine Junction Hwy 89 (South) Monida Pass I-15 (North)
Bozeman Pass I-90 (North) Osborne Bridge Hwy 20 (West)
Henry's Lake North Hwy 20 (West) Raynolds Pass MT 87 (North or West)
Henry's Lake South Hwy 20 (West) Teton Pass WY 22 (South)
(North) = Closest Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

State Road Reports
Idaho Utah
Montana Wyoming

Entrance Cities and Gateway Towns
Gardiner, Montana Silver Gate, Montana West Yellowstone, Montana Cooke City, Montana
Livingston, Montana Cody, Wyoming Jackson Hole, Wyoming Yellowstone National Park

The Great Outdoors Net Great Outdoor Recreational Places
Gardiner, Montana World Humanity

Contact Us

by John William Uhler

Back to: Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 Page Makers, LLC and Yellowstone Media ~ All Rights Reserved