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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Sunday - 08 January 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 28 2 9 T 23 OC Calm / Lite snow
East Entrance 30 9 19 T 27 OC W@5mph / Lite snow
Grant Village 24 9 15 T 32 OC Calm / Lite snow
Lake 15 13 15 0 23 OC Calm
Lamar 17 8 17 T 7   Calm
Madison 18 16 18 0 15 OC Calm
Mammoth 35 14 20 0 5 OC Calm
Old Faithful 16 14 16 0 23 OC WSW@6-9mph
Pahaska 20 17 18 0      
Snake River 32 9 16 T 33 OC Calm / Lite snow
Soda Butte 15 8 15 T      
Thumb Divide 16 15 15 0      
Tower 25 0 10 T 13 OC Calm
West Entrance 29 8 16 T 24 OC 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 Fair 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 Good All oversnow vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open   All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open   All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open Fair - drifts & ruts All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Norris to Madison Open Fair 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 08 January 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Tonight...Partly cloudy in the evening then clearing. Patchy fog after midnight. Lows 7°F to 15°F.

Monday...Mostly sunny. Patchy fog in the morning. Highs 29°F to 35°F.

Monday Night...Mostly clear in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. Lows 11°F to 17°F.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning... Then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Chance of snow 50 percent.

Tuesday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers in the evening...then slight chance of snow showers after midnight. Lows -1°F to 5°F. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Wednesday...Partly cloudy. Highs 18°F to 24°F.

Wednesday Night...Mostly clear. Lows -5°F to 5°F.

Thursday...Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 0°F to 10°F.

Friday...Partly cloudy. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Friday Night...Mostly clear. Lows 3°F to 13°F.

Saturday...Partly cloudy. Highs 25°F to 31°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 - 08 January 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Montana is currently positioned on the leeward side of a ridge of high pressure sitting off the coast of California. This is generating a northwest flow over our area, producing mostly cloudy skies and cool temperatures. At 4:00 a.m. this morning, mountain temperatures are ranging between 10°F and 15°F with Cooke City weather station being the coldest at 3°F. Winds are averaging 10-20 mph out of the West-northwest with the exception of the Bridger Range where ridgetop winds are blowing 30-40 mph out of West-northwest. Today, temperatures will climb into the mid to high twenties Fahrenheit under partly cloudy skies and winds will continue to blow 15-30 out of the West-northwest.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Snow conditions are becoming more variable with every passing day. Aspects affected by the sun are becoming thin and firm with nearly supportable crusts being found on many slopes. Thanks to the sun's low angle this time of year, slopes on the north and east half of the compass continue to shelter dense dry powder. These slopes hold some of the best riding conditions with a caveat - they also hold the most unstable snow conditions.

Yesterday, a snowmobiler in Cabin Creek outside of West Yellowstone narrowly missed getting caught in a slide triggered by his partner. The slide was triggered on a Northeast facing slope that had been wind loaded during last week's storm. The slide consisted of a dense slab that ran on weak sugery facets formed during December. A skier outside of Cooke City found a similar snowpack structure that produced natural avalanches earlier in the week (photo).

For the time being the snowpack in most areas remains weak and unstable. A cohesive slab 1 to 3 feet thick rests over very weak faceted snow which is still struggling to support the load delivered by last week's storm (photo). As demonstrated by the near miss in Cabin Creek yesterday, slopes continue to be sensitive to the weight of a skier or rider.

For this reason the Avalanche Danger remains CONSIDERABLE.

The northern Madison Range:

The avalanche danger in the northern Madison range is trending towards increasing stability, but persistent weak layers found mid pack and near the ground continue to warrant caution (photo). Steep slopes, specifically those with thin or rocky margins, are of particular concern. Today, any slope steeper than 35 degrees has a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. Less steep slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

The northern Gallatin Range:

The northern Gallatin Range has received more snow this winter than any other range in our forecast area outside of Cooke City. Fairly consistent storms have helped reduce the development of faceted layers, primarily near the ground, which is making the snowpack more stable. However, buried facets do exist and the possibility of a skier or rider triggering a slide remains.

Slopes that have a thinner snowpack, specifically those in steep rocky terrain will be the most likely to produce human triggered avalanches.

Today, heightened avalanche conditions exist on specific terrain features and the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE.

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

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