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: Friday - 13 January 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 21 -21 -6 0 23 C Calm
East Entrance 25 -2 18 0 27 OC W@5mph
Grant Village 9 -16 6 0 32 OC Calm
Lake 17 -14 10 0 25 BC Calm
Lamar 14 -15 4 0 9 BC Calm
Madison 14 -16 -8 0 16 C Calm
Mammoth 19 14 19 0 5 C S@5-7mph
Old Faithful 13 -1 7 0 22 C WSW@2-3mph
Pahaska 22 15 21 0 - - -
Snake River 19 -10 0 0 35 C Calm
Soda Butte 11 -1 4 T - - -
Thumb Divide 11 -1 5 .20 - - -
Tower 14 -4 3 0 13 SC Calm
West Entrance 18 -22 -4 0 24 OC Calm
T=Trace / BC=Broken Clouds / OC=Overcast / SC=Scattered Clouds / C=Clear
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 Caution for drifts & ruts
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 13 January 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Early This Morning...Mostly cloudy. Lows -5°F to 5°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph with gusts to around 35 mph.

Today...Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Highs 19°F to 25°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph. Lowest wind chill readings -15°F to -25°F in the morning.

Tonight...Partly cloudy. Lows 0°F to 10°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Saturday...Breezy. Partly cloudy. Highs 22°F to 28°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Saturday Night...Breezy. Partly cloudy. Lows 8°F to 14°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.

Sunday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 23°F to 29°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent.

Sunday Night...Colder. Snow likely in the evening...then chance of snow after midnight. Light snow accumulations. Lows 0°F to 6°F. Chance of snow 60 percent. Wind chill readings -10°F to -20°F.

Monday / Martin Luther King Jr Day...Colder. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 7°F to 13°F. Wind chill readings -11°F to -21°F.

Monday Night / Martin Luther King Jr Day...Colder. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -4°F below to -10°F.

Tuesday...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 10°F to 18°F.

Tuesday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows -1°F to 7°F.

Wednesday...Windy. Not as cold. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Wednesday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 11°F to 17°F.

Thursday...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. 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 49 Parker Peak 44
Blackwater 50 Snake River Station 31
Canyon 27 Sylvan Lake 37
Evening Star 52 Sylvan Road 29
Fisher Creek 57 Thumb Divide 31
Grassy Lake 46 Two Ocean Plateau 59
Lewis Lake Divide 45 West Yellowstone 22
Madison Plateau 33 Whiskey Creek 26
Northeast Entrance 17 Wolverine 19

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 13 January 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Mark Staples. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

This morning mountain temperatures were in the mid teens Fahrenheit except near West Yellowstone and Cooke City where temperatures were in the single digits Fahrenheit. Ridgetop winds were blowing 5-15 mph mostly from the West with gusts of 25-35 mph. Over the Bridger Range and Hyalite winds were blowing stronger at 25-40 mph. Today will be similar to yesterday. Under mostly sunny skies temperatures will warm into the mid 20s Fahrenheit. Winds shouldn't change much and remain westerly blowing 10-15 mph with gusts of 20-30 mph. Weather models continue to show the current ridge of high pressure flattening on Sunday followed by a trough of low pressure approaching Southwest Montana. This trough will bring cold temperatures and some precipitation.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Unfortunately there is never a point when conditions switch from unstable to stable. Instead, the odds of triggering an avalanche simply decrease. Almost 2 weeks ago, following the New Year's Eve storm, all slopes were unstable and obvious signs on instability, like recent avalanches and collapsing and cracking, were widespread for at least a week after this storm. Signs of instability have become more isolated. Yesterday near Cooke City, skiers experienced two collapses during a long tour.

The reason signs of instability continued for so long is that snowpack structure is bad. In most cases a slab 1 to 2 feet thick rest on a variety of weak layers of faceted snow. This slab is supportable and if you don't get off your sled or step out of your skis, it will be hard to tell what's under it. Conditions might "feel good" when they are not. In some places like Mount Ellis there is a layer of buried surface hoar. On some South facing slopes, there are weak facets next to an ice crust. Two experienced skiers found this layer in Hyalite Canyon just as Doug did earlier this week. I found a similar layer near Cooke City on Wednesday. On other slopes the snowpack is relatively shallow and has big, obvious depth hoar crystals under the supportable slab.

There are a few ways to reduce the odds of triggering an avalanche:

    • Manage slope angles. With each degree of steepness over 30 degrees the odds of triggering an avalanche increase.

    • Avoid fresh wind slabs and drifts. The combination of wind and new snow Tuesday night loaded isolated slopes. Snowmobilers near Cooke City triggered a few small, slab avalanches in the new snow yesterday. Triggering small avalanches can sometimes trigger larger avalanches. Check out Karl's explanation of the difference between a wind loaded and non wind loaded slope.

    • Avoid steep rocky, terrain where snowpack depth is more variable and wind loading is more likely. These highly variable areas increase the odds you will find the trigger point for an avalanche.

While the odds of triggering an avalanche have slowly decreased, variability has increased. This variability means some slopes are more prone to producing avalanches than others. For this reason each slope deserves a careful evaluation of snow and terrain. Today the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE.

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!

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