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: Sunday - 15 January 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 32 6 16 0 22 SC Calm
East Entrance 39 24 34 0 27 BC W@10mph
Grant Village 31 10 24 .20 30 SC SW@10-15mph gusts 20-25mph
Lake 31 11 26 0 25 C N@6mph
Lamar 31 28 28 0 8 C Calm
Madison 31 29 29 0 15 C Calm
Mammoth 39 29 30 0 5 BC SE@2-4mph
Old Faithful 31 28 28 0 23 BC SSW@5-8mph
Pahaska 38 33 36 0 - - -
Snake River 35 10 31 0 33 BC Winds@15-20mph
Soda Butte 31 28 28 0 - - -
Thumb Divide 31 28 28 .20 - - -
Tower 36 15 20 T 13 SC N@5-7mph
West Entrance 32 9 17 0 24 C Windy
T=Trace / BC=Broken Clouds / C=Clear / 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 Good 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 15 January 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Windy. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 50 percent.

Tonight...Breezy. Snow likely in the evening...then snow after midnight. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Lows -2°F to 4°F. West winds 15 to 25 mph until early morning. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Monday / Martin Luther King Jr Day...Colder. Snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 3 to 5 inches. Highs 7°F to 13°F. West winds around 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Monday Night / Martin Luther King Jr Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -6°F to 0°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Wind chill readings -18°F to -28°F.

Tuesday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 10°F to 16°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Lowest wind chill readings -20°F to -30°F in the morning.

Tuesday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 0°F to 6°F. Wind chill readings -17°F to -27°F.

Wednesday...Breezy. Not as cold. Snow likely in the morning...then snow in the afternoon. Moderate snow accumulations. Highs 18°F to 24°F. Chance of snow 80 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -21°F to -31°F in the morning.

Wednesday Night...Breezy. Not as cold. Snow likely. Moderate snow accumulations. Lows 14°F to 20°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Thursday...Breezy. Not as cold. Snow likely. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Thursday Night...Breezy. Snow likely. Lows 14°F to 20°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Friday...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 24°F to 30°F.

Friday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 14°F to 20°F.

Saturday...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 25°F to 3°F1.

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 48 Parker Peak 43
Blackwater 47 Snake River Station 31
Canyon 26 Sylvan Lake 36
Evening Star 50 Sylvan Road 28
Fisher Creek 55 Thumb Divide 30
Grassy Lake 44 Two Ocean Plateau 56
Lewis Lake Divide 43 West Yellowstone 22
Madison Plateau 34 Whiskey Creek 26
Northeast Entrance 17 Wolverine 19

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 15 January 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Warm and windy conditions are currently in place ahead of an approaching cold front. At 4:00 am this morning winds are blowing steady at 25-35 mph out of the West-northwest with gusts reaching into the 50s Fahrenheit. Mountain temperatures are in the mid to high 20s Fahrenheit under mostly clear skies with the exception of Cooke City where a 1 to 2 inches of snow has fallen overnight. A significant change in weather will take place as the day progresses. A cold front will arrive by early afternoon creating mostly cloudy skies, falling temperatures and an increasing chance of snow showers. By tomorrow morning temperatures will be in the single digits Fahrenheit and 2 to 4 inches will likely accumulate in the mountains.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Today, triggering an avalanche will be like the Giants beating the Packers – it's not highly likely but it is possible. Can you put a number – 1 in 10, 1 in 100, 1 in 1000 – on your odds of triggering a slide? No. But there are a few simple decisions that can be made to help stack the odds in your favor and keep the chances of triggering a slide to a minimum.

    1. Stay off slopes that have received wind deposited snow, most specifically, upper elevation slopes below ridelines or slopes on the leeward side of sub-ridges. These areas likely have a thick cohesive slab resting over weak faceted snow. These wind slabs, whether new or old, can propagate a fracture and produce an avalanche.

    2. Avoid slopes steeper than 35 degrees. While steep slopes offer some of the best riding opportunities, they are also the most likely to produce and avalanche.

    3. Carefully evaluate shallow and rocky terrain. These areas usually have variable snow depths, wind slabs and lots of potential trigger points.

One factor that makes stability assessment difficult is conditions vary widely from slope to slope. Yesterday, Mark and I rode into Cabin Creek and Tepee Basin in the southern Madison Range. We received unstable results during stability tests on one slope, while another appeared to be more stable. I found similar conditions around Buck Ridge on Friday. Also, skiers outside of Cooke City triggered a small side on a Southeast facing slope and reported cracking and collapsing yesterday, obvious signs of instability.

Hyalite Canyon deserves special mention because it has more stable conditions than other areas. However, recent wind slabs and a layer of near-surface facets 2 feet below the surface could produce avalanches under the weight of a skier or rider.

Although the odds of triggering an avalanche have decreased over time, the weak structure of the snowpack continues to make human trigged avalanches possible. For this reason 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