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: Monday - 16 January 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 30 4 4 2 23 OC Calm / Light snowfall
East Entrance 36 6 8 1 28 OC Calm
Grant Village 17 9 14 0 30 OC Calm
Lake 31 7 7 1 24 OC WNW@8mph
Lamar 12 6 11 0 8 BC Calm
Madison 30 5 6 2 18 OC Calm / Light snow
Mammoth 39 6 7 2 6 OC NW@6-10mph / Light snow
Old Faithful 34 7 7 1.5 22 OC NW@6mph / Light snow
Pahaska 14 10 10 0 - - -
Snake River 20 11 12 T 32 BC Calm
Soda Butte 11 6 7 0 - - -
Thumb Divide 17 9 9 0 - - -
Tower 39 7 7 2 15 OC NW@6-8mph / Light snow
West Entrance 36 9 9 2 26 OC Calm / Light snow
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 Poor Due to ruts & drifting
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 16 January 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today / Martin Luther King Jr Day...Snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 2 to 4 inches. Highs 8°F to 14°F. West winds around 15 mph late in the afternoon. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Tonight / Martin Luther King Jr Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -2°F to -10°F. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Wind chill readings -22°F to -32°F.

Tuesday...Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 8°F to 14°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Lowest wind chill readings -25°F to -35°F in the morning.

Tuesday Night...Windy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows -2°F to 4°F. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph. Wind chill readings -16°F to -26°F.

Wednesday...Windy. Not as cold. Snow likely in the morning...then snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches. Highs 18°F to 24°F. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -16°F to -26°F in the morning.

Wednesday Night...Breezy. Not as cold. Snow likely. Moderate snow accumulations. Lows 12°F to 18°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

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

Thursday Night...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 16°F to 22°F.

Friday...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 26°F to 32°F.

Friday Night...Breezy. Snow likely. Lows 17°F to 23°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Saturday...Breezy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Saturday Night...Breezy...colder. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F.

Sunday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°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 56 Parker Peak 43
Blackwater 47 Snake River Station 30
Canyon 27 Sylvan Lake 36
Evening Star 53 Sylvan Road 28
Fisher Creek 57 Thumb Divide 29
Grassy Lake 44 Two Ocean Plateau 56
Lewis Lake Divide 42 West Yellowstone 24
Madison Plateau 37 Whiskey Creek 29
Northeast Entrance 17 Wolverine 18

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 16 January 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Over the past 24 hours a cold winter storm has delivered nine inches of low density snow to the Bridger Range, 3 to 4 inches to the mountains around West Yellowstone and Cooke City and 2 to 3 inches in the northern Madison and Gallatin Ranges.

Falling temperatures have arrived with the falling snow. Currently mountain temperatures are ranging from the single digits Fahrenheit above or below zero and winds are blowing 5-20 mph out of the West-northwest with the exception of the Bridger Range where they are blowing 5-15 mph out of the East. Today, light snow will continue to fall in the northern mountains with an additional 1 to 2 inches possible. Temperatures will remain cold with highs in the teens and lows tonight around zero Fahrenheit. Snow will end by this evening, but winds will increase to 20-30 out of the West.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The Bridger Range:

The Bridger Range has a unique ability to pull large amounts of snow out of passing storms. Although this talent has not been exercised consistently, they did manage to pull it off with this latest storm. Nine inches of snow totaling close to .5 inches of SWE is the first significant snowfall to grace the Bridger Range since New Years.

This new load likely won't be enough to produce widespread natural activity, but will make the snowpack sensitive the weight of a skier or rider.

Today's primary avalanche concern will be any slope that has received wind deposited snow. Because winds have been blowing out of the east, distribution patterns will be a bit unusual. Likely areas to find wind deposited snow will be on the leeward side of sub-ridges or directly below the ridgeline. Recently formed drifts should be easy to recognize, which will make them easy to avoid.

A secondary concern will be fast moving sluffs. Due to the firm nature of the old snow surface, it will be possible to get large amounts of loose snow moving down hill, especially in steep terrain. Fast moving sluffs can push skiers or riders into unfriendly terrain and also act as triggers for larger more dangerous avalanches.

Today, human triggered avalanches are likely on wind loaded slopes and slopes steeper than 35 degrees where the Avalanche Danger is rated CONSIDERABLE. Less steep, non-wind loaded slopes have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

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

The rest of our forecast area did not receive as much snow as the Bridger Range during this last storm cycle. The low density snow that did fall is adding little stress to the existing snowpack. As a result, there has not been a significant change in the avalanche hazard.

Throughout our forecast area we are dealing with one common denominator - weak snow. A lack of substantial precipitation this winter has left the snowpack in poor shape with plenty of weak layers. Slopes with any sort of a slab are the main avalanche concern today.

While some slopes consist mainly of sugary snow with virtually no slab, others have been exposed to conditions that have created a cohesive slab 1 to 3 feet thick, which has formed above poorly bonded facets. The most likely slopes to find a well-developed slab will be in areas that have received any sort of wind-loading over the past two weeks.

Conditions like these are tricky because a slope with a slab will be easier to travel on due to its supportable nature - these slopes will likely not display obvious signs of instability or otherwise give a warning of their unstable structure until you are on them and trigger a slide. Today the best way to avoid triggering an avalanche will be to stay off wind-loaded slopes and slopes greater than 35 degrees. In addition, be cautious around steep and rocky terrain where it may be easier to affect a weak layer and trigger a slide.

Today a weak snowpack structure makes human triggered avalanches possible and 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