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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Tuesday - 17 January 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 8 -22 -5 T 23 OC Calm / Light snow
East Entrance 12 -6 5 1 28 OC W@5mph
Grant Village 5 1 5 0 30 OC Calm
Lake 9 -6 1 .5 25 OC Calm / Light snow
Lamar 39 -17 7 2 9 OC N@1-3mph
Madison 17 -19 -4 T 18 OC Calm
Mammoth 8 3 7 T 6 OC SSW@6-11mph
Old Faithful 6 1 6 T 22 OC SW@9-15mph
Pahaska 8 5 7 0 - - -
Snake River 8 -10 8 T 32 BC Calm
Soda Butte 3 -2 3 0 - - -
Thumb Divide 3 1 3 0 - - -
Tower 16 -12 -6 0 15 BC N@2-3mph
West Entrance 17 -13 3 0 24 OC Calm
BC=Broken Clouds / C=Clear / OC=Overcast / SC=Scattered Clouds / T=Trace
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 17 January 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Windy. Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 7°F to 13°F. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph late in the afternoon. Lowest wind chill readings -28°F to -38°F in the morning.

Tonight...Windy. Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 0°F to 6°F. Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts to around 50 mph. Wind chill readings -16°F to -26°F.

Wednesday...Windy. Not as cold. Snow. Snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches. Highs 16°F to 22°F. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Lowest wind chill readings -15°F to -25°F in the morning.

Wednesday Night...Windy...snow. Snow accumulation of 3 to 6 inches. Lows 12°F to 18°F. Southwest winds 25 to 30 mph with gusts to around 50 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Thursday...Breezy. Not as cold. Snow. Snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches. Highs 25°F to 31°F. Southwest winds 20 to 25 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Thursday Night...Breezy. Snow likely. Light snow accumulations. Lows 16°F to 22°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Friday...Snow likely. Moderate snow accumulations. Highs 26°F to 32°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Friday Night...Snow likely. Light snow accumulations. Lows 18°F to 24°F. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Saturday...Breezy. Snow likely. Highs 27°F to 33°F. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Saturday Night...Colder. Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 10°F to 16°F.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. 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 58 Parker Peak 45
Blackwater 49 Snake River Station 32
Canyon 28 Sylvan Lake 36
Evening Star 52 Sylvan Road 30
Fisher Creek 57 Thumb Divide 31
Grassy Lake 50 Two Ocean Plateau 60
Lewis Lake Divide 44 West Yellowstone 24
Madison Plateau 38 Whiskey Creek 29
Northeast Entrance 19 Wolverine 19

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 17 January 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Mountain temperatures are six below zero Fahrenheit this morning with ridgetop winds blowing 20-30 mph out of the west to southwest. Chilly. Early yesterday morning another inch fell near Cooke City and last night scattered showers dusted parts of the Madison Range. Winter has finally turned a corner and is poised to barrel down on us. Scattered showers today and tonight will become more sustained Wednesday and Thursday. By tomorrow morning I expect 1 to 2 inches in the north and 3 to 4 inches in the southern mountains. Today, winds will steadily increase out of the west to 40 mph as mountain temperatures warm to near 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow, wind and cold temperatures; what a concept!

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Yesterday, my partner and I skied north of Bridger Bowl to see how the snowpack was holding up with the nine inches of new, low density snow. Unfortunately, the east winds blew away half of it from the upper mountain. We did see a natural avalanche on a steep, north facing slope that ran hundreds of feet. It was only 50 feet wide, but after digging our snowpit there was no surprise what it failed on: facets. We found 1.5 to 2 feet of facets that have grown into chains of depth hoar. Digging reminded me of playing in a sandbox. There was not enough new snow to create a slab in most spots, but we would occasionally hit a thin wind drift which would easily crack and slide a few feet downhill. We also hit lots of rocks which were a greater personal hazard than avalanches.

Winds increased last night and will continue to strengthen today. Slopes with wind drifts will crack and possibly avalanche. A skier touring outside Cooke City got many thin wind slabs (4 to 6 inches) to crack from Sunday night's new snow. Snowpits in the northern Gallatin Range, Beehive Basin and Buck Ridge in the northern Madison Range and Cabin Creek in the southern mountains are all showing facets breaking in the lower half of the snowpack, however, they are taking a lot of force and are not always fracturing clean. Even with widespread weakness the stability on most slopes is good because it is not under stress from the weight of new snow. In our advisory area natural avalanches are unlikely, although it's still possible to trigger slides on slopes capped with a thick slab or wind drift.

For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE. With storms predicted this week I expect the avalanche danger will rise sharply in the coming days.

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

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