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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Tuesday - 31 January 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 24 22 24 0 34 SC Calm
East Entrance 32 25 32 T 30 SC Calm
Grant Village 23 20 23 .10 48 SC Calm
Lake 22 19 22 T 35 SC Calm
Lamar 24 21 24 0 11 SC Calm
Madison 29 24 29 0 20 SC Calm
Mammoth 28 23 26 0 6 SC SSE@4-7mph
Old Faithful 24 20 24 T 32 SC Calm
Pahaska 27 25 25 T - SC Calm
Snake River 27 18 27 .11 61 SC Calm
Soda Butte 23 21 21 0 - SC Calm
Thumb Divide 23 20 20 .30 - SC Calm
Tower 21 13 18 .16 18 SC SSW@1mph
West Entrance 29 24 29 0 33 SC 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   Snow Tires Required
Mammoth to Tower YR   Snow Tires Required
Tower to NE Entrance YR   Snow Tires Required
Beartooth Highway CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Canyon to Lake Open   All oversnow vehicles
Canyon to Tower CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
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   All oversnow vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open   All oversnow vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open Good All oversnow vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open Good 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

YR = Open Year Round / NR = No Restrictions


# 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 31 January 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming

Today...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 23°F to 29°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Tonight...Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 9°F to 15°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph.

Wednesday...Cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning...then chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 24°F to 30°F. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the late morning and early afternoon. Chance of snow 50 percent.

Wednesday Night...Colder. Snow in the evening...then chance of snow after midnight. Snow accumulation of 3 to 4 inches. Lows 2°F to 8°F. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the morning... Then isolated snow showers in the afternoon. Highs 21°F to 27°F. Chance of snow 20 percent.

Thursday Night...Mostly clear. Lows -2°F to 6°F.

Friday...Mostly sunny. Patchy fog in the morning. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Friday Night...Mostly clear. Areas of fog after midnight. Lows 0°F to 8°F.

Saturday...Sunny. Areas of fog in the morning. Highs 27°F to 33°F.

Saturday Night...Clear. Areas of fog after midnight. Lows 2°F to 10°F.

Sunday...Sunny. Areas of fog in the morning. Highs 30°F to 36°F.

Sunday Night...Mostly clear. Areas of fog after midnight. Lows 6°F to 14°F.

Monday...Mostly sunny. Areas of fog in the morning. Highs 29°F to 35°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 83 Parker Peak 58
Blackwater 61 Snake River Station 53
Canyon 39 Sylvan Lake 45
Evening Star 75 Sylvan Road 37
Fisher Creek 86 Thumb Divide 45
Grassy Lake 77 Two Ocean Plateau 84
Lewis Lake Divide 73 West Yellowstone 32
Madison Plateau 54 Whiskey Creek 41
Northeast Entrance 30 Wolverine 28

Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - 31 January 2012 - 7:30 am - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

The northern mountains picked up 1 to 2 inches of new snow with the southern areas getting 2 to 3 inches and Cooke City squeezing out 4 to 5 inches. This system came in with 20-40 mph westerly winds and temperatures in the high teens Fahrenheit. This morning ridgetop winds have lessened to 15-30 mph with temperatures in the low teens Fahrenheit. Today will be a mixed bag of clouds and sun. Tomorrow evening looks to be our next chance of snowfall with dry conditions through the weekend.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

The mountains around Cooke City:

Cooke City has received snow showers 11 out of the last 14 days. After a measly four inch snowfall on Saturday night, natural avalanches were seen on Sunday. With 4 to 5 inches yesterday I'm expecting additional activity on a layer of small-grained facets buried 2 to 3 feet under the surface. On south-facing slopes these weak grains are sitting on an ice crust and are unstable. On other aspects this layer may not be on a crust, but no matter, increased loading from winds are creating natural slides. During my visit last week I did not venture onto avalanche terrain, nor would I today. Since then, a foot of new snow and strong winds have kept the danger elevated. Today, the Avalanche Danger remains HIGH on all wind-loaded slopes. All other slopes have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger.

The southern Madison and southern Gallatin Ranges, and the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone:

The mountains south of Big Sky to West Yellowstone have a weak snow structure. A few inches of new snow, especially with wind, is keeping the snowpack unstable. In the last 48 hours skiers reported whumphing and cracking of slopes near Hebgen Lake and also around Bacon Rind. A poor foundation of large-grained sugary facets is straining to hold up the thin winter snowpack. Given the new snow, wind and recent signs of instability, I'm rating the Avalanche Danger CONSIDERABLE on all slopes.

The Bridger Range and northern Madison Range:

Eric was in the northern Bridger Range yesterday working with the NRCS crew to fix the Brackett Creek SNOTEL site. He reported a couple inches of new snow falling. These few inches of new snow will be blown into thicker slabs at the ridgelines and be easy to trigger. The snowpack here is weak. In the northern Madison Range the snowpack is deeper than the Bridger's, however, the stability is similar. Mark and Eric triggered a slide on Yellow Mountain last week on buried facets. Over the weekend skiers north of Big Sky stuck to conservative lines even after getting good stability test results. They could not ignore the poor snow structure and recent activity. For today the primary avalanche concern is on wind-loaded slopes which have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger. All other slopes are rated MODERATE Avalanche Danger.

The northern Gallatin Range:

The northern Gallatin Range wins the beauty contest for the best looking snowpack in our area. Unfortunately for us the field of competitors is pretty ugly, so it was an easy win. The Hyalite drainage has deep snow that's lacking a widespread weak layer. Thinner zones like Mount Ellis have faceted snow, but without a large load these slopes are not under much stress. Eric toured there on Friday and noted the danger of hitting a buried tree stump concerned him more than triggering an avalanche. For today, the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on any wind-loaded slope and also on any slope steeper than 35 degrees. All other slopes have a LOW Avalanche Danger.

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.

Beacon Parks

The Friends of the Avalanche Center installed a Beacon Training Park outside West Yellowstone. It's located south of town on the main snowmobile trail. Stop by and do a quick practice before heading off into the mountains!


10th Annual King and Queen of the Ridge

The 10th Annual King and Queen of the Ridge Hike/Ski-a-thon fundraiser is Saturday, Feb 11th. The event supports avalanche education in southwest Montana. Collect pledges for one, two or the most Ridge hikes you can do in the five hours of competition. 100% of the proceeds go to the Friends of Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Kids and families are encouraged to hike too! More Information / Registration Form.

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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