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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Wednesday - 26 December 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Canyon 12.9 8.2 8.2   27 OC  
East Entrance 15.4 9.3 10.5   10.22 OC  
Lake 10.9 6.1 7.0     OC Calm
Madison 14.2 1.4 2.4     OC  
Mammoth 19.9 15.3 15.3 .03 6.70 OC SE@3 to 4 mph
Old Faithful 13.9 2.6 3.3 .06 8.48 OC 1 mph
Snake River 8.7 1.0 1.0 .01 29 OC  
Soda Butte 12.9 0.2 1.5   2.40 OC  
Thumb Divide 12.0 5.9 7.5 .10 34 OC  
Tower 12.7 6.4 9.0 .01 7.11 OC 1 mph
West Entrance 15.4 7.2 7.2 0 19 OC  
T=Trace/ BC=Broken Clouds/ C=Clear/ OC=Overcast/ SC=Scattered Clouds
All Temperatures are in °F ~ All Snow Depths are in Inches

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* * * Road Conditions * * *
Road Section Status Conditions Public Access / Info
Gardiner to Mammoth YR   STR
Mammoth to Tower YR   STR
Tower to NE Entrance YR   STR
Beartooth Highway CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Canyon to Lake Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Firehole Canyon Drive CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED
Grant to South Entrance Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Junction to Chief Joseph Hwy CLOSED * CLOSED * CLOSED *
Lake to East Entrance Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Lake to West Thumb Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Madison to Old Faithful Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Madison to West Yellowstone Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Mammoth to Norris Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Norris to Canyon Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Norris to Madison Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
Old Faithful to Grant Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession 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 ********

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    Caution advised for snow falling off of building roofs. Park accordingly.

    Dangerous avalanche conditions may already exist in many back country areas, please call the Recorded Avalanche Advisory 406-587-6981 for the most current conditions.

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Yellowstone Forecast on December 26, 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today: Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Chance of snow 70 percent. Highs 16°F to 22°F.

Tonight: Snow likely in the evening...then snow after midnight. Snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches. Chance of snow 90 percent. Lows 5°F to 11°F.

Thursday: Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 4 to 7 inches. Chance of snow 70 percent. Highs 16°F to 22°F.

Thursday Night: Cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening...then slight chance of snow after midnight. Chance of snow 40 percent. Lows 0°F to 6°F.

Friday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 14°F to 20°F.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows -2°F to 4°F.

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs 16°F to 22°F.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs 16°F to 22°F.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 0°F to 6°F.

Monday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 17°F to 23°F.

Monday Night / New Years Eve: Partly cloudy. Lows 3°F to 9°F * Happy New Year *

Tuesday / New Years Day: Partly cloudy. Highs 19°F to 25°F. * Happy New Year *

Snowflake Hazardous Weather Forecast Snowflake Gibbon Falls Forecast Snowflake Mammoth Forecast Snowflake Midway Forecast Snowflake Norris Forecast Snowflake Old Faithful Forecast Snowflake

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* * * Snow Depth Totals as reported at SNOTELs * * *
Station Depth (inches) Station Depth (inches)
Black Bear 74 Parker Peak 45
Blackwater 47 Snake River Station 32
Canyon 27 Sylvan Lake 40
Evening Star 52 Sylvan Road 21
Fisher Creek 68 Thumb Divide 38
Grassy Lake 51 Two Ocean Plateau 58
Lewis Lake Divide 64 West Yellowstone 16
Madison Plateau 56 Whiskey Creek 26
Northeast Entrance 13 Wolverine 19

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Avalanche Information
from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - December 26, 2012 - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

At 6:00 a.m. it just started snowing around Big Sky with an inch falling. Mountain temperatures are 5° to 10° Fahrenheit with southwest winds at 15 to 25 mph. The Bridger Range is calmer and warmer with 5 to 10 mph winds and temperatures in the teens Fahrenheit. Today will be cloudy as temperatures rise into the upper teens Fahrenheit with light to moderate southwest winds. Tonight winds will switch to the northwest, but speeds will not increase much. Scattered snow showers will drop 1 to 3 inches by morning.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Light winds have stopped fueling wind-drifts. Yesterday, ski patrols could trigger soft wind slabs with ski cuts, but they were not propagating far. I expect these drifts to be more stubborn today.

A lot of slopes in the backcountry have a stable snowpack (photo). Even with faceted grains near the ground, these slopes are not propagating fractures in stability tests. This fact alone is not enough to point to stability, but when these tests are performed multiple times on the same slopes over the course of weeks, coupled with loads of new snow followed by minimal avalanche activity, we begin to feel confident in our assessment.

Although many slopes are stable, some are not. The difference between the two is not obvious; however there are two things to look for. The first is that slopes thinner than three feet deep seem to be the weakest. Second, clean fractures in our stability tests signal unstable conditions (photo, video). Finding just one unstable result is enough evidence to wave the white flag of surrender and stick to slopes less than 30 degrees.

Eric skied Mount Ellis in the northern Gallatin Range on Saturday and found two feet of weak, faceted snow, but without the overburden of a slab, its structure was not unstable. The variability of conditions are on full display in the Bridger Range where the Football Field of Saddle Peak and Truman Gulch had stable test results, but further north near Frazier Basin they were unstable (snow pit). This variability requires careful evaluation and is the reason today's Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE on all slopes throughout our advisory area.

Last week's period of cold, sometimes clear weather, turned the top few inches of snow into weaker, small grained facets. These did not form everywhere, and to further complicate their distribution, strong winds on Friday scoured them from some slopes too. This layer is now capped by the recent snows. It is not deep enough to be a grave avalanche concern yet, but we'll be looking for it since these layers tend to persist.

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. For links to all photos and videos listed in the above report, please visit this Link.

2. We've recently uploaded more photos and snowpits to our web site, more than what are linked in the advisory.

3. 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.

Information provided by Doug Chabot, Mark Staples, and Eric Knoff from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. For 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

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Information provided by Yellowstone National Park, National Weather Service and Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

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