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Yellowstone National Park Winter Weather Links
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Daily Winter Weather Report Winter Road Report
Snow Depth Totals Yellowstone Weather Forecast

Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Saturday - 29 December 2012

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Bechler 12.0 4.0 4.0 0 30.82 OC Wind gusts @ 2 mph
Canyon 12.6 11.7 11.7 .10 26 OC  
East Entrance 10.0 3.9 3.9 0 10.23 OC  
Lake 9.0 8.1 8.1     OC W @ 5 mph
Madison 13.5 12.2 12.2     OC  
Mammoth 16.2 12.6 16.1 .01 6.76 OC SE @ 6 - 9 mph
NE Entrance 10.3 9.0 9.2 0 12 OC  
Old Faithful 11.6 7.7 7.7 0 8.49 OC SE @ 3 - 4 mph
Snake River 12.3 6.9 6.9 .05 31 OC  
Soda Butte 10.3 9.0 9.2 0 2.40 OC  
Sylvan Lake 9.5 2.8 2.8 0 38 OC  
Sylvan Road 11.7 -4.4 -4.4 .10 21 OC  
Thorofare 5.0 -1.0 -1.0 0 4 OC N @ 1 - 2 mph
Thumb Divide 10.9 7.7 7.7 .10 36 OC  
Tower 9.6 5.0 9.6 .01 7.17 OC Gust @ 1 mph
West Entrance 16.2 13.5 13.5 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 Seven Day Forecast on December 29, 2012
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today: Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs 16°F to 22°F. Lowest wind chill readings -14°F to -24°F in the morning.

Tonight: Cloudy. Slight chance of snow in the evening...then chance of snow after midnight. Chance of snow 50 percent. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs 15°F to 21°F.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow. Lows -2°F to 4°F.

Monday: Partly cloudy. Highs 14°F to 20°F.

Monday Night / New Years Eve: Partly cloudy. Lows -2°F to 4°F. * Happy New Year *

Tuesday / New Years Day: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs 15°F to 21°F. * Happy New Year *

Tuesday Night / New Years Night: Partly cloudy. Lows 0°F to 6°F. * Happy New Year *

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs 17°F to 23°F.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy in the evening then clearing. Lows -5°F to 5°F.

Thursday: Mostly sunny. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows 2°F to 8°F.

Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

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 73 Parker Peak 46
Blackwater 47 Snake River Station 31
Canyon 25 Sylvan Lake 38
Evening Star 49 Sylvan Road 21
Fisher Creek 64 Thumb Divide 38
Grassy Lake 52 Two Ocean Plateau 58
Lewis Lake Divide 61 West Yellowstone 19
Madison Plateau 53 Whiskey Creek 24
Northeast Entrance 12 Wolverine 18

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Avalanche Advisory

from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - December 29, 2012 - this report is by Eric Knoff. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

Over the past 24 hours a trace to one inch of snow fell in the mountains. Currently, temperatures are in the single digits Fahrenheit and westerly winds are blowing 5 to 15 mph. Today, temperatures will warm into the high teens to low twenties Fahrenheit and winds will continue to blow 5 to 15 mph from the west. Skies will become partly to mostly cloudy by this afternoon as a weak storm system approaches. Light snow is likely by tomorrow morning with 1 to 3 inches possible by tomorrow afternoon.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Triggering an avalanche today will be a lot like hitting the bull's eye on a dart board. It could take dozens of throws or you could get lucky (or in this case unlucky) on the first toss. Yesterday, I observed this 'dart board' scenario in the mountains around Cooke City. I was amazed at the terrain people were riding without triggering slides. That was, until we came across a slope that had recently avalanched (photo, video). This slide occurred on a southwest facing slope what was heavily wind loaded.

Today, the primary avalanche concern will be wind slabs. Yesterday, gusty west-northwest winds developed sensitive soft slabs on leeward slopes. Both the Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Ski Patrols reported triggering fresh wind slabs during control work. Also, a skier near Cooke City reported triggering soft slabs on east facing slopes below ridgelines.

Winds died down yesterday afternoon allowing recently formed wind drifts a little time adjust. In areas where wind deposited snow rests over a thin layer of facets, human triggered avalanches will be more likely. On slopes that lack near surface instabilities, fresh wind drifts will be more stubborn. This creates a tricky scenario. The best approach today will be to recognize and avoid wind loaded slopes, especially those in steep, upper elevation terrain.

There is a chance that slides could fail on faceted layers near the ground. Impacting deeper weak layers will be easiest on slopes that have a thin and variable snowpack. Once a weak layer collapses, it can propagate into areas where the snowpack is deeper (photo).

Right now more slopes are stable than unstable, but human triggered avalanches remain possible and the Avalanche Danger is rated MODERATE.

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 Articles, Education and (photos) and (videos) listed in the above report, please visit this Link.

2. They have recently uploaded more photos and snowpits to their web site, more than what are linked in the advisory above.

3. They have creating a series of "How To…" stability test videos. So far they have clips on performing a CT and ECT. They are located under Stability Tests on their 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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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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