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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Tuesday - 01 January 2013

Station Max Temp Min Temp Pres Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Bechler 20.0 1.0 5.0 0 30.99 OC Calm
Canyon 14.4 -5.1 8.1 0 25 OC  
East Entrance 19.9 -0.9 11.2 .01   OC  
Lake 8.1 -9.0 3.0     OC Calm
Madison 27.6 -2.8 4.5     OC  
Mammoth 21.7 1.7 12.5 0 6.76 OC SSW @ 6 - 9 mph
NE Entrance 21.9 3.4 5.0 0 12 OC  
Old Faithful 14.7 -16.0 5.5 .12 8.63 OC ESE @ 3 mph
Snake River 15.8 -12.2 5.7 0 28 OC  
Soda Butte 19.9 -8.0 -8.0 0 2.40 OC  
Sylvan Lake 15.6 -1.1 6.6 0 37 OC  
Sylvan Road 16.5 -11.2 13.3 0 21 OC  
Thorofare 15.0 1.0 2.0 .03 4.08 OC Gust @ 2 mph
Thumb Divide 20.1 -16.1 4.8 0 35 OC  
Tower 14.0 -6.5 8.4 0 7.17 OC NNW @ 2 mph
West Entrance 18.1 -1.1 9.7 .10 18 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 January 01, 2013
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today / New Years Day: Partly cloudy. Highs 12°F to 18°F. * Happy New Year *

Tonight / New Years Night: Partly cloudy. Scattered flurries through the night. Lows -3°F to -9°F. * Happy New Year *

Wednesday: Partly cloudy in the morning then clearing. Highs 15°F to 2°F1. Lowest wind chill readings -11°F to -21°F in the morning.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear. Patchy fog after midnight. Lows -6°F to 2°F.

Thursday: Not as cold. Mostly sunny. Patchy fog in the morning. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 19°F to 25°F.

Friday Night: Mostly clear. Lows -1°F to 5°F.

Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 22°F to 28°F.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Lows 4°F to 10°F.

Monday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow. Highs 21°F to 27°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 72 Parker Peak 42
Blackwater 45 Snake River Station 28
Canyon 25 Sylvan Lake 37
Evening Star 46 Sylvan Road 21
Fisher Creek 61 Thumb Divide 35
Grassy Lake 49 Two Ocean Plateau 55
Lewis Lake Divide 60 West Yellowstone 18
Madison Plateau 47 Whiskey Creek 25
Northeast Entrance 12 Wolverine 17

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Avalanche Advisory

from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - January 01, 2013 - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

In the last 24 hours a trace to one inch of snow has fallen with light winds out of the northwest. Temperatures this morning are 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit under mostly cloudy skies. Today, temperatures will warm into the teens Fahrenheit as skies begin to clear. A few flurries will dust slopes as winds continue to blow northwest at 10 to 20 mph. Sunny skies are on the docket for the rest of the week.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

In order to make good decisions regarding avalanches in the backcountry, there are two questions Mark, Eric and I routinely ask ourselves: What do we know? What should we do about it?

  What do we know?

    We know that most mountain ranges are generally stable except on individual slopes with a snowpack thinner than three feet deep. These shallow slopes have weak, poorly-bonded faceted grains near the ground that can still avalanche. As evidence, I saw a natural slide on Sunday on Lionhead Ridge (photo) and Eric found a snowmobiler triggered avalanche outside Cooke City on Friday (photo, video). Some other slopes consist entirely of weaker, unbonded facets, but are stable without the burden of new snow. Yesterday, Karl found this on Mount Ellis and Mark found a similar structure on Mount Blackmore.

  What should we do about it?

    At a minimum we need to probe to check how deep the snow is. If we find three feet or less, it's a good idea to dig and test the snow. I recommend digging all the time, but if you're lazy and slightly hungover today, at least dig where it's thin. On Sunday, I found a thin slope and did stability tests in multiple pits. This particular slope did not have facets, so we rode on it. Yesterday, on a day off, Mark found stable conditions on Mount Blackmore and skied committing lines. Conversely, to the south near Hebgen Lake on the day after Christmas, Eric found a three foot deep snowpack with facets breaking clean in his tests so he stayed off steeper slopes. Digging allows us to quickly look at the snow structure and determine if there are weaker, granular layers trying to support a denser slab. We recognize this as a poor structure and it deserves a few stability tests.

For today, slopes steeper than 35 degrees will have a MODERATE Avalanche Danger. Lower-angled terrain has a LOW Avalanche Danger.

  Looking to the future

    The top 6 to 12 inches of snow is changing. Cold, clear nights and sunny days signal large fluctuations in the radiation balance which quickly turn snowflakes into weak, poorly-bonded facets and/or promote the growth of feathery surface hoar crystals. This surface snow may become a future weak layer once it gets buried. The formation of these crystals began right before Christmas and will continue this week. A skier in Beehive Basin on Sunday noted small avalanches, 20 to 40 feet wide, breaking a few inches deep, likely on this layer. We'll be keeping an eye on it and so should you.

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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