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Daily Winter Weather Report

Date: Tuesday - 15 January 2013

Station Pres Temp Max Temp Min Temp New Snow Depth Sky Present Conditions
Bechler -4.0 -4.0 -8.0 0   OC N @ 2 mph
Canyon -1.8 -1.5 -2.4 .10 30 OC Calm
East Entrance 5.4 5.7 3.4 .01 16 OC  
Lake -5.1 -5.1 -7.1 .12 30 OC Calm
Madison -3.5 -2.7 -4.5   18 OC  
Mammoth 3.5 3.7 1.0 .08 7.17 OC S @ 7 - 12 mph
NE Entrance 2.7 2.7 0.9 0 16 OC  
Old Faithful -3.9 -3.7 -7.0 0 32 OC SE @ 1 mph
Soda Butte -0.8 -0.8 -2.6 0 2.40 OC  
South Entrance -0.7 -0.7 -5.3 .02 34 OC  
Sylvan Lake -7.1 -3.1 -7.1 .10 40 OC  
Sylvan Road 6.3 6.6 3.4 .10 23 OC  
Thorofare -4.0 -3.0 -7.0 0   OC ESE @ 1 - 4 mph
Thumb Divide -4.9 -4.4 -7.8 .20 40 OC  
Tower 0.9 0.9 0.0 .01 7.27 OC Calm
West Entrance -5.4 -2.4 -5.4 .10 24 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 Open   Rubber tracked oversnow concession vehicles
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 15, 2013
by the National Weather Service Riverton, WY

Today: Cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning...then slight chance of snow in the afternoon. West winds around 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of snow 40 percent. Highs 13°F to 19°F. Lowest wind chill readings -15°F to -25°F in the morning.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy then becoming mostly clear after midnight then becoming partly cloudy. Patchy fog early in the morning. Lows 1°F to 7°F.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Patchy fog in the morning. West winds around 15 mph late in the afternoon. Highs 20°F to 26°F.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear. Patchy fog after midnight. Lows -4°F to 6°F.

Thursday: Mostly sunny. Patchy fog in the morning. Highs 23°F to 29°F.

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

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

Friday Night: Mostly clear. Patchy fog after midnight. Lows -3°F to 7°F.

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

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows 0°F to 8°F.

Sunday: Partly cloudy. Highs 21°F to 27°F.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows -2°F to 8°F.

Monday / Martin Luther King Jr Day: Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Highs 19°F to 25°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 75 Parker Peak 48
Blackwater 46 Snake River Station 34
Canyon 30 Sylvan Lake 40
Evening Star 51 Sylvan Road 23
Fisher Creek 67 Thumb Divide 40
Grassy Lake 54 Two Ocean Plateau 54
Lewis Lake Divide 61 West Yellowstone 24
Madison Plateau 52 Whiskey Creek 31
Northeast Entrance 16 Wolverine 22

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Avalanche Advisory

from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center - January 15, 2013 - this report is by Doug Chabot. This advisory does not apply to operating ski areas.

Mountain Weather

On a northwest flow Bridger Bowl picked up six inches last night with four inches around Big Sky and 1 to 3 inches everywhere else. Mountain temperatures are near ten degrees Fahrenheit, except around Cooke City and West Yellowstone where they are minus five degrees Fahrenheit. Winds are west to northwest at 20 to 35 mph. High pressure shoves its way in this afternoon and will stay for a few days. An additional trace to one inch may fall this morning as temperatures warm into the high teens Fahrenheit under clearing skies. Winds will remain steady at 20 to 30 mph out of the northwest.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion:

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

Yesterday, I skied into the Hebgen Lake area near West Yellowstone. I was very curious about the stability since Karl and I found unstable snow six inches under the surface last Wednesday right before the storm and avalanche warning. I found the weak crystals of small, sugary facets buried under ten inches of snow, but the layer was not widespread; it was confined to mostly southeast facing slopes. I had to dig three snowpits to find it. We got low scores (ECTP11) in our stability tests (video), but did not get any cracking or collapsing as we toured.

Over the weekend Eric skied into Bacon Rind (video, photo) and he and Mark rode into Lionhead. On both field days they did not find widespread instability. There was minimal avalanche activity and snowpits were mostly stable. On Sunday, a guide at Ace Powder Guides noted a larger slide on an east facing slope in Red Canyon in the southern Madison Range, but given the avalanche warning on Friday this was not unusual. In Teepee Basin he got low test scores on the facets buried by last week's storm.

New snow last night came in with west to northwest winds. Wind drifts will be easily triggered today, most likely near the ridgetops. A few shallow wind drifts were cut yesterday by ski patrols at Bridger and Big Sky. Wind loads are everywhere, while facets are buried deepest in the southern ranges. This layer is also found in the mountains around Big Sky and Bozeman, but is least developed around Cooke City.

Travel advice is not very complicated today: stay off of wind-loaded slopes and avoid slopes that harbor the weak, shallowly buried, unbonded facets. Find it with a quick swipe of the shovel followed by a simple compression test to determine stability. It took me three pits to find it yesterday which is a reminder why we don't call it quits after one pit. If we know weak snow exists but stop hunting after not finding it the first time, we will eventually get spanked.

For today, wind-loaded slopes have a CONSIDERABLE Avalanche Danger while all other terrain has a MODERATE 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.


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

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