Cross-Country Skier

Lack of snow threatens Yellowstone winter-season opening

Normally there’s a lot of snow in the Yellowstone by now; indeed, we’ve been snowed in as early as Labor Day in some years. But weather-wise this has been an odd year in Yellowstone, with unseasonably cool temps in August followed by a distinct lack of precipitation in November and so far in December. The lack of snow isn’t uniform — up in Cooke City there’s plenty of snow for the snowmobilers, and the Old Faithful Webcam shows plenty of snow there as well — but on the west side of the Park there’s quite a bit of uncovered ground.

Which poses a problem for folks wanting to visit the Old Faithful area for the winter season. Because of the lack of snow, Park officials say they may tell guides and concessionaires to use vehicles without snowtracks.

Then again, this may all be moot. Locals are bracing for a winter storm; the prediction for West Yellowstone is upwards of 10 inches of snow before Tuesday.

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