When people plan their primary yearly vacation, they hope that the weather at their destination spot will be good enough for them to fully enjoy the activities and adventures of their vacation plans. In some places of the country the seasonal monthly, weekly, and daily weather patterns are much more predictable than in other places.
On average there are over 4,000,000 visitors to Yellowstone National Park each year. The peak months for visitors to the park are June, July, and August, accounting for roughly 64% of total park visitors for most years. Yellowstone, where the elevation of most of the park is over 6,000 feet above sea level, is a place where there are significant variations in temperature and precipitation month to month, and there can even be large swings in weather (temperature, rain, snow) during a single day.
So, what are the daily temperature averages for lows, highs, and average temperatures over the past 8 years (2011 to 2018) during these peak tourist months?
During the month of JUNE, the average daily high temperature was 82° F. The average daily low temperature was 25.5° F. The average daily temperature was 53.5° F.
During the month of JULY, the average daily high temperature was 86° F. The average daily low temperature was 30° F. The average daily temperature was 60° F.
During the month of AUGUST, the average daily high temperature was 85° F. The average daily low temperature was 28° F. The average daily temperature was 57° F.
These data indicate that daytime temperatures are typically around 70° F to 80° F during the peak visitor months in Yellowstone. Nights can get cold and even drop below freezing. The higher elevation areas will be even colder, and afternoon thunderstorms are common throughout the park and especially in higher elevations. So, if you are planning a trip to Yellowstone, be sure to bring layered clothing to provide warmth and rain gear for protection. The raw data daily temperature averages (high, low, and daily) for the months of June, July, and August of the years 2001 to 2018 are provided below, as well as monthly average humidity and pressure values.
What is the Coldest Month in Yellowstone?
January is Typically Yellowstone’s coldest month. The average high temperature in January is 24.4° F. The average low temperature in January is 1.2° F. This average low temperature of 1.2° F is also the average for the month of February. So, if you are planning on making a trip to Yellowstone during these months come with warm coats, boots, gloves, and hat. However, the winter months in Yellowstone can be some of the most productive for viewing wildlife, especially in Lamar Valley. The road from Gardner, MT to Mammoth and then on to Tower-Roosevelt Junction and over to Cooke City, is open year-round to vehicle travel. It is a great time to spot wolves, bison, elk, bighorn sheep, coyote, and moose as they engage in the struggle to survive the winter months.
What Months have the Greatest Amount of Rainfall (“) and Snowfall (“) in Yellowstone?
The months of May and June have the greatest amount of rainfall with averaging 2.5” and 2.3”. The third leading month for precipitation is November with an average of 1.9”. October is the driest month with an average monthly rainfall of 1.2”.
The month of January has the highest average snowfall with 34.3”, followed by November at 30.9” and December with 30.5”. Only during the months of July and August is there no recorded snowfall to register in inches, even though all 12 months of the year are known to have snowfall in Yellowstone. The average yearly snowfall in Yellowstone is 150 inches, with higher elevations are known to get significantly more inches of snow.
Has a Tornado ever occurred in Yellowstone?
An extremely rare weather event occurred on July 21, 1987, when a tornado passed through a part of Yellowstone National Park and the Teton Wilderness Area. The high-altitude tornado (occurred at elevations over 8,500 feet) was rated an F4 tornado on the Fujita Scale and resulted in nearly 1,000,000 trees being uprooted or damaged by the storm. Known as the Teton-Yellowstone Tornado, this violent storm traveled 24 miles cutting a swath 1.5 miles wide. Fortunately, there were no human injuries or fatalities, but claims the title of the highest altitude violent tornado recorded in the United States. Source: Fujita, T. Theodore (September 1989). "The Teton-Yellowstone Tornado of 21 July 1987". Monthly Weather Review. American Meteorological Society. 117 (9): 1913–1940. Bibcode:1989MWRv..117.1913F