• Red cliffs descend into the water of Bighorn Canyon

    Bighorn Canyon

    National Recreation Area MT,WY

Weather Data - Yellowtail Dam Area

Yellowtail Dam Area

The area beyond Yellowtail Dam gets enough precipitation for mixed grasslands to thrive.

NPS

The Yellowtail Dam sits at the mouth of Bighorn Canyon, approximately a mile from Fort Smith, Montana. The precipitation around this area is 15 – 18 inches a year.

Rain here is more likely to be significant in May and June. Just downriver from the dam begin the rolling grasslands which stretch across the horizon for miles on end. This landscape is more tolerant of summer grazing and growing wheat because of the rainfall pattern.

Average Temperatures at the Yellowtail Dam, Montana

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
High (F) 40.2 46.1 54.0 63.4 72.7 82.7 91.0 91.0 79.2 66.1 49.0 41.7
Low (F) 17.7 21.9 28.0 36.2 44.5 52.4 57.2 56.1 47.2 38.5 27.7 20.5

Average Precipitation in inches at Yellowtail Dam

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
0.9 0.7 1.4 2.1 3.1 2.2 1.5 1.0 1.8 1.9 1.0 0.9



Did You Know?

Aerial view of Bighorn Canyon

Long before the Bighorn River was tamed by the Yellowtail Dam, the roiling waters through the canyon were feared. During spring snowmelt, the water turned into a raging torrent, a combination of whirlpools, rapids, and eddies. Conversely, the river through the canyon had a reputation for being placid by late summer, when dry heat and lack of rainfall turned it into a sedate stream. More...