WYOMING RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE

WYOMING RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE

While recent weather records are typically quite accurate given the modern day instrumentation and GIS capabilities, errors are being found in some of the older ones.  A couple of  examples that have been noted recently in this blog are the Worlds highest temperature

 /2012/09/13/worlds-hottest-temperature-moves-to/

and the location of the historic Teton Tornado in 1987

/2012/07/11/teton-tornado-25-years-ago/

Another record that has been questioned recently is the Wyoming all-time coldest temperature.  There is a blog that addresses this and other very interesting global record cold sites.

 http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=12

For
many years there has been confusion surrounding the actual location of
the Riverside Ranger Station that recorded a temperature of -66°F on
Feb. 9, 1933. This figure has long been erroneously reported as the
coldest temperature ever measured in Wyoming (See NCDC site for
instance). The problem is that this (no longer existing) ranger station
was actually located in the Montana section of Yellowstone National
Park. It was situated where the town of West Yellowstone, Montana now
resides.

The reason for this confusion originates from the fact that the Climatological Data by Sections
USWB report for February 1933 includes Yellowstone National Park in its
Wyoming section even though portions of the park, including the site of
Riverside R.S., are in Montana and Idaho. If one looks at the station
I.D. number (248857) on the Western Regional Climate Center’s station
summaries lists we see that the site was established in 1924 (when the
ranger station was established) and then continues at the same location
in later years as “West Yellowstone, Montana”.

Also, I have
personally(Christopher Burt the blogger) visited this area and investigated the location of the ranger
station and can confirm that the site was in Montana when it was built
in 1924 (by only 200 yards!). The actual record low for the state of
Wyoming is -63°F at Moran on that same night of Feb. 9, 1933.

This map from 1929 shows
the exact location of the Riverside Ranger Station. It is just
sandwiched between the border of the national park (the large green
border) and the border between Wyoming and Montana (the small dashed
border). The name of the ranger station is not given, it just says
“ranger station” but this is, in fact, the Riverside Ranger Station
(named ‘Riverside’) because it is by the Madison River. One can
understand the confusion of the location so far as being in Wyoming or
Montana.


Comments are closed.