Star Valley 2018 Weather in Review
In 2018 temperatures and precipitation ranged from a little cooler and slightly wetter than average over most of Star Valley and Northern Lincoln County, while the south end of the county was warmer and drier than normal.
The most notable weather event of the year across the area was the exceptionally dry summer. From the end of June through September very few showers occurred with total precipitation amounts for the period less than an inch across much of Western Wyoming including Star Valley.
This can be noted in the annual precipitation graph for the Bedford 3 SE station. Even with the very dry summer, precipitation for the year ended up near normal.
The Star Valley Ranch yearly precipitation graph also shows a very dry summer, even though the 2018 total was likely near the annual average of around 25 inches
Afton precipitation typically is less than the lower valley stations and that showed up in 2018, where somewhat less than 20 inches fell.
The south end of Star Valley at Smoot 5 SSE had a little more at a higher elevation, near 7000 feet.
An interesting comparison is the SNOTEL station up Willow Creek at about 8100 feet MSL.
The total near 50 inches is almost double that of Star Valley Ranch. However even in the higher elevations it was a very dry summer.
It was a much drier year in southern Lincoln county
Not only did Kemmerer have a near rainless summer but a well below normal annual total of just over 7 inches.
Extremely warm or cold temperatures were not common. The coldest period generally was a couple days in the first week of December with above normal maximums on many of the warm, dry summer days.
Again Southern Lincoln County was very warm during the summer with a cold period the first week in December and in February
Snowfall which is critical to western Wyoming appeared to be about normal for Northern Lincoln county as seen in the following annual reports:
The summer was particularly dry with minimal thunderstorm activity. This led to a quiet year with regards to severe thunderstorm activity across Western Wyoming. In Star Valley the strongest wind gusts observed was 56 mph at Star Valley Ranch on April 16th.
Of note not far away on April 7th Severe Thunderstorms including many reports of large damaging hail occurred around Idaho Falls.
On May 31, 2018 a second episode of severe thunderstorm including some tornado reports and large hail events again was located near and west of the Idaho Falls area.