Winter Summary-Star Valley

Winter Summary-Star Valley

The three months of December, January and February are typically considered the winter months.  This will be a summary of Winter 2019/2020 for Star Valley.

The highlight of this winter has been snow. While records were not likely set, the 3 month period did provide impressive totals around Star Valley, particularly the Lower Valley. Following are some of the reports for the three month period.

Station                                           Snowfall                                   Precipitation

Star Valley Ranch                        168 inches                                9.64 inches

Smoot 7SSE                                   160                                            9.08

Bedford 3SE                                  132                                             8.50

Thayne                                            126                                            6.91

Afton                                                 81                                             6.74

Looking at Wyoming as a whole for the Winter months, precipitation amounts were substantial  over and west of the mountains including Lincoln County.

Dec/Jan/Feb precipitation

Compared to normal much  of Wyoming experienced above normal precipitation. Northern Lincoln County had well above normal levels.  Yellowstone National Park was near to below normal..

Percent of Normal for Dec/Jan/Feb 2019/2020

If you felt that there were an abundance of cloudy/precipitation days this winter, the data confirms that. Well over half of the days observed measurable precipitation. At Star Valley Ranch  67 days with a Trace or greater was observed, almost 75 percent of the days!

Number of days with -01 or greater precipitation winter 2019/2020

A detailed analysis of precipitation for the Winter months shows that the higher elevations of the Tetons to the north and east of Palisades Reservoir had in excess of 20 inches, all snow.

Total precipitation Dec/Jan/Feb 2020

Overall it was a mild winter with only one period of very cold in February. All observing sites in the valley hit bottom on February 20th. Following are some of those low temperatures

Double L Ranch(NW of Etna)       -30

Thayne Elementary School            -20

Etna Elementary School                 -19

Bedford 3SE                                      -17

Afton                                                   -17

Star Valley Ranch                             -6

Upper Star Valley Ranch                -4

Unofficially reports of -35 were received on the morning of February 20th in the vicinity of Auburn.  Note the dramatic differences from the ice box  of Star Valley near Auburn to the banana belt of the higher elevations of Star Valley Ranch some 25-30 degrees higher!

Following are the graphs for the daily high and low temperatures at Bedford 3SE and Afton

Bedford Temperatures winter 2019/2020
Aftpn 2019/2020 Winter Temperatures

Overall with the exceptions of the Green River and Wind River basins, average temperatures were generally near or a little above normal

Departure from normal temperatures Winter 2019/2020