Star Valley 2019 Weather Summary

Star Valley 2019 Weather Summary

In a review of 2019 weather in Star Valley, the event that stands out is the extraordinary cold snap the end of October. Temperatures dipped to levels never recorded in October  as was blogged

Even with a particularly dry summer,  precipitation and snowfall for 2019 was generally above normal. Following are the precipitation graphs for Afton and Bedford 3SE.

Afton precipitation 2019
Bedford 3SE precipitation 2019

There are three Cocorahs observing locations  that have a history of several years recording both precipitation and snowfall.


Here is a a look at the 3 stations for the past 3 years. Units are in inches


Star Valley Ranch                                  Thayne 1SE                               Smoot 5 SSE

snow    precipitation                           snow precipitation                snow  precipitation

2019           197        30.15                              162   25.29                          209    29.06

2018           186       24.47                               155   20.51                          161     20.84

2017           228      33.68                                176  28.80                          216    30.81

The last day of snow cover was the 18th of April in Thayne, the 21st of April at Star Valley Ranch and not until May 4th at the Smoot 5 SSE station where the elevation is around 7000 feet.

While these amounts are near or a little above normal, by contrast on the lee(east) side of the Western Wyoming mountain ranges it typically is much drier.  This year an exceptionally dry location was at the Big Piney airport where total precipitation for 2019 was barely 2 inches. A dramatic example of the difference there is dependent on location of the upwind vs downwind of Wyoming mountains.


Big Piney precipitation 2019

Temperatures with the exception of October 2019, were not of unusual  note.  Generally the first day of the year was one of the coldest with Double L Ranch dipping to -26 on January 1st. Afton was also coldest at -16 on the 1st.  Etna Elementary was coldest on the 2nd of January with Star Valley Ranch -10 on the same date.

Illustrating the difference of observed cold nights in the valley, there were 51 nights at Double L Ranch when the temperatures were below zero. Thayne Elementary observed 33 below zero nights, Etna Elementary had 21 nights below zero.  However at the  Star Valley Ranch station located at the Town Hall, there were only 11 below zero nights(Banana Belt of Star Valley!)

The hottest day occurred on July 22nd when Etna Elementary topped out at 97.  Star Valley Ranch hit 92 on July 23rd.

A relatively new station located at one of the higher elevations of Star Valley Ranch, about 6600 feet MSL, had a yearly maximum of just 90 on July 22 and the coldest was only -7 on the 1st of January. Thus the extremes in temperatures occur along the valley floor, hotter in the summer and colder nights year round.

Here is a look at Wyoming in general for 2019;

Precipitation for 2019
Percent of Average Precipitation 2019

Many areas of Wyoming had near or above normal precipitation with the obvious exception of the very dry conditions near Big Piney.

Temperature departure from normal 2019

Overall 2019 was not exceptionally above or below normal with the obvious exception of October.

October 2019 Temperature departure from normal