Storm brought unusual snow patterns; county at 107 percent of average

Jan 9, 2014 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

An atypical pattern of snowfall hit Fremont County last weekend, when more precipitation came down in the city of Riverton than in Lander and Dubois, which usually get more snow.

And snowfall was much heavier in the lower-lying towns than in the Wind River Mountains.

Eleven inches of snow fell south-southeast of Lander at a slightly higher elevation on Friday and Saturday, with 9.2 inches recorded at Riverton Regional Airport.

Area cities saw 7-9 inches (Riverton) and 6-8 inches (Lander), with 5 inches recorded in Fort Washakie and Kinnear.

Only 3 inches fell in Dubois, by contrast, with 3-4 inches measured at most snow stations in the Wind River Mountains.

"It happens that way sometimes; (we get) more snow out here in the middle of the basin than we do in the mountains," National Weather Service meteorologist Brett McDonald said. "It's not the typical pattern."

Some snow fell Saturday night into Sunday morning, but McDonald said only half an inch accumulated, at most.

He predicted warmer weather and no snow for most of this week, with temperatures possibly reaching the 30s in Riverton and Lander. McDonald said there could be some precipitation Thursday night into Friday morning.

"But at the current time we wouldn't be expecting a whole bunch out of that one," he said Tuesday.

He was optimistic about moisture for the rest of the season, pointing out that snowpack totals are now at 107 percent of normal in Fremont County.

The numbers west of Riverton are lower, with snowpack at 80 percent of normal in southwest Wyoming and 98 percent of normal in the Teton Mountains.

"Out in western Wyoming, boy, they just need and want moisture out there really bad," McDonald said.

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