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Tuesday rain sets new record in Riverton

Aug 6, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The National Weather Service office west of Riverton saw .58 inch of rain Tuesday.

The rain falling off-and-on over Fremont County this week is setting records for precipitation in Riverton and Lander.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service office west of Riverton saw .58 inch of rain, beating out the previous record of .13 set in 2007 in the same location. The all-time Riverton record of .26 inch also fell. That mark was established in 1925, when the recording station was in a different location.

The NWS has been collecting data near Riverton Regional Airport since 1995.

Lander set a record for precipitation earlier in the week. On Monday the county seat got .43 inch of rain at Hunt Field airport, compared to the previous record of .31 set in 1892.

"A thunderstorm went right over there," NWS meteorologist Ralph Estell said. "(Riverton) only got a little precipitation from that one."

Riverton saw .08 inch of rain on Monday.

Estell said varied rain totals are typical of summer storms. For example, rain gauge at his house in west Riverton only captured .14 inch of precipitation on Tuesday. On the same day, .40 inch fell 11 miles northeast of Riverton, and a whopping .80 inch of precipitation came down about two miles south of town.

"It was definitely a nice storm," Estell said, adding, "Most of it went west of town."

Summer tends to be dry in the Wind River Basin, but Estell said the area has entered its monsoonal period, during which moisture comes in from the south-southwest.

"There was a low pressure system off the California coast. ... That's why California had all those floods Saturday, Sunday and Monday," Estell said. "All that moisture worked its way up this way. ... We're looking at showers and thunderstorms at least through tomorrow."

He said temperatures should warm back up to the 80s over the next few days.

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