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2012 was warmest year on record for Riverton, Lander
A snow thrower tackled new accumulation on East Main Street Riverton on Friday. The new year has been cold, but the previous one was the warmest on record. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

2012 was warmest year on record for both Riverton and Lander

Jan 14, 2013 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

2012 was a record-setting year for both Riverton and Lander.

According to the National Weather Service Office in Riverton, last year was Riverton's warmest on record dating to the city's origin in 1906. The year's average temperature of 48.6 degrees surpassed the previous 47.1-degree record set in 2006. Other warm years on record in Riverton include 1934 with 47 degrees, 2007 with 46.5 degrees, and 2005 with 46.4 degrees.

Lander also experienced its hottest year on record with a reported 49-degree average, which bested the previous 47.7-degree record set in 1981 and again in 1988.

Temperatures in downtown Riverton last year reached 90 degrees or higher for 58 days, which is the second highest number ever reported. The record is 71 days, set in 1988.

A streak of 17 consecutive days of 90 degrees or warmer temperatures occurred from July 8 to July 24, which was three days shy of the all-time record of 20 days set July 16-Aug. 4, 1946.

Lander experienced temperatures at or above 90 degrees 47 times last year, ties the all-time record of 2001. Second on the list was 1988, with 45 days, followed by 2007 with 44 days and 2003 with 43 days.

Lander also saw several consecutive days with temperatures at or above 90 degrees, the longest stretch covering 13 days from June 22-July 4, the third-longest such streak in Lander's history book. The record, set in 2003, is 17 days.

Both cities had the warmest March on record, with Riverton seeing an average temperature of 43.9 degrees, which was 7.8 degrees above normal.

Lander reported an average 44.2 degrees, which was 8.7 degrees above normal.

Dry year, too

According to the NWS report, 2012 was Riverton's second-driest year on record with 3.98 inches of precipitation -- 4.4 inches below average.

At 3.75 inches, 1988 remains at the top of the list. Other dry years in Riverton were 1974 with 4.12 inches, 1954 with 4.85 inches, and 5.07 inches in both 2001 and 2006.

Twenty-one inches of snow fell in Riverton last year, which is 16.1 inches below normal. The most snow, 6.1 inches, fell in December.

It was Lander's third-driest year ever, and only 11 previous years saw less snowfall.

According to the NWS report, the 6.60 inches of precipitation recorded in 2012 made it the third driest year on record for Lander.

The figure is nearly 50 percent under the 12.66-degree annual average.

The 50.5 inches of snowfall last year put it 12th on the list of least snowiest years.

1902 had the least snow on record in Lander, 24.6 inches.

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