News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Storm makes this September second-snowiest in Riverton history
Sep 27, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
The winter storm that hit Riverton on Thursday night made this September the second-snowiest on record for the city.
As of Friday morning, 5.7 inches of snow had fallen downtown, putting September 2013 in second place -- along with September 2000 -- for the most snowfall recorded during a September in Riverton. The record was set in September 1982 when the town saw 13 inches of snow.
National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Jones said this week's snowfall contained a lot of moisture too.
"We basically doubled what we'd had so far this month in Riverton," Jones said.
Before Thursday, the city had seen 1.5 inches of precipitation during the month. By Friday morning, Jones said
the number was 3.04 inches, making this the fifth-wettest September on record for Riverton.
Next on the list is September 1950, when 3.19 inches of precipitation fell. In September 1912, there were 3.32 inches of precipitation, followed by 4.45 inches in September 1973 and 5.72 inches in September 1923 -- the wettest month on record.
"We obviously aren't going to catch that, especially with the forecast the next few days," Jones said of the 1923 total. "It looks like we'll have some good weather for the weekend warming up. (This snow) will be gone probably by Sunday afternoon."
Snow totals varied throughout Fremont County on Friday. Parts of Lander saw 3 to 5 inches of snow, with 9 inches falling in Sinks Canyon. Six inches were observed in Hudson, with 8 inches west of Riverton toward Kinnear.
The numbers dropped moving east, with 1 to 3 inches of snow in Shoshoni and only a trace at Boysen Dam.
"The difference is, it's not a favorable upslope pattern for Boysen," Jones said. "It's coming down the mountain, it's a drier flow so it's not providing lift. When you get to Riverton, Hudson and Lander, that upslope flow kicks in and the basin fills in with precipitation. So the lowest amounts are going to be in the shadow of the Owl Creek range for the most part."
The Wyoming Department of Transportation labeled most county roads "wet" Friday, with slick spots between Riverton and Lander.
Wyoming Highway 789 reportedly was in good condition between Riverton and Boysen Reservoir.
This week's snowfall didn't challenge any weather records for Lander.
As of 7:45 a.m. Friday, about 3.7 inches of snow could be seen downtown -- very little compared to the 14.4 inches that fell in September 1965.
Even this decade has seen more drastic snowfall in September: In 2004 Lander got 5.4 inches of snow in that month, with 5.5 inches falling in September 2001. In 2000 the snow total reached 6 inches for the month.
This year's is the seventh-wettest September on record so far, however, with 3.81 inches of precipitation. About 1.4 inches of that total fell overnight Thursday into Friday.
The next-wettest September was in 1982 with 3.83 inches of precipitation, followed by 1912 with 3.88 inches, 1915 with 4.31 inches, 1950 with 4.62 inches, 1973 with 4.68 inches and 1923 with 5.64 inches.
"that was one heck of a wet year," National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Jones said Friday.