Monday, April 24, 2017

Snows Return to Wyoming Mountains above 6500 feet

National Weather Service Riverton WY
219 AM MDT Mon Apr 24 2017


.An approaching Pacific cold front and upper level disturbance
will bring snow to many of the mountains of western and central
Wyoming from today through Tuesday.

Salt River and Wyoming Ranges-
219 AM MDT Mon Apr 24 2017


* TIMING...Snow will return later this morning and continue
  through tonight before tapering off Tuesday morning. The heaviest
  snow is expected later this afternoon and this evening.

* TOTAL SNOWFALL...5 to 10 inches.

* MAIN IMPACT...Highways will become slick and snow covered,
  including Salt Pass. Visibility could be reduced to under one
  half mile at times.

Model Forecast Snowfall from Monday morning through Tuesday Evening.

Zoom imagery over the same area as above showing upwards of two feet in the very 
mountain ranges of Western Wyoming.

Total model forecast precipitation Monday morning through Tuesday evening.

Zoom imagery of the same area as above showing upwards of 2 plus inches 
of precipitation over the higher mountains.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Rain and Snowfall totals for Thursday night and Friday

0142 PM MDT Sat Apr 22 2017

...Rain and Snowfall totals for Thursday night and Friday...

Below are the final rain and snowfall amounts across western and 
central Wyoming. Precipitation started across the area after 6 PM 
Thursday evening and continued mainly east of the Divide through 
the day Friday. 

Observations are collected from a variety of sources with varying 
equipment and exposures. Not all data listed are considered 
official. SnoTELs (Snow Telemetry) are remote sensing sites in high 
mountain watersheds. Snowfall data from SNOTELS are estimated based 
on snow water equivalent.

Location                             Rainfall
Lincoln County... 
 3 SE Bedford...                   0.47 Inch.
 Star Valley Ranch...              0.46 Inch.
 2 SE Thayne...                    0.19 Inch.
 5 SSE Smoot...                    0.15 Inch.
 Afton...                          0.13 Inch.
 3 N Etna...                       0.12 Inch.
 3 E Freedom...                    0.08 Inch.
Big Horn County... 2 SE Burlington... 0.72 Inch. 2 SSW Lovell... 0.33 Inch. 7 W Basin... 0.24 Inch. Greybull Airport... 0.19 Inch. 9 ENE Greybull... 0.11 Inch. 9 NNW Shell... 0.08 Inch. Deaver... 0.04 Inch. Fremont County... 7 WNW Lander... 0.91 Inch. 6 SW Lander... 0.68 Inch. 9 SSE Lander... 0.62 Inch. 9 SSE Lander... 0.58 Inch. Atlantic City... 0.38 Inch. Boysen Dam... 0.30 Inch. Riverton Airport... 0.28 Inch. Riverton... 0.27 Inch. 2 W Riverton... 0.21 Inch. Lander... 0.17 Inch. 2 NNE Lander... 0.15 Inch. Lander Airport... 0.13 Inch. Lander... 0.12 Inch. 1 N Lander... 0.11 Inch. Dubois... 0.09 Inch. Burris... 0.05 Inch. Jeffrey City... 0.05 Inch. Shoshoni... 0.02 Inch. 7 SE Lander... 0.02 Inch. Hot Springs County... Thermopolis... 1.63 Inches. 6 N Thermopolis... 1.60 Inches. Thermopolis... 1.43 Inches. 9 NE Thermopolis... 1.34 Inches. 3 NE Thermopolis... 0.98 Inch. Johnson County... 17 NNW Kaycee... 2.09 Inches. 4 SSW Buffalo... 0.80 Inch. Buffalo... 0.60 Inch. Buffalo Airport... 0.57 Inch. Buffalo... 0.55 Inch. 7 NE Buffalo... 0.51 Inch. 16 SE Buffalo... 0.45 Inch. Kaycee... 0.40 Inch. 13 SSE Buffalo... 0.38 Inch. 17 E Kaycee... 0.17 Inch. Natrona County... 3 WSW Casper... 0.73 Inch. Casper... 0.65 Inch. Powder River... 0.62 Inch. Casper Airport... 0.48 Inch. 5 SSW Casper... 0.47 Inch. 10 WSW Casper... 0.44 Inch. 4 SW Casper... 0.38 Inch. Casper... 0.36 Inch. 1 SW Casper... 0.31 Inch. Casper... 0.28 Inch. 18 SW Casper... 0.27 Inch. Casper... 0.27 Inch. 1 S Casper... 0.26 Inch. 4 WSW Casper... 0.16 Inch. 12 NE Lysite... 0.07 Inch. Park County... Cody... 1.33 Inches. 2 WSW Cody... 1.27 Inches. 4 SE Cody... 1.13 Inches. 7 SW Cody... 1.05 Inches. Cody... 0.95 Inch. 3 NE Sunshine... 0.94 Inch. Cody... 0.91 Inch. 5 ESE Cody... 0.54 Inch. Cody... 0.51 Inch. 26 SW Cody... 0.43 Inch. 1 ENE Wapiti... 0.31 Inch. 3 NE Clark... 0.18 Inch. 4 SW Powell... 0.17 Inch. Pahaska... 0.13 Inch. 4 ENE Powell... 0.12 Inch. Powell... 0.02 Inch. Sublette County... Bondurant... 0.20 Inch. Boulder Rearing Station... 0.12 Inch. Big Piney Airport... 0.01 Inch. Sweetwater County... Green River... 0.10 Inch. Buckboard Marina... 0.05 Inch. 7 SE Rock Springs... 0.03 Inch. Rock Springs... 0.03 Inch. 4 NNW Rock Springs... 0.01 Inch. Rock Springs Airport... 0.01 Inch. Teton County... 1 NNW Alta... 0.38 Inch. Jackson Dam... 0.26 Inch. 12 NE Jackson... 0.16 Inch. Jackson... 0.16 Inch. 3 SSW Wilson... 0.14 Inch. Darwin Ranch... 0.09 Inch. Moose... 0.08 Inch. 2 NE Teton Village... 0.05 Inch. Washakie County... 16 SSE Ten Sleep... 1.05 Inches. Ten Sleep... 0.93 Inch. Worland Airport... 0.79 Inch. 2 NE Worland... 0.78 Inch. Worland... 0.66 Inch. Winchester... 0.59 Inch. 8 SW Worland... 0.55 Inch. 5 NNW Ten Sleep... 0.53 Inch. Yellowstone National Park... Lake Yellowstone ASOS... 0.21 Inch. Location Snowfall
Lincoln County...  
 Spring Creek Divide Snotel...        3 inches. 
 Cottonwood Creek Snotel...           2 inches. 
 Hams Fork Snotel...                  2 inches. 
 Indian Creek Snotel...               2 inches. 
 Kelley Ranger Station Snotel...      2 inches. 
 Salt River Summit Snotel...          2 inches. 
 5 SSE Smoot...                       1 inch. 
 3 SE Bedford...                    0.5 inches. 
 Star Valley Ranch...               0.4 inches. 
 2 SE Thayne...                     0.2 inches.
Big Horn County... Bald Mountain Snotel... 8 inches. Bone Springs Divide Snotel... 6 inches. Shell Creek Snotel... 2 inches. Fremont County... Deer Park Snotel... 17 inches. Hobbs Park Snotel... 13 inches. Castle Creek Snotel... 9 inches. South Pass Snotel... 9 inches. Townsend Creek Snotel... 6 inches. Atlantic City... 4.4 inches. St. Lawrence Alt Snotel... 4 inches. Cold Springs Snotel... 3 inches. Burroughs Creek Snotel... 1 inch. Little Warm Snotel... 1 inch. 6 SW Lander... 0.6 inches. 7 SE Lander... 0.4 inches. Hot Springs County... Owl Creek Snotel... 7 inches. Johnson County... Hansen Sawmill Snotel... 16 inches. Soldier Park Snotel... 15 inches. Cloud Peak Reservoir Snotel... 13 inches. Little Goose Snotel... 10 inches. Bear Trap Meadow Snotel... 9 inches. Natrona County... Grave Spring Snotel... 5 inches. Reno Hill Snotel... 1 inch. Casper Mountain Snotel... 1 inch. Park County... Kirwin Snotel... 12 inches. Beartooth Lake Snotel... 9 inches. Marquette Snotel... 9 inches. Timber Creek Snotel... 8 inches. Blackwater Snotel... 6 inches. Evening Star Snotel... 5 inches. Younts Peak Snotel... 4 inches. 3 NE Sunshine... 3.2 inches. Wolverine Snotel... 3 inches. Sublette County... Big Sandy Opening Snotel... 5 inches. Larsen Creek Snotel... 4 inches. Gunsite Pass Snotel... 3 inches. New Fork Lake Snotel... 2 inches. East Rim Divide Snotel... 2 inches. Sweetwater County... 7 SE Rock Springs... 0.2 inches. Teton County... Grand Targhee Snotel... 11 inches. Togwotee Pass Snotel... 5 inches. Jackson Hole - Raymer... 3 inches. Jackson Hole - Rendezvous Bowl... 3 inches. 1 NNW Alta... 2 inches. Gros Ventre Summit Snotel... 2 inches. Darwin Ranch... 1.6 inches. Jackson Hole - Mid Mountain... 1 inch. 3 SSW Wilson... 0.5 inches. Jackson Dam... 0.5 inches. Washakie County... Powder River Pass Snotel... 8 inches. Middle Powder Snotel... 6 inches. Yellowstone National Park... Parker Peak Snotel... 11 inches. Sylvan Lake Snotel... 6 inches.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Video of Weather Change Across Star Valley-Thursday April 20 2017

What started as a pleasant Spring Day deteriorated rapidly by mid afternoon as a storm system moves across Western Wyoming.  Cam view looks northward from the Bedford area towards Star Valley ranch


Spring Snowmelt Flood Potential Moderate to High Star Valley Region

Quick Synopsis:

Mountain snowpack and associated snow water equivalents (SWEs) across central 
through western Wyoming continued to be much above average by the middle of April; 
while SWEs across basins in southeastern Wyoming were generally below average. 
  SWEs at the peak snowmelt runoff elevations (8,500’ – 10.000’) continue to be the 
highest across the Wind and the Upper Green Basins at 170 to 190 percent of median. 
 The Laramie, Upper North Platte, and Little Snake Drainages had SWEs at near
 75 to 90 percent of median at the peak snowmelt runoff elevations.
This outlook is based on various diverse hydrological factors such as:  snow water
 equivalents (SWEs) in the mountain snowpack, basin morphology (i.e. how basins 
respond to snowmelt runoff),  antecedent soil moisture, amount of forest canopy
 damage, recent burn scars, low elevation snow depths, and likely temperature and 
precipitation trends during late spring/early summer.


High potential for flooding associated with snowmelt is expected over several
 basins across the Little and Big Wind Watersheds…       
High potential for flooding associated with snowmelt is expected over several
 basins of the Upper Green Basin…
Moderate to High potential for snowmelt flooding is expected over headwater 
basins of the Snake River Drainage (to include the Salt River Drainage)
Moderate to High potential for flooding due to snowmelt is expected over
 portions of the North and South Forks of the Shoshone River Basin…
Moderate to High potential for snowmelt flooding is predicted over portions 
of the of the Sweetwater River Watershed…
Moderate potential for flooding associated with snowmelt is also expected 
across the upper to middle portions the of the Little and Big Wind Watersheds, 
the middle to upper portions of the Upper Green Drainage, the lower and/or
 upper potions of the North/South Forks of the Shoshone Basin, the upper 
and lower sections of the Upper Bear Watershed, and several basins across
 the Snake River Watershed.
…All other headwater basins (Upper North Platte, Laramie, Little Snake, Powder, 
and Tongue Basins) across Wyoming can expect a generally Low potential for
 flooding due to springtime snowmelt...
This will be the LAST outlook for the 2017 season

Following are several SNOTEL graphs as of April 20 
comparing normal vs current levels of snow water 
content and total precipitation since Oct, 1 2016. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Thayne Elementary Weather Station and an Aid to Spring Planting

Thayne Elementary Weather Station and an Aid to Spring Planting.

Thayne Elementary Weather Station

A Davis Weather Station was installed  at Thayne Elementary School in September 2010 and has been transmitting data since 3pm  September 22, 2010.   On August 15, 2011 the sensors for both soil temperature and moisture were added to the station.

Following is a graph for the most recent year of daily maximum and minimum temperatures from the weather station.
Max and Min Temperatures from May 1 2016 to April 17 2017

It is interesting to look at the data which has been collected with the soil moisture and temperature sensors.

The first temperature sensor is located just below the surface on the school  grounds with the  2nd sensor buried at a depth of one foot and the third at 2 feet.

When looking at the sensor located just below the surface, it is surprising to see the large range of temperatures on particularly sunny days.  Following is an example of data for the soil temperatures

Near surface Thayne Elementary  temperature

However the 1 foot and 2 foot sensors tell a much different story with both dropping to freezing early in January and remaining there until the last week in March.

Thayne Soil Temperature at a depth of one foot

Thayne Soil Temperature at a depth of two feet.
The sensors currently are available from Spring until Fall.  Below is the graph of the 3 levels of temperatures for most of April 2016. The orange is just below the surface while Blue is one foot and green two feet below the surface.

Three levels of soil temperatures from April 13-30 2016

Moisture at one(green) and two(red)  foot levels
The moisture sensor indicates fairly high soil moisture content.

The current reading of 9-12 centibars is a very moist soil.  It will be interesting to see how this sensor responds during summer  It can be observed any time on line at

For additional information (as to what this measurement suggests) the following  is helpful:

General rule of thumb for interpretation: 

Soil moisture is nearing a critically dry level when soil tension (indicated by the centibar meter reading) reaches a level that corresponds to more than 50 percent depletion of the plant available water at a specific soil depth.  The critical soil  tension level that corresponds with 50 percent depletion levels will vary depending upon soil type because of different soil porosity characteristics..   For example, a soil  tension reading of 35 centibars may indicate that a very sandy soil will approach 50 percent depletion of plant available soil moisture but for a loam/silt loam soil 50 percent depletion may  not be approached until tension readings approach 110 to 130 centibars.

Following is a guideline as to when to plant vegetables for optimal germination.  Using the temperature data from the Thayne Weather Station should aid that decision.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cam Review of the Active Spring Weather Across Star Valley on April 14 2017

Three videos that review the active Spring weather across Star Valley on April 14 2017

The above view is from the west hills Cam looking across Afton


This Cam south of Bedford looks north toward Star Valley Ranch

North Star Valley Cam view north toward Alpine

Wyoming Water Supply Outlook April 7 2017


…Wyoming March 2017 precipitation was 135 to 145 percent of average...
...Current water year precipitation continues to average 135 to 145 percent of 
    normal across Wyoming…
…Mountain snowpack across Wyoming is 110 to 120 percent of median... 
Above to much above normal snowmelt streamflow volumes are still expected 
    across most major basins in Wyoming…
…Wyoming reservoir storages are 125 to 135 percent of average for April…
March precipitation totals across Wyoming were 135 to 145 percent of average.
 Precipitation numbers varied between near 255 percent of normal over the Wind
 River Drainage (central Wyoming) to near 65 percent of normal over the Little
 Snake River Basin (south central Wyoming).  Current water year 
(October 2016 – March 2017) precipitation across Wyoming continues to be 
135 to 145 percent of average.
Mountain snowpack across Wyoming was 110 to 120 percent of median by early April.
 Snowpack "water" numbers and/or SWEs were the highest across basins in central
Wyoming (Wind, Upper Green, and Sweetwater)—varying between 165 to near 200 
percent of median.  SWEs across basins in eastern-southeastern Wyoming were 85
 to near 100 percent of median. 
Above to much above normal (160 to near 170 percent) snowmelt streamflow 
volumes continue to be expected across almost all major basins across Wyoming.
 Well above average snowmelt streamflow volumes are still expected across the 
Snake, Wind, Sweetwater, Shoshone, and Upper Green Watersheds. The Little 
Snake, Upper North Platte, and Tongue Drainages are forecasted to have 
slightly below to slight above normal streamflow volumes during the upcoming 
snowmelt season.
Reservoirs storages across Wyoming remained above average at 125 to 135 
percent for April.