Storm douses county; record-breaking wet continues

Apr 19, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Fremont County has been setting weather records all week, and forecasters predict there are more to come.

"It's not over," National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Lipson said.

"We have another even wetter - or at least as wet - system coming through."

Daily records

On Tuesday, Riverton Regional Airport saw .34 inch of precipitation, breaking the previous record of .28 inch set on April 18, 2000.

For April 19, the previous record for precipitation was .47 at the airport, set in 2016. This Wednesday, however, Riverton Regional has seen .67 inch.

"So this will be the second day in a row we've broken the record for the date," Lipson said.

Downtown records go back further in time. For April 19, the downtown precipitation record was set at .58 inch in 1933.

"And there's a very good chance we got as much or more than that," Lipson said.

A report he had received at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday indicated .73 inch of rain had fallen downtown over the past 24 hours.

Month and year

Year-to-date, 6.66 inches of precipitation has fallen at Riverton Regional Airport - a new record according to Lipson. The normal amount is 1.78 inches of precipitation January to April 18. Last year 3.05 inches had fallen during that timeframe.

In downtown Riverton, 7.04 inches has fallen since Jan. 1 - also a record, Lipson said. Normal is 1.71 inches.

"Just to put things in perspective," he added that, during the driest year on record, only .33 inch of precipitation fell downtown Jan. 1 through April 19.

So far in April, Riverton's airport has seen 1.09 inches of precipitation. The normal amount is .67 inch, and last year only .24 inch of precipitation had fallen through April 18.

Since March 1, there has been 4.8 inches of precipitation at Riverton Regional. Normal is 1.22 inches, and last year saw 2.37 inches.


The county seat has been setting records, too.

Year-to-date, 8.38 inches of precipitation has fallen at the airport in Lander.

"This is a record for the Lander airport this far into the season," Lipson said.

The normal amount of precipitation for the year so far is 3.25 inches.

The driest year on record only saw 1.17 inches during the same timeframe, in 2001.

"It was really dry back in those years," Lipson said.

For the month, 1.35 inches of precipitation has fallen at Lander's airport. The normal amount is 1.10 inches, and last year .25 inch had fallen so far in April.

On April 18 Lander got .45 inch of precipitation, far below the record of 1.17 inches set in 1966.

Record precipitation for April 19 in Lander is 1.22 inches set in 1971.

"We're nowhere close to that," Lipson said.

Since March 1, the Lander airport has gotten 6 inches of precipitation. The normal amount is 2.20 inches, and last year saw 4.84 inches.

ince Jan. 1 the same location has gotten 8.38 inches of precipitation. The normal amount is 3.19 inches, and last year saw 5.76 inches.

One mile north of Lander, 8.39 inches of precipitation has fallen since Jan. 1 - another record. The normal amount is 2.65 inches. The record driest year saw .44 inch of precipitation, in 2014.


After another storm blows through Thursday to Friday, Lipson said the weather should clear, but temperatures will be in the 60s "at best."

"(There will be) no real warm-up, even like what we had last week," he said.

Cooler temperatures are beneficial, Lipson noted, since mountain snowpack still is high.

"You don't want it come off too fast," Lipson said.


A Wednesday report from hydrologist Jim Fahey indicated there is a high potential for flooding associated with snowmelt in the Wind River Basin, where the snow-water equivalent is at 193 percent of median - the highest it's been for the date since 1997.

The snow depths at several basin Snotels are at their highest levels for the date as well.

The South Pass Snotel measured 73 inches of snow at the end of the day Tuesday, and the nearby Deer Park Snotel measured 79 inches.

Both totals are the highest on record.

Another record snow depth Tuesday was at Townsend Creek just north of South Pass, with 46 inches. Continuing north, the Hobbs Park Snotel had a record 84 inches of snow at the end of the day Tuesday, as did the Cold Springs Snotel, with 43 inches of snow.

Snow depths at other basin Snotels ranked in the top five on record.

Other Snotels measured record SWEs. At Little Warm above Dubois the SWE was a record 18.8 inches at the end of the day Tuesday and at Cold Springs the record was set at 15.9 inches.

The Hobbs Park SWE was 30.3 inches, at Townsend Creek it was 17.6 inches and at Deer Park it was 33.2 inches - all the highest on record.

Other Snotel SWEs were within the top 10 on record.

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