Isolated thunderstorms that developed Wednesday afternoon produced some fairly impressive wind gusts in some areas around the valley. These were downdrafts coming down from the base of the thunderstorms, which then spread out horizontally as they come in contact with the ground.
Strong downdraft winds are more common with dry-type thunderstorms, in other words, ones that don’t produce much rainfall.
These storm cells were tracking from the South to the North, tracking right over Snow King Mountain and the Town of Jackson. They formed along a weak cold front that was stalled out over western Wyoming, which gave them an extra boost (see map below).
Sample of Wind Gust Speeds at around 3:30 pm Wednesday May 22, 2013:
Town of Jackson = 41 mph
South Park= 39 mph
Snow King Mountain= 66 mph
Jackson Airport = 32 mph
Timbered Island, GTNP= 48 mph
Teton Pass= 31 mph
Raymer (JHMR-Headwall)= 97 mph
|Wednesday Afternoon’s Weather Map (22MAY13)
Last Spring’s Wind Gusts
Wind gusts were not as strong in the valley as they were last Spring with some dry thunderstorms that we had here in Jackson Hole, Those also moved along a similar path, from South to North, passing directly over Snow King Mountain, on June 4, 2012.
Gusts in town were clocked at 59 mph and 51 mph at the airport.
(See blog post from June 18, 2012)
Post by Jim Woodmencey, meteorologist
Map Graphic from MeteoStar