The bottom-line for the year 2022 in Jackson, Wyoming was, it ended up much colder, much wetter and much snowier than normal. As a matter of fact, the overall trend for the last seven years now has been leaning in those directions.
Below is a full review of all the weather statistics from the Town of Jackson’s Climate Station, showing how 2022 compares to recent years and to the long-term averages. I’ll begin by looking at the temperatures and wrap it up by looking at precipitation and snowfall numbers. You can also refer to the summary table at the end of this post.
Colder Temperatures in 2022
Nine out of twelve months in 2022 had colder than normal temperatures, including the coldest November ever recorded in town and the 7th coldest April on record. March and September were the only two months in 2022 that had warmer than normal temperatures. July ended up right at average, temperature-wise.
The average high temperature for the entire year was 50.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That is more than three degrees colder than the long-term historic average annual high temperature of 53.8 degrees. Officially, the hottest day of the year in 2022 at the Jackson Climate Station was 89 degrees on July 17th.
The average low temperature for the year was 21.2 degrees, or almost three degrees cooler than the long-term historic average annual low temperature of 22.9 degrees. The coldest days of the year in 2022 were on December 22nd and 23rd when it reached 25 below zero on the official town thermometer.
The annual mean temperature for 2022, the average of the annual high and low temperatures, checked in at 35.8 degrees. Jackson’s long-term average annual mean temperature is 38.3 degrees. That is 3.5 degrees colder than normal, making 2022 the fourth coldest year on record for the Town of Jackson.
(See graph of annual Mean Temps below).
You may recall it was only three years ago that Jackson had its coldest year ever recorded, in 2019. The annual mean temperature that year was 35.4 degrees, beating the old record from 1944 of 35.5 degrees, by one-tenth of a degree. Besides 2019 and 1944, the only other year colder than this past year was in 1964, with an annual mean temperature of 35.6 degrees.
Precipitation Above Normal
Jackson received a grand total of 18.99 inches of precipitation in 2022. That is more than three inches above the historic average. Amazingly, that number was reached with six months of the year receiving below normal precipitation, and the other six months receiving above normal precipitation.
Precipitation came in an alternating pattern of dry and wet. January, February, and March were all drier than normal. April and May were wetter. June was near average, and July was bone-dry. August was very wet, ending up as the wettest month of the year in 2022, with 3.65 inches for the month. September was wetter than normal. October was also very dry, then November and December 2022 were both much wetter than average.
In the last seven years, there has only been one year that the Town of Jackson has had precipitation that was below the long-term average. That was in 2020, when the precipitation total was 15.26 inches, a little more than a half-inch below average. Historically, the average annual precipitation in town, from years with complete data between 1905 and 2016, is 15.83 inches.
Snowfall Above Normal
Snowfall to start the year 2022 was nothing to write home about. January, February, and March only recorded a total of about 30 inches of snowfall in the Town of Jackson. The average snowfall for those three months in town is closer to 45 inches. Then came April, with just over 17 inches of snowfall, when normally Jackson averages only 4 inches for the month.
April of 2022 became the third snowiest April in town, behind the 18 inches in April of 1963, and the 24 inches in April of 1967.
Skipping ahead to the end of the year, both November and December of 2022 were above normal for snowfall in town. November added just over 20 inches of snow and December another 22 inches to the annual total.
The final tally of annual snowfall in the Town of Jackson, January through December 2022, was 92 inches. That’s about 20 percent more than the long-term average for annual snowfall in town of 77 inches.
For those who think it just doesn’t snow like it used to, look at the table. Six out of the last seven years have ended up with above average snowfall in town. Last year, 2021 was the only year that wasn’t, and even that year checked in right at the long-term average of 77 inches.
The last year that had below average snowfall in town was in 2015, with 58 inches. But in 2014, Jackson had 101 inches of snowfall.
These most recent seven years that are listed in the table are starting to show a trend, when compared to Jackson’s long-term historic averages. That trend has been towards colder – especially regarding high temperatures – towards wetter, and towards snowier weather in Jackson. I would think that is all good news and should dispel any myths about becoming warmer, drier, and less snowy.
Jim is the chief meteorologist at mountainweather.com and has forecast the weather in Jackson Hole for over 30 years.