All posts by Jim Woodmencey

Weekend Weather Rap: 17 MAY 2019

Large Low-pressure system on West Coast will continue to cycle clouds and precipitation in and over the Western U.S. and Rockies through the weekend. Rain at lower elevations & snow in the mountains, generally above the 6000-7000-ft. elevations.

Current Situation

Below are this morning’s Satellite & Radar Images: Friday May 17, 2019

Click image to go to the latest Satellite loop
Click image to go to latest Radar loop

Weekend Forecast

Below is an animation of the clouds (represented by gray & white colors) and precipitation (blue-green colors), along with surface pressure contours (white lines in millibars). Video courtesy of

Click on image below to view forecast maps from: Friday noon to Sunday evening.

Click to view Forecast maps from

Big Low-pressure rotates moisture inland in pulses, with plenty of clouds & showers each day, Friday through Sunday. Expect periods of heavier rainfall, and just a few breaks in the clouds & showers.

Also, much cold air is coming inland, cold enough in Jackson Hole for the possibility of some snow to the valley floor.

Another Low-pressure center in the Gulf of Alaska will be moving inland later Sunday and affecting the weather across the Western U.S. for most of next week, keeping it wet & cool.

Post by meteorologist Jim Woodmencey



Winter 2018-19 in Jackson Hole

As I have done for many years now in my column for the Jackson Hole News & Guide, I’ll review the winter season’s snowfall and see how it compared to past years.

In case you missed it, this February had record-breaking snowfall, both in the valley and the mountains. That month alone is what truly made this winter extraordinary.

As you can decipher from the tables below, each winter’s snowfall distribution is a little different. What stands out is, that two out of the last three winters were exceptionally powder-ful, with well above average snowfall in both the mountains and the valley.

Town of Jackson Snowfall Stats

Snow measured at the Jackson Climate Station totaled 86 inches between December 1st, 2018 and April 1st, 2019.

That is the official count, however, there were roughly three weeks, from January 9th to 29th, 2019, when snowfall measurements were not taken, due to the government shutdown. Therefore, the actual four-month snowfall total for town was probably between 90 and 100 inches.

The long-term historic average snowfall for Jackson, from December through March, is 61 inches. Which means that this winter’s snowfall was at least 40-percent more than the average.

Note that more than half of this winter’s snowfall came in the month of February. The 55 inches we received during February 2019 established a new record for February snowfall. It also placed February 2019 as the second snowiest month ever, in Jackson’s recorded weather history.

Two winters ago, in 2016-17, Jackson also had big snowfall. Town received 94 inches of snow in the December through March time-frame. But, that winter was much warmer. This winter was much, much colder.

It Was a COLD Winter Too

This winter we experienced average high temperatures that were significantly colder than the long-term historic average, for every single month, from December through March.

What really blew me away was that average low temperatures were also well below normal, every single month. That usually only happens during dry winter months.

The biggest departure in temperature happened in March, with an average high temperature of 33-degrees for March 2019. That is 7 degrees colder than the long-term average high temperature in March, of 40-degrees.

The average low temperature this March was 5.6-degrees, which is nearly 10 degrees colder than the long-term average low temperature for March in Jackson, of 15 degrees. That is a significant cool down.

February’s Record Mountain Snowfall

Analyzing the data from the Rendezvous Bowl weather station at the 9,580-ft. elevation of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, I found the total snowfall from December 1st, 2018 to April 1st, 2019 was 406 inches.

Almost half of that total amount fell in February this year, establishing a new February snowfall record on the mountain with 196 inches.

The average total snowfall at Rendezvous Bowl, for December through March, is 304 inches. That additional 100 inches puts this winter’s “ski season” snow total at 133-percent of average.

For the same time period during the big winter we had two years ago, in 2016-17, 462 inches of snowfall was recorded at Rendezvous Bowl. February 2017 accounted for 149 of those inches, which is now the old February snowfall record, after this February blew that one away.

End of Season Snow-depth

Another way to gauge the winter season is by looking at the settled snow-depth in the mountains on April 1st.

At the Rendezvous Bowl site, the settled snow-depth was 105 inches on April 1st, 2019. The long-term historic average snow-depth on April 1st is 103 inches. Which means snow-depths at the end of winter, at that elevation, were very close to normal.

In comparison, and this might surprise you, last year on April 1st the snow depth at Rendezvous Bowl was 131 inches, assisted by the 99 inches of snow that fell in March 2018. Two seasons ago, on April 1, 2017, the snow depth stood at 146 inches.

While snow-depths and snowfall in the valley were reaching record levels this winter, snow pack in the mountains ended up much closer to normal than you would think.

Posted by meteorologist Jim Woodmencey

So close to being the Snowiest Month Ever in Jackson

UPDATED: Friday March 8th, 2019……
The final snowfall calculation was just updated and submitted by the NWS for the  Jackson Climate Station for the month of February 2019 …..turns out, Jackson’s total snowfall was within one inch of the all-time monthly snowfall record, in any month!

Final total that goes in the books for February 2019 is 55.1 inches. The all-time record snowfall in any month is 56 inches, from January of 1969. About as close as you can get to that record, which has stood for 50 years.

That places February of 2019 as the second snowiest month ever record  in the Town of Jackson, for any month of the year.

In the Pow @JacksonHole: @camfitzpatrick. Photo: @jaredspieker

I also reviewed all the old records to find that the previous second place award for snowfall in Jackson was in January 1967, with 48.3 inches. February 2019 easily kicked that one to third place.

Updated Mountain Snowfall Numbers

At the Rendezvous Bowl site (9,580-ft.), on the upper mountain at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, February 2019 ended with 196 inches for the month. Easily becoming the Snowiest February , beating the old record of 149 inches from 2017.

As a matter of fact, the three snowiest February’s at this site, all occurred within the last 5 years: 2019, 2017 & 2014.

And this will go down as the Second Snowiest month in history at JHMR.

The most snow ever in a month was in December of 1996 with 225 inches of snow.

Still Snowing!….Wednesday morning, Thunder chair JHMR.

WOW! What a BIG February it was for SNOW in Jackson Hole…

Nothing like it in our history. OK, in our recent history, not including any past Ice Ages.

Post & Updated by meteorologist Jim Woodmencey.


February Finishes with MORE Snow

One of the snowiest February’s ever for many parts of the Western United States is not quite over. More snow on the way for the Pacific Northwest & Northern Rockies. Looks like the Sierra Nevada & Colorado miss out on this weekend’s snow for the most part

The Set-Up

A cold Low-pressure center on the British Columbia Coast will drop further south & direct a relatively long stream of Pacific moisture inland across Washington, Oregon, Idaho & Western Wyoming beginning Saturday. That moisture is moving along in a very fast, Westerly flow aloft. Expect big snow & big wind with this go-around.

That hose-down will continue through Monday night and possibly into Tuesday of next week. Adding to the already epic snow totals experienced this month, from the day it started on February 2nd.

Makes me thing that the Groundhog is either really pissed-off or he has been reincarnated as Ullr the Snow-god!

Big Snow & Big Wind

The Cascades of Washington & Oregon, 4 or 5 feet in paces not out of the question. Idaho’s western mountains, and the western mountains of Wyoming,including the Tetons, Yellowstone Park & the Wind River Range accumulate another 3 feet at the higher elevations.

Valley locations will also see good accumulations, so keep the shovels & ibuprofen handy.

A strong Westerly flow aloft develops Saturday, causing a lot of blowing & drifting and likely raising the avalanche hazard once again.

Temps will warm thru Sunday & Monday, as well. But rain to elevations @6,000-ft.

The Blue Bars on the graph of the Jackson Hole Forecast tell the tale….that really adds up the next few days…..

Posted by meteorologist Jim Woodmencey

Jackson Wyoming Breaks February Snowfall Record

On Valentine’s Day 2019, the Town of Jackson Wyoming broke their February snowfall record with a total of 35.3 inches recorded for the month. The old snowfall record for February was 33 inches, for the entire month, in 1978.

Add to that another 3 inches of snow recorded at the Jackson Climate Station on Friday morning Feb. 15th, and the monthly total now stands at 38.3 inches. With this month only half over!


My House on Feb. 5th, 2019.

Chasing the All-Time Record Snowfall

With two weeks left in the month, we are now chasing the next record in line, the second snowiest month ever recorded in Jackson of 48.3 inches in January of 1967. Behind that was the 47.5 inches of snowfall in December of 2008 (the snowiest December ever recorded in town).

After that,  the all-time record snowiest month in town was in January 1969, with 56 inches of snow in one month.

Mountain Snowfall Impressive Too

At the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the Rendezvous Bowl weather station at 9,580-ft., has recorded 97 inches of snowfall during the first two weeks of February this year (between Feb 1st & 14th, 2019). That is also a record for that time period.

The old record snowfall at Rendezvous Bowl for the first two weeks of February was 92 inches, in February 2017.

This is what it’s been like at JHMR this February, day after day……
CLICK to View Video

Click to watch Cam FitzPatrick sample the February snow at JHMR

The record snowfall for the month of February in Rendezvous Bowl is 149 inches, also from 2017.

I guess we’re chasing that number now the rest of February 2019!


Post by meteorologist Jim Woodmencey