JACKSON, Wyo. — March was a dry month in Jackson with only light snowfall, but the dry pattern did not include much springtime warmth as temperatures ended up several degrees below average.
The first three weeks of the month were especially dry, then the pattern turned a bit more active over the final 10 days of the month with several periods of light to moderate snow.
The Rendezvous Bowl Plot at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort recorded only 31 inches of snow during the month of March, which is less than 50% of average. The average monthly snowfall during March dating back to 1975 is 66 inches.
Grand Targhee did comparatively better during March with 50 inches of snow recorded along with a few nice powder days thrown in.
The Jackson Hole Valley was very dry this month with only 0.12 inches of precipitation and 2.0 inches of snow recorded in Jackson. The average monthly precipitation for March in Jackson is 1.24 inches and the average snowfall is 9.9 inches, so the town finished well below average on both accounts.
In the northern valley, the Moran weather station near Jackson Lake only received 6.5 inches of snow in March, well below its monthly average of 18.9 inches.
Snowfall for the year as a whole has been above average with a season total of 498 inches at JHMR’s Rendezvous Bowl and 81.9 inches in the Town of Jackson.
However, the amount of settled snowpack currently on the ground as of March 31 is only 94% of average at the Rendezvous Bowl Plot. Most locations elsewhere in the Tetons and Western Wyoming are slightly below average in terms of snowpack as well.
From a water resources standpoint, winter snowpack is evaluated by its percent of average on April 1, so we will “officially” head into spring with slightly below-average snowpack. Of course, there are numerous factors in the weather patterns in April and May that could either delay or accelerate the melting process and impact our water resources by the time summer arrives.
Despite the lack of snowfall in March, temperatures were a different story. We had a handful of warm, spring-like days here and there, but overall temperatures ended up well below average across Jackson Hole.
The historical average high and low temperatures in the Town of Jackson during March are 44º F and 19º F. However, in March 2021, the average high and low were 39º F and 13º F, meaning temperatures were running about 5 degrees colder than average – a significant deviation.
Elsewhere in the region, temperatures were 3.3 degrees colder than average in Moran and 1.5 degrees colder than average at the top of the tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Despite the recent chill, a prolonged stretch of springtime warmth is on the horizon heading into early April.
From Thursday through Monday, high temperatures will reach the upper 50s to even low 60s in the Jackson Hole Valley, the warmest stretch of weather so far this year. Lingering snowpack in town will quickly melt away, while spring skiing will be in full effect on the slopes.
During the final days of lift-served ski season from April 6-11, the pattern will turn more unsettled again with better chances for mountain snow and valley rain and/or snow, but temperatures are unlikely to deviate too far from average.