JACKSON, Wyo. – Rainfall has been heavier and more consistent than usual in Jackson Hole and the Tetons this summer. In fact, the Town of Jackson received more rain from June through August in 2023 than in any other June-August period since 1998.
The Town of Jackson weather station received 6.19 inches of rain from June through August (the three-month period defined as meteorological summer), which is above the average of 3.85 inches for this period.
This was the wettest meteorological summer for Jackson since 1998 when 6.61 inches of rain fell.
Average annual precipitation (rain and snow) in Jackson is 17.44 inches. For the water year (October through September), we have already exceeded our annual average with a total of 19.05 inches since October 1. We have 24 days left to see if we can crack the 20-inch mark before the end of the water year on September 30.
Rainfall totals this summer have been impressive throughout Teton County. Let’s take a look at other June-August rainfall totals in the area with historical comparisons.
June through August Rainfall in Teton County:
|2023 Total||Average||Wettest Since||Record|
|Moran/Jackson Lake||7.58″||4.23″||1941||9.66″ (1941)|
|Old Faithful||7.97″||5.29″||2005||8.98″ (1998)|
|Yellowstone Lake||7.69″||4.84″||2014||9.05″ (2004)|
Thanks to abundant rainfall, fire activity has been minimal across the region this summer. We have also seen very little smoke from fires elsewhere.
Frequent thunderstorms and rainy spells have made for challenging conditions in the backcountry and on the higher peaks at times. But given that there haven’t been any major flooding issues, abundant moisture is always welcome at this time of year from a drought and wildfire perspective.
This summer has also been wet across the state of Wyoming as a whole. Most of the state experienced “much above normal” rainfall and some areas in the central part of the state had their wettest summer on record.
The wet summer pattern continued through the first several days of September and over Labor Day weekend. A powerful low pressure system set up over the West Coast, resulting in abundant rainfall on Sunday and Monday in particular.
Sunday featured multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms that produced heavy rainfall, while Monday featured cooler temperatures, heavy cloud cover, and lighter but steady rain and drizzle.
So far this September, about an inch of rain has accumulated in the Jackson Hole Valley from Jackson to Moran, while the Alta weather station in Teton Valley has received 1.20 inches of rain.
High temperatures were in the 70s through the first few days of the month, before cooling off behind a Sunday night cold front with highs in the 50s on Monday and 60s on Tuesday. The higher peaks of the Tetons were also dusted with snow on Monday.
Upcoming Weather Pattern
Nicer but slightly unsettled weather will be the story across Teton County through the second half of this week and into the weekend. Wednesday has been a beautiful day so far with more abundant sunshine and highs in the low 70s in the valley.
While the atmosphere has started to dry out, the jet stream will be located across our region over the next several days. Disturbances “following along” the jet will result in at least a chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms most days from Wednesday through Sunday.
Any showers or storms are expected to produce brief, light and spotty rainfall at most with the higher terrain being favored more than the valleys.
The best chance of showers and storms will generally be in the afternoon and evening hours, though some occasional early morning activity couldn’t be ruled out depending on the timing of individual disturbances.
Despite the relatively low threat of isolated showers/storms each day, the weather pattern will be much nicer compared to recent weeks with more abundant sunshine and highs in the 70s each day.
If you plan on heading north or east of Jackson (Yellowstone, Winds, Absarokas, etc.), there is going to be a threat of heavier and more numerous showers from Friday through Sunday, so be sure to plan accordingly. Also, high-elevation snow (above 11,000 feet or so) is a possibility in these areas.
This slightly unsettled weather pattern may linger into early next week as well across the Tetons and Western Wyoming with a drying trend then expected toward mid-week.
A pleasant and seasonal early fall weather pattern is likely to continue into mid-September with highs in the 70s expected in the valleys most days. Isolated shower/thunderstorm chances couldn’t be ruled out late next week, but no significant weather systems or cold fronts are anticipated at this time.
Alan Smith, Meteorologist