Wyoming set for Late Summer Mountain Snowstorm

Roger Pielke Sr. passes this on to me with the note:

Hi Anthony, This is quite unusual! Source: NWS, Riverton, WY

http://pics4.city-data.com/cpicc/cfiles29747.jpg

Bighorn Mountains - view from I-90 - Image courtesy City-Data.com

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RIVERTON WY

309 AM MDT SAT AUG 15 2009

...LATE SUMMER SNOWSTORM EXPECTED FOR THE BIG HORN MOUNTAINS

TODAY...

.AN UNSEASONABLY EARLY SNOWSTORM IS EXPECTED TO AFFECT THE BIG

HORN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 9000 FEET TODAY AS A STRONG PACIFIC TROUGH

OF LOW PRESSURE TRACKS EAST ACROSS THE AREA...



WYZ008-009-151800-

/O.NEW.KRIW.WW.Y.0030.090815T1500Z-090816T0000Z/

BIGHORN MOUNTAINS WEST-BIGHORN MOUNTAINS SOUTHEAST-

309 AM MDT SAT AUG 15 2009

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING TO

6 PM MDT THIS EVENING FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 9000 FEET...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RIVERTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER

WEATHER ADVISORY FOR THE BIG HORN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 9000 FEET WHICH

IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM MDT THIS EVENING.

RAINFALL ALONG WITH A FEW EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS WILL OCCUR THIS

MORNING BEFORE CHANGING OVER TO SNOW ABOVE 9000 FEET BY 9 AM. SNOW

WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON ALONG WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 3

TO 4 INCHES AT 9000 FEET ALONG WITH UP TO 6 TO 7 INCHES AT 10000 FEET.

ISOLATED EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THROUGHOUT THE DAY

WHICH COULD CAUSE LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS OF SNOWFALL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW

WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW

COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES WHILE DRIVING OVER GRANITE

AND POWDER RIVER PASSES TODAY...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

CAMPERS AND HIKERS SHOULD PREPARE FOR DRAMATICALLY COLDER AND WET

WEATHER TODAY.

&&

$$

LIPSON
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60 thoughts on “Wyoming set for Late Summer Mountain Snowstorm

  1. Great weather. If only the south Texas could have a taste of this. I like the claim that weather isn’ climate. Don’t they both use the same data? ?

  2. I don’t care if it’s weather, not climate. I hope someone like Drudge highlights these every time they happen. Just because it aggravates every two bit AGW zealot out there. If there is a God he is channeling Nelson Muntz with each occurrence.
    [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_4bLNM0axE ]
    REPLY: Channeling Nelson is the wrong way to view this. At WUWT I don’t report “every” weather event, but I do report the odd ones that are seasonal climatic outliers, Dr. Pielke agrees. Just as I did for years on television, you’ll very likely see this same report on TV stations and in newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado because it will affect I-90 and it is unusual. – Anthony

  3. Pike’s Peak got snow two weeks ago. My family has camped at Sylvan Lake, outside of Eagle, CO (near Vail), and were told by the rangers that there is no “last frost” as they regularly get snow through the summer. Nothing unusual for the Rockies, as far as I understand, to get snow throughout the year. Maybe it’s the intensity that Pielke Sr. is referring to as unusual?
    Mark

  4. Above 9000 ft . Unusual for Aug. , but probably not unheard of . Having lived at 6000 ft. in Idaho for several years , I can say that July and August were the only months that I never saw snowfall .

  5. @james m. : you’re right, the only two seasons are winter and road work.
    The NWS Missoula office is forecasting snow above 8300′ in the Bitterroot Mts of Montana today and tonight. Probably happening right now, as it just started raining in Missoula. Not really that unusual, though.

  6. Mike M. (11:01:45) : With regard to Anthony’s reply-ordinarily I would say it is worth highlighting weather events just to show that weather is highly variable AGW or not-a message in itself-but there is no problem-namely that any and all weather will just be blamed on AGW.

  7. It did get down to 35-39 degrees in the Big Horn Mountains this morning at around 8500 feet. Kudos to NWS Riverton for putting this out because there is a lot of hiking in those mountains this time of the year.

  8. Heh. I didn’t say it was the right way to look at these things, just the most enjoyable. I’m thinking of a particularly churlish poster at DotEarth who recently dismissed my reference to Richard Lindzen because Lindzen is “just a meteorologist.”

  9. Mark T (11:08:50) :
    Pike’s Peak got snow two weeks ago.
    ~~~~
    Pike’s Peak is over 14,400 ft high. Most of the Rockies are under 10,000ft, as is the area of the unseasonal snow-forcast at 9,000ft.

  10. I live here.
    This is the THIRD snow since late July.
    I have seen snow on July 4th.
    I have seen snow on Labor Day.
    But these past two weeks are mid-summer.
    Even in Wyoming.
    An 88 year-old rancher has said that she has never seen a summer like this.
    I sure haven’t.
    How can I post photos that I will be taking?
    REPLY: Post them to flickr or some other free photo sharing service and then put the URL’s in the comments here – Anthony

  11. Following on from John Egan (12:20:13) :
    I am in the Denver area. Even though it has been somewhat ridgey over the West, I have noticed that the 500 mb thicknesses seem to be lower than most summers. Here in Denver, it seem be rarely more than 582 dm, with dips below 570 dm when a trough pushes through. I have been here in Colorado for 15 years & I cant ever remember seeing sub-570 thicknesses in mid-summer. Of course, in Wyoming, being further north, thicknesses have been even less, thus the multiple summer snows with systems moving through. Even over AZ, there have been multiple periods where it is around 585 +/-. In past years, it seems like it was common to see values near or over 600 dm. What’s maybe most interesting is the low thickness values despite being close to the mean summer ridge, with the mean summer trough over the Great Lakes.
    Has anyone else noticed this thickness anomaly – or is it just in my mind? Any good websites to analyze this further?

  12. We saw 2 inches of snow on the ground in the Rockies, at about 7,000 feet just last week, just west of Wisdom, MT. Not sure what the excitement is about snow at 9,000 feet in the Big Horns. August has been quite cool – so far – but here in the Inland NW but we are to be back in the 90s (deg F) next week.

  13. Last year at this time we also had a snowstorm in the Bighorns. According to the people who have lived here more than 30 years, this summer has been more like the summers of the 70’s rather than recent years. I remember snowstorms in the Bighorns in July and August during the early 70’s. “Unusual” depends upon the time frame one is talking about.

  14. It’s a pretty reasonable summer in North Texas but I’d love to have some nights in the 60s….south Texas is a different story. Maybe Ana or the one behind it can bring some water to the valley and then north.

  15. “If there is a God he is channeling Nelson Muntz with each occurrence.”
    Apologies for being obtuse, but what does “channeling” mean? Mrs Clinton used the word “channeling” in the Congo about her husband. As a speaker of the Queen’s English, I have no idea what Mrs Clinton or Mike M mean.
    Thank you in anticipation.
    Stoic

  16. ked5 (11:43:24) :
    Pike’s Peak is over 14,400 ft high.

    No kidding. It’s 14110 feet, actually, but that’s only the peak – the mountain doesn’t all sit that high, you know. The snow went down well below treeline which is around 11000 feet on the eastern slope. If you had read the rest of my post you would have noticed I also mentioned Sylvan Lake regularly gets snow through the summer and it’s only at 8500 feet.
    Try to post something a little less insulting and a little more intelligent next time.
    Mark

  17. Stoic (15:04:22) – ” Channelling” was an idiotic fad in the U.S. some time ago . It seems that those who were cosmically aware could “channel” , or , assume the persona of other persons , either living or dead and allow them to speak through them . Nelson Miutz is a character on “The Simpsons” who mocks everything with a HA HA .

  18. Funny you should mention mountain cold, we were on vacation in Pogosa Springs early this month and our car thermometer said 37 degrees in their downtown area a little after 6 on the way home and 1 degree lower just east of the town.
    I thought lows in the 40’s would be a bit more common which they were.

  19. The Weather Channel did talk about these snowstroms yesterday …. But, of course, never linked them to Global Warming as they “should have”.
    If, on the other hand, we had been facing warm areas, hot spots in the same places? Would the “hot weather” have been likewise “not labbelled” as a symptom of global warming? /sarcasm

    On a technical note to the assembled weatherpeople reading, are these “late summer” snowfalls (belonging to the past winter of 2008-2009), or early winter snowstorms (belonging to the upcoming winter 2010)?

  20. P Walker (11:09:48) :
    Above 9000 ft . Unusual for Aug. , but probably not unheard of . Having lived at 6000 ft. in Idaho for several years , I can say that July and August were the only months that I never saw snowfall .
    My wife grew up in Rigby and has watched the fireworks in Idaho Falls in the snow on the 4th of July. We got snow on Scout Mountain in Pocatello last August. Mackay is supposed to be 37 f overnight. They are at 5986 ft. It barely made 70 today in Poky.
    Andy

  21. Don S.
    Meanwhile in Missoula’s sister city of Palmerston North, New Zealand, 2009 has just become the record holder for ground frosts recorded out on the Manawatu plains (ave altitude 15m above s.l.) since I first started recording them in 1980. The 26 frosts recorded so far (winter isn’t over yet) beats out the two previous record holders of 1982 and 1989.
    Two years ago this August, New Zealand’s National Institute of Atmosphere and Water (N.I.W.A.) put out a prediction by one of their lead scientists, Dr Jim Renwick, that due to global warming ground frosts would become a thing of the past by the end of the 21st century. Their figures across the country show that the number of frosts per year were dropping on average by 4 per decade. Even for areas such as the central volcanic plateau in the North Island (ave altitude 600m above s.l.) where they experience about 55 per year they claim that if temperatures rise by just 1 degree C more than now then frosts may be a thing of the past.
    My observations show quite divergent swings in frost numbers. 1989’s twenty-five were followed by the lowest number in the period of only two for 1990. The last six years from here show a steady trend; 2004 – 17, 2005 – 7, 2006 – 9, 2007 – 17, 2008 – 18, 2009 – 26 (so far). Who knows? Maybe next year will be like 1990?
    As for mountain snowfalls, after a hiss and a roar with an early start and heavy falls through May and June, there has been no new falls for a month in our region ( the South Island has been quite different with enough new snow to have caused 2 avalanche fatalities in recent weeks).
    A change in weather patterns away from the current sub-tropical northerlies will see a return of snow bearing cloud from the south coming off the back of the predominantly westerly flow common as we transition into spring. Old timers refer to these westerlies as, “The Equinoctuals,” but we tend to associate them with El Nino events these days. The worst of these for us was the spring and summer of 1982-83. As the last of that year’s 25 frosts receded from memory someone flicked a switch and the dreaded westerlies arrived with a vengeance sticking around for most of the next six months! On that basis I am hoping that this El Nino will be weak.

  22. While Wyomin is getting some snow, here in Sydney, Australia, we’re having, apparently, a summer like scorcher. While is it warm, about 26c at the moment in the West, it certainly isn’t a “summer” scorcher.

  23. I noticed this report from the graphical forcast map on NOAA earlier today, but it isn’t there now. I’m in western central Colorado at 6600′ and have had two mornings in the past week at 37°. Not a single day at or above 90° this summer, where a few dozen are the norm. All this odd weather is accumulating into an odd season.

  24. Ahhh, I remember fondly the good old days when I walked on many of those ridges and peaks and fished in the little snow-bordered cirque lakes…and nobody was giving me any shit about dramatic climage catastrophe (then, we only worried about a dramatic nuclear war 🙂 ). I guess we have to have an ultimate WORRY. Right now, it’s OBAMA, not AGW.

  25. Suzanne (13:38:37) :
    Last year at this time we also had a snowstorm in the Bighorns. According to the people who have lived here more than 30 years, this summer has been more like the summers of the 70’s rather than recent years. I remember snowstorms in the Bighorns in July and August during the early 70’s. “Unusual” depends upon the time frame one is talking about.

    No one in Wyoming is keen to return to the winters of the early 1970s. The winters have been much cooler, though not as cool as the early 70s, since 2005. This summer has resembled the 1970s summer even in the southern part of the state.

  26. ohn Egan (12:20:13) :
    I live here.
    This is the THIRD snow since late July.
    I have seen snow on July 4th.
    I have seen snow on Labor Day.
    But these past two weeks are mid-summer.
    Even in Wyoming.
    An 88 year-old rancher has said that she has never seen a summer like this.
    I sure haven’t.
    How can I post photos that I will be taking?

    Hi John, you can post them to my site, http://whatcatastrophe.com after you register. If you need help, post a message there and I’ll get right on it.

  27. Nice posts…everyone chiming in from all over the globe!
    Liked this quote:
    “According to the people who have lived here more than 30 years, this summer has been more like the summers of the 70’s rather than recent years.”
    Right on time with switches of certain key multidecadal (and shorter period) oscillations.
    CHRIS
    Norfolk, VA

  28. P Walker
    “Stoic (15:04:22) – ” Channelling” was an idiotic fad in the U.S. some time ago . It seems that those who were cosmically aware could “channel” , or , assume the persona of other persons , either living or dead and allow them to speak through them . Nelson Miutz is a character on “The Simpsons” who mocks everything with a HA HA .”
    Many thanks

  29. My son was driving in southern Wyoming yesterday, from Green River to Denver, and ran into snow. I don’t know how much mountainous terrain there is, but it certainly struck me as odd.

  30. “Pike’s Peak is over 14,400 ft high.”
    I thought it was 14,115. Whatever. With the oceans rising (and Al assures us they are) all the mountain tops must be getting closer to “sea level”. So the snow is happening at lower elevations. We’re doomed.
    No snow on PP now. (I can see it out my window) As for useless anecdotal weather, late July and early August usually have the warmest days of our summer. Not this year. Never broke 90, some days not over 80. And very wet. No matter, we’ll all broil next year. (unless we pass a massive carbon tax) (and swap our SUV’s for plug-in hybrids) (charging the batteries with windmills)
    I think I’ll stock up on warmer clothing.

  31. Andy Beasley (19:00:31) :
    One of the coldest nights I ever spent in a tent was on Scout Mountain .

  32. In Breckenridge, Colorado, last winter’s snow stil remains on the upper peaks. This summer’s weather in the high country has been consistently cool and moist. The wildflowers thrived due to all the rain, and the forests in Summit County are lush with vegetation. The fire danger has been low to moderate most of the summer. Autumn has already begun above 9,000′. I’ve already seen yellow Aspen leaves. The temperature was 32ºF this morning. No signs of “global warming” here.

  33. We had 39 degrees here in Southern Montana this morning, and we are only at a little over 4000 feet elevation. This is a little bit odd, even for here. That said, I remember snow in July in the 1970’s. This summer reminded me of the one in 1977. That was followed by the worst winter of my adult life.

  34. Utah’s Unitas mountains too, but rather high up.
    From http://www.abc4.com/content/news/blogs/story/TODD-GROSS-Snow-Hits-the-Mirror-Lake-Highway-and/tgbIjVZ0WkiwcbLHnfmG1w.cspx
    If you read up on the blog yesterday, I mentioned it would be “close to snowing” up on the Mirror Lake highway, in the Uintas today. When I was woken up by wind and thunder, and cold 46 degree temps at my cottage at 5800 feet, I decided to check the radar on my laptop.
    I saw the precipitation hadn’t reached the Uintas yet, and I knew I could make it to 10,800ft. near Mirror Lake and Bald Mountain and Trial Lake. When I checked upper level temperature forecasts I knew the rain would change to snow and arrive just as I got there in an hour if I left right away. So I ate a quick meal (Lasagne and chicken parm.) for breakfast and ran out skis in hand. Well, as you can see below there wasn’t enough snow for skiing, but close! Over an inch fell shortly after I arrived at Bald Mtn. and Trial lake!
    —–
    Todd Gross ( http://www.toddgross.com/ ) used to be a TV Met in Boston. When he was stepping up to an aspirated sensor unit for his Vantage Pro weather station at home, he put the old one on a weather Email list, and I got it. I picked it up at the station and watched him prepare the 2315 weathercast. Rather interesting watching someone with a couple decades in the profession make it look so easy.
    Todd had his own snowmaking hardware at home too.

  35. This is weather, not climate.
    Weather varies.
    From Wikipedia:

    Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and numerous other meteorological elements in a given region over long periods of time. Climate can be contrasted to weather, which is the present condition of these same elements over periods up to two weeks.

    Gee, what a surprise!
    Climate models and climate scientists also predict increased variability in weather with AGW.
    Very silly choice of a story, IMO.
    Getting a little desperate for content, are we?
    REPLY: Oh puhleezze. Don’t lecture me about what is climate and what is weather. Mr. “Palmer” if you don’t like the content here, then please don’t read it, and then don’t comment about it. Get your own blog and you can run it any way you like, in the meantime I’ll post stories of interest to myself and to others. And sir, before you go arguing that tired old saw of the faithful again, look at the category tag. Note also the tag for the tropical storms story I’ve run. But you are too busy confirming your own biases to notice this because in your mind, cold story = just weather, tropical storm story = climate induced global warming. You’ve been trained to think this way, Otherwise you would have complained about that one too, which is also weather, in the same way, but you didn’t. Busted. – Anthony

  36. [snip – off topic – the tag is weather, not bugs, and not theorized climate induced effects]

  37. Leland Palmer (15:23:10) :
    “By the way, this is how Wyoming is doing with the mountain pine beetle infestation, which is directly tied to global warming. Without several days of hard freezing temperatures in the winter to kill the larvae, the bark beetle is expanding out of control:”
    The Western Pine Bettle has been-allowed-to get out of control.AGW has nothing to do with it-Wiki is not a reliable source….
    It was Beetle killed forest that contributed to the Big Burns of the 1900’s
    and the creation of the USFS…

  38. Douglas DC (15:45:07) :
    Leland Palmer (15:23:10) :
    “By the way, this is how Wyoming is doing with the mountain pine beetle infestation, which is directly tied to global warming. Without several days of hard freezing temperatures in the winter to kill the larvae, the bark beetle is expanding out of control:”
    The Western Pine Beetle has been-allowed-to get out of control.AGW has nothing to do with it-Wiki is not a reliable source….
    It was Beetle killed forest that contributed to the Big Burns of the 1900’s
    and the creation of the USFS…
    Wyoming’s weather is not too different than here in SE Idaho. It’s about a quarter mile from the parking lot to my building at work. This past winter someone commented that the wind chill was 40 below. Of course I had to ask if it was F or C. I don’t know where Mr. Leland lives; but, here in Idaho the “dew” that forms in winter falls as ice crystals that sparkle in the sun and you can tell when it is really cold by whether your nose hairs freeze or the snow creaks when you walk on it (about 15 F vs. 0 F).
    Andy

  39. Andy!
    You need to calibrate your nose-hair-freeze index.
    Nose hairs (nostrilicous IdahoseFallous at least) freeze at -5 F.
    At a mere 0 to +15 degrees F, proper Idahoans are putting on only 1 layer of SPF 5 sunscreen.

  40. Hi Anthony-
    Wyoming is in the midst of the largest mountain pine beetle infestation in history.
    This appears to be a direct result of climate change, which is the supposed subject of this blog.
    How can an unseasonable snow storm, which is weather, not climate, be more important to talk about than millions of acres of dead trees, arguably directly linked to climate change?
    I don’t understand the snipping and apparent anger expressed in your reply.
    How can this be off topic?

  41. Oh, I’ve been banned.
    It’s all pretty predictable, isn’t it?
    Psuedoscientists and paid propagandists don’t really like being disagreed with, do they?
    Have a nice day, Anthony Watts.
    Where will you spend your money, and where will your family’s descendants spend the money that you make, if we ignite a methane catastrophe?
    I’ll bet that you aren’t even being paid very well.
    It’s a very short sighted series of actions on your part, Anthony.
    I know making a living is hard, and likely you have house payments and dental bills to contend with.
    But can’t you make your money in a way that does not kill the biosphere?

    REPLY:
    Look again, the tag is “weather”. Then you say predictably “weather” is not “climate” while chastising me in your original message. If I have a thread on pine beetles and climate change, then you’d be on topic. I’m not playing your “woe is me” game, either pay attention to keeping things on topic or don’t post. I do agree with you on one point though, “Psuedoscientists and paid propagandists don’t really like being disagreed with, do they?” Yes see this thread on Climate Audit about Real Climate’s draconian policy.
    I your case your messages were put in automatic holding so they could be checked, since you have trouble staying on-topic. But you jumped to conclusion. If you were banned you’d know it.
    As for this blog, see the rules.
    For suggesting new topics, such as pine beetles and drought etc, we have the Tips and Notes to WUWT. You can’t even seem to use the structure of this blog effectively, all while using a name from an old TV show, so please don’t lecture me on my supposed shortcomings.
    No more from you on this thread, you’ve already disrupted it. – Anthony

  42. Reminds me of 1986 in Red Lodge, MT, near Wyoming. We went to the July 4th rodeo on a warm afternoon, didn’t even notice other people carrying jackets – we never checked the forecast. Well, we hung on through the bull riding before mild hypothermia drove us out. Snow above 6500 feet that night, about the elevation of our camp. More recently, a half dozen years ago were surprised by snow, good snow, in Central Montana on either August 22 or 23, at 4000 feet elevation! Just reinforces the old mantra to always be prepared in the Rockies, snow can happen any time.

  43. There are people like myself who have lived, worked and-survived the vagaries
    of the harsh western climate.Who contribute to this weblog.What we have the temerity to say is we by the nature of nature around us, we see NO warming.
    It is, infact, getting colder. Record lows are occuring,trees are turning, and an early-not EL Niño fall and winter are possible.All the while the Sun is snoring away…
    Thanks, Anthony for these little titbits of non-warming..

  44. Leland Palmer (05:58:35) :
    Wyoming is in the midst of the largest mountain pine beetle infestation in history.

    So is Colorado, though it is not the largest in history, it is the largest in the last few hundred years.
    This appears to be a direct result of climate change, which is the supposed subject of this blog.
    No, it is a result of a recurring cycle:every 400 years according to the last Forest Ranger I spoke with. He was part of the mitigation effort at Long’s Peak, near Rocky Mountain National Park. His job was to help clear the infected trees. I’m going to trust he knows more than some hyperventilating web denizen.
    How can an unseasonable snow storm, which is weather, not climate, be more important to talk about than millions of acres of dead trees, arguably directly linked to climate change?
    Nobody I know that deals with these things argues it is a result of climate change, so I’m not sure how you get the word “arguably” into that sentence. Even Wikipedia puts “no support” in parentheses after the statement linking climate change to an increase in the size of the outbreak and their only claim to it being “10 times larger than previous outbreaks” is a link to a news article that provides no references.
    The beetles themselves do not kill the trees, btw.
    Mark

  45. Mark T (10:57:39)
    “a result of a recurring cycle:every 400 years according to the last Forest Ranger I spoke with”
    How do they know it’s a 400 year cycle? More than 200 years or so, and your into the “pre-historical” era in the Rockies. And why would it be 400 years? Lodgepole pine only live about 100 years and the catastrophic fire cycle is about that long too. And actually, rangers are law enforcement personnel – perhaps you spoke to a naturalist or seasonal forest worker?
    We have lots of bug killed trees on our place which are now mature, after the area burned in the late 1800s, and unprecedented spruce bud worm on the doug-fir. After about a decade of dry hot summers and mild winters, we’re hoping this relatively wet and mild summer might help. Still don’t have conditions like the 1970s, when I used to hunt frogs in a couple of ponds – those ponds are still dry this year, but decent spring flow.

  46. Jakers, Douglas DC, et al.
    Was through Red Lodge yesterday. Light flurries on the Beartooth pass to the south with temps of 38 F. Yesterday was the second time we had snow on the peaks – this time down into the trees – in the last two weeks in the Absoroka Range (west of the Big Horns). We had our last snow in the valley (4″ at 5800′) on June 8th. The old timers say it’s reminiscent of back in the 70s (when we were warned about “the coming Ice Age”).
    We have a good laugh about the Pine Bark Beetle and how it’s prospering because it doesn’t get cold enough anymore. They don’t seem to mind -30 F. with temps not rising above 0 F. for days and days. But they live in Wyoming, so they gotta’ be tough! Maybe the saying “Cowboy up!” will be changed to “Beetle up!”
    Anthony – thanks for all you do!

  47. Jakers (11:52:31) :
    How do they know it’s a 400 year cycle? More than 200 years or so, and your into the “pre-historical” era in the Rockies. And why would it be 400 years? Lodgepole pine only live about 100 years and the catastrophic fire cycle is about that long too.

    Ponderosa pines live much longer than that, and they constitute a very large proportion of the pine trees in CO (and, I would assume, WY.) Otherwise, I don’t know why, that’s just what he said.
    And actually, rangers are law enforcement personnel – perhaps you spoke to a naturalist or seasonal forest worker?
    No, I spoke with a Forest Ranger, gun and all. They have other duties besides law enforcement. It was October of last year, btw, so the only “officials” around were Rangers (the camp hosts only work through Labor Day.)
    He almost gave us a ticket for using wood that had been cut. They are cutting infected trees and selling them as firewood (which guarantees the larvae are dead) to help fund the mitigation effort. Since we were considerate enough to ask, and since the cut wood was actually in the campsites (it is sort of ambiguous on the “gathering” concept when wood is lying next to a fire pit,) he was nice enough to forego the ticket provided we didn’t burn anymore wood. Phew! $500 fine minimum as I recall.
    After about a decade of dry hot summers and mild winters, we’re hoping this relatively wet and mild summer might help. Still don’t have conditions like the 1970s, when I used to hunt frogs in a couple of ponds – those ponds are still dry this year, but decent spring flow.
    They expected the exceptionally cold winter of 2008 to help, too, but it didn’t. Climate seems to only be a bit player in that regard. We did get snowed on, btw. I expected to wake up knifed ceremoniously in the back by my wife when we got up on the last day with six inches of snow on the ground. 🙂
    Mark

  48. Leland Palmer (15:14:26) :
    Climate models and climate scientists also predict increased variability in weather with AGW.
    Yes, and how very convenient for them! Whatever happens, it’s because of AGW. And they have the audacity to call it science!

  49. Retired Engineer (07:44:27) :
    I thought it was 14,115.

    The official is now listed as 14115, but the sign at the top said 14110 the last time I saw it.
    We’re doomed.
    Since you seem to live here, too, perhaps we should start an investment company specializing in ocean-front property… in Woodland Park! 🙂
    No snow on PP now. (I can see it out my window)
    It’s there, but only on the back side now (you can see it from Woodland Park/Divide.)
    Never broke 90, some days not over 80. And very wet.
    I think we actually hit 90 twice out west of Powers. I’m not quite in Falcon, but I still call it West Kansas, hehe. I’m saving big-time on AC this summer, but taking it in the Kahones on water. That was the good thing about the restrictions: I wasn’t allowed to spend myself into oblivion for green grass.
    Mark

  50. Nathaniel (11:57:02) :
    Spent a lot of time in the Beartooths-mostly trying to figgure out a way to make out of the Hellroaring drainage without crashing.Brings back memories..
    Notably the little Rosebud fire…

  51. Historical first snow here in the Denver Metro area is in the first week of September, (only 3 weeks away currently). It will be interesting to watch the snow season develop as this summer we have come very close to having snow conditions even in mid summer. Minimum night time temps have tipped into the 40’s on 14 days June through mid-August so far this summer. It got down to 41 deg F minimum on June 8, 2009, and 43 deg F on June 12. Yesterday the daytime high (Aug 17), was 74 deg F, with a night time low of 47 deg F. That puts the night time freezing level only about 2000-3000 ft elevation above the Denver Metro area at night.
    These unseasonably cold days in both June and August have been reminiscent of typical weather you might expect in late September, or late April here.
    It will be interesting to see when first snow comes to the Metro area, and first highway pass closure due to snow comes this year. I spent the previous week out at the Bonneville Salt flats for speedweek and the first two days there you needed a jacket which is very unusual for that area this time of year. Normally tempeartures are in the high 90’s and low 100’s this time of year instead of in the 70’s and 80’s.
    The Salt Lake weather office climate summary shows that so far this month, (August) cooling degree days have been 176, normal for the period would be 214.
    Cooling degree days since June 1to date, in Salt Lake were 716, normal would be 784. Cooling degree days to date from January 1 in Salt Lake were 769 normal is 822.
    The Rocky Mountain region has been very noticeably cooler than normal this summer for those of us who have lived here for decades.
    Larry

  52. One year in the early/mid ’70s, in Casper WY, I remember having snow on the fourth of July in Casper which is at about 5300 feet elevation. We also used to get pretty decent snow during those winters such that we were able to build elaborate snow caves in our back yard since the snow was about five feet deep for weeks on end. Fun!
    Typically, late July and early August were the hottest part of the year with highs over 100 not too unusual. (Again, in Casper at 5300 feet). But snow has occurred in every month of the year here. It’s just not common in July and August.
    So things are just plain variable around here. I’ve been snowed on while standing in direct sunlight and watching a thunderstorm in Wyoming. And it was actually a nice day all in all.
    We used to go backpacking up in the Wind Rivers in the early to mid ’70s. There was no time of the year that you didn’t want to be prepared for snow, but again, late July through early August was the least likely time to be snowed upon, and of course, the higher the elevation, the more likely snow was.
    Here are some temperature readings from a very accurate temperature logging system I installed where I work. The outdoor temp sensor is in a solar-shielded, fan-aspirated housing, so it reads true air temperature. It’s reasonably far from any pavement or buildings and is about five feet above ground level.
    I’ve got true barometric readings from 2003 onwards as well.
    Sorry, I didn’t have outdoor temperature data for July of 2008 because someone weed-whackered the cable going to the sensor unit that summer and I didn’t get around to reconnecting things for a quite a while.
    I don’t have anything prior to 2003 on this system. This location is very near Casper and at approximately 5330 feet.
    This summer has been very wet and quite cool. It’s actually been great in my opinion.
    July 2003
    High 104.50 7/16/2003 14:25:00
    Low 45.95 7/5/2003 05:15:00
    Average for Period 76.92
    July 2004
    High 98.75 7/12/2004 16:15:00
    Low 39.65 7/6/2004 05:27:30
    Average for Period 70.19
    July 2005
    High 106.05 7/22/2005 14:50
    Low 45.10 7/27/2005 05:25:00
    Average for Period: 75.87
    July 2006
    High 106.85 7/29/2006 15:17:30
    Low 50.70 7/3/2006 05:57:30:00
    Average for Period: 78.24
    July 2007
    High 102.95 7/22/2007 14:20
    Low 53.95 7/12/2007 05:30:00
    Average for period: 77.45
    July 2008 – no data
    July 2009
    High 93.20 7/23/2007 15:50:00
    Low 41.25 7/30/2007 05:57:30
    Average for Period: 67.97

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