February falls 3.1 inches short of snowfall record

March 1, 2019

Air temperatures squarely in the 30s Tuesday and Wednesday melted any shot at February becoming the town of Jackson’s snowiest month ever.

Nearly a quarter-inch of precipitation fell in town over those two days, the last that count toward February’s total, but it either came in the form of rain or snow that melted and compacted.

“Close, but no cigar,” MountainWeather.com meteorologist Jim Woodmencey said in an email. “Warm temps yesterday only left behind 1.1 inches on the snow board at this morning’s reading at the Jackson Climate Station on North Cache Street.”

Any snow that fell Thursday, Feb. 28, will be recorded by the volunteer who checks the gauge the next day and will count toward March.

The National Weather Service’s monitor had recorded 51.8 inches of snowfall with two days left to go in the month, 4.2 inches shy of January 1969’s record of 56 inches.

Steadily snowy skies both days and Woodmencey’s wager suggested that the record was going to fall, but the snow’s staying power was depleted by the relative warmth. Air temperatures hovered between 32 and 37 degrees over the two days — about 10 degrees warmer than average — which turned the 0.22 inches of precipitation into a measly 1.1 inches of snow.

That amount of water, earlier in the week when it was colder, would have thrown down enough snow to break the record. Sunday’s 4.5 inches of snow contained just 0.15 inches of water, and Monday’s 4 inches carried with it 0.18 inches.

Although Jackson fell short of the monthly record, plenty of others fell all around the valley. It was the snowiest February ever both in town and on the slopes of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

The settled snow depth in town right now, 29 inches, also didn’t break any records, but the 51-inch snowpack measured Thursday in Moran climbed higher on the tape than ever before.