Jackson Hole Daily Snow

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By Alan Smith, Meteorologist Posted 10 months ago May 30, 2023

Daily Shower/Thunderstorm Pattern Continues

Summary

A rinse and repeat pattern will continue for the foreseeable future with showers and thunderstorms developing each day. Tue/Wed should feature more sunshine in the morning hours & slightly warmer temps, then Thu to Sun is looking wetter with more cloud cover, cooler temps, and more widespread showers & t-storms.

Short Term Forecast

The holiday weekend featured off-and-on showers and thunderstorms from late morning through early evening with only little breaks in between. Rainfall amounts were not particularly heavy, but the shower activity was consistent with cool and damp conditions along with short breaks of sunshine in between rounds.

This pattern looks to continue for the next 1-2 weeks due to a blocking pattern in place. A strong ridge of high pressure will remain in place over the plains just east of the Divide, while weak a trough near the West Coast will keep a persistent and moist southwest flow in place.

Embedded slow-moving disturbances will impact our area in this pattern, keeping shower & thunderstorm chances going on a daily basis, but without any strong cold fronts to bring late-season mountain snow like we can sometimes get at this time of year. This will be more of an early summer pattern with frequent thunderstorms like we've seen recently.

Forecast for Tuesday:

An area of low pressure is located off the California Coast on Tuesday, which will impact our weather in the days to follow. Immediately ahead of this low, a plume of moisture is stretched across Idaho with west/southwest winds, which will work its way into NW Wyoming. 

We are starting out with more sunshine across the Tetons and Yellowstone on Tuesday morning than we have in several days. It will be a beautiful morning to get out and recreate.

As moisture levels gradually increase combined with daytime heating from the sun, showers and thunderstorms will develop once again with odds increasing as the day progresses. It's possible we could see the first showers/storms fire up as early as noon, but the best chances of storms will be from about 1pm-6pm.

Similar to recent days, multiple rounds of showers and storms will be possible through the afternoon with frequent lightning and brief heavy rain possible at times. Storm cloud bases will also be below mountain-top level, similar to recent days, thanks to ample moisture in place.

Storms will be fairly slow-moving from WSW to ENE initially, before transitioning to SW to NE by later in the afternoon.

The highest odds and coverage of thunderstorms will be over the Tetons and Yellowstone with comparatively lower chances further south from Star Valley to the Wind River Range.

Forecast for Wednesday:

On Wednesday, the low over California will start to move inland, placing us into more of a south/southwest flow, meaning SSW to NNE storm motions. 

Initially, the focus of storm activity may be centered further to our west early in the afternoon before increasing toward the Tetons and Western WY by later in the afternoon. So while I still wouldn't rule out the threat of a storm by midday given ample solar heating, the best chance of storms may be a bit later compared to recent days.

Moisture levels do not look quite as impressive on Wednesday and storm cloud bases will likely be higher as a result (near if not above mountain-top level). However, lapse rates (the rate of temperature decrease with altitude) will be steeper, which would support stronger updrafts and the potential for more frequent and more intense lightning under stronger storms along with stronger wind gusts. 

Extended Forecast

Forecast for Thursday to Sunday:

The area of low pressure over the Southwest will work its way into the Central Rockies, keeping a moist south/southwest flow in place initially. Meanwhile, another area of low pressure is projected to move across the Pacific Northwest and into the Northern Rockies by the end of the week and into the weekend.

This pattern is expected to lead to a further uptick in moisture, resulting in increased chances and coverage of showers and thunderstorms along with the potential for heavier and more widespread rainfall.

The highest coverage of showers and thunderstorms will be during the afternoon and early evening hours when instability is greatest. However, showers (and possibly t-storms) will also be possible at times in the overnight and morning hours. 

Temperatures will also be a bit cooler during this period compared to Tuesday/Wednesday due to increased moisture and cloud cover. However, no significant cold fronts are expected and snow levels will remain high as a result, generally ranging from 11,000-12,000 feet.

Outlook for June 4th and Beyond:

The active start to thunderstorm season looks to continue next week with near-daily chances of showers and thunderstorms expected. Temperatures should be fairly close to average for early June with day-to-day variations depending on cloud cover. 

Thanks so much for reading! My plan is to continue with daily but shorter updates moving forward this week (weekend days excluded) and during active thunderstorm patterns such as this, with less frequent updates (1-2x/week) during drier patterns.

Alan Smith 

About Our Forecaster

Alan Smith

Meteorologist

Alan Smith received a B.S. in Meteorology from Metropolitan State University of Denver and has been working in the private sector since 2013. When he’s not watching the weather from the office, Alan loves to spend time outdoors skiing, hiking, and mountain biking, and of course keeping an eye on the sky for weather changes while recreating.

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