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March Roars in...Like January...Across Wyoming

March 10, 2003 -  A strong westerly flow and abundant Pacific moisture, a weather pattern more characteristic of January,  brought heavy snow to the mountains of western Wyoming from March 5th through the morning of March 7th.  Also, a series of upper level disturbances aided in the heavy snowfall.  In addition, strong winds produced considerable blowing and drifting snow, causing blizzard conditions in the Jackson Valley on the morning of March 6th. Also, blowing and drifting snow and southwest winds of 30 to 40 mph resulted in US 89 being impassable between Moose and Moran Junction on March 5th.  On the morning of March 6th, snow drifts of 3 to 4 feet north of Afton stranded several motorists.  Later that evening (around 11 PM),  the summit of Rendezvous Peak at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort reported a wind gust of 93 mph.   The summit also clocked a wind gust of 84 mph on March 7th around midnight.

The Arctic express made a return to northern Wyoming on the night of March 5th and March 6th . An Arctic cold front moved south across the area, then hit the brakes across central Wyoming, near a Casper to Thermopolis to Cody line. High temperatures across eastern Park, Big Horn, Washakie and Johnson counties from March 6th through March 8th ranged from zero to 10 above and lows were zero to 10 below. These temperatures are much below normal for early March. In addition, some localized heavy snow occurred around Cody, to areas north of Cody on March 6th.

The additional snowfall also boosted  basin snow water equivalent averages up with most basins across the north and central between 90% and 100% and individual sites exceeding 100%.

     

Storm Total Snowfall - March 5-7, 2003
Location Amount (inches)
JACKSON HOLE SKI AREA 25
BEDFORD (3 MI. SE) 16
WHITE PINES SKI AREA 16
ALPINE 12-13
STAR VALLEY RANCH 10
BLIND BULL SUMMIT 10
CLARK (6 MI. W) 10
BONDURANT 10
PAHASKA 9
JACKSON 6-9
CLARK (3 MI. W) 8
THAYNE 8
YELLOWSTONE PARK SOUTH ENTRANCE 6-8
PINEDALE 6-8
MOOSE 7
YELLOWSTONE PARK EAST ENTRANCE 6
BUFFALO (22 MI. W) 5-6
CODY 5
FRANNIE 4-5
COWLEY 4-5

 

Storm Total Snowfall - March 5-7, 2003
Location (SNOTEL SITES*) Amount (inches)
ABSAROKA MTNS/YELLOWSTONE  
BEARTOOTH LAKE 35-40
EVENING STAR 30-35
PARKER PEAK 15-20
SYLVAN LAKE 15
WIND RIVER MTNS  
DEER PARK 42
TWO OCEANS PLATEAU 30-40
SOUTH PASS 30
BIG SANDY OPENING 27
KIRWIN 24
HOBBS PARK 20
BASE CAMP 15-20
BIG HORN MTNS  
DOME LAKE 15-20
SHELL CREEK 15-20


* Snow amounts based on water equivalent ratios from 15:1 to 20:1.  For a map and graphs of Wyoming Snotel Sites -  Click Here.

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