the last notes of summer

By Jim Stanford on August 13, 2013

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A rainbow appears over the Targhee Bluegrass Festival on Saturday.

Donna The Buffalo had a better view than the crowd.

“Everybody scream!” guitarist Jeb Puryear urged fans spread out on the hillside, who willingly obliged. “Now turn around and look at the rainbow.”

The passing squall came during the band’s centerpiece jam, “Hot Tamale Baby,” on Saturday at the 26th annual Targhee Bluegrass Festival. The audience went wild in front of the stage, hooting and dancing in the rain as nature and the musicians put on a show.

The rainbow was yet another in a summer of magical moments at Grand Targhee. The Bluegrass Fest capped perhaps the best season of music yet at the Alta, Wyo., resort, which hosted three festivals spanning everything from the heavy rock of Widespread Panic to last weekend’s acoustic picking and fiddling.

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4th fireworks to go on

By Jim Stanford on July 2, 2013

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Fireworks over Jackson, as seen from Snow King Mountain in 2002.

A year after being canceled due to drought, the traditional Fourth of July fireworks will explode over Snow King on Thursday. The town council approved a permit for the event last night. A staffed fire truck will be on hand for safety.

Near-record temperatures in the last week, following a dry spring, sparked fears that the event could be canceled again.

A huge day of festivities is planned for the base of the Town Hill, including a free concert by Celtic rockers Young Dubliners and the bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show. A performance by the Grand Teton Music Festival orchestra at Walk Festival Hall will be shown on a Jumbotron between bands.

The Jackson Hole Jaycees, which puts on the fireworks, graciously agreed to move the launch site farther up the hill to make more room for spectators and the concert. More than 10,000 people are expected.

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June winds make for dramatic skies

By Jim Stanford on June 23, 2013

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The June 12 thunderstorm generated a flurry of stunning images, as well as marble- to golf ball-sized hail. Click to enlarge.

This morning on the Snake.

June has been a breezy month, as anyone pushing boats down the Snake River can attest. Even mornings and evenings, typically the calmest times of day, have been brisk.

The upside is the skies have been turned into works of art, with cirrus clouds framing the Tetons and spectacular formations kindling the imagination. Last Sunday, Father’s Day, a chorus of dancers seemed to glide above the peaks, while today a flourish poured forth from the Grand like a trumpet blast.

The June 12 hailstorm produced the most dramatic photographs, like the one above shot by Chris Owen atop Snow King Mountain. He was doing some trail work for the Bridger-Teton National Forest and just dodged the storm. Sarah Tollison captured a similarly apocalyptic image from her office at DeFazio Law. Meteorologist Jim Woodmencey has a roundup of photos on his blog.

It has been fun the past few weeks to follow the #jacksonhole hashtag on Instagram and watch as shooters like Tristan Greszko and Sue Cedarholm capture different vantage points of the sky. The hailstorm made for particularly compelling crowd-sourced reporting.


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April snowier than January

By Jim Stanford on April 22, 2013

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Road sign on Pearl Avenue during last week’s 20-degree weather.

With 9 inches of snow reported yesterday and more falling today, April already has surpassed January for snowfall in the Tetons, as a typically dreary mountain spring masquerades for prolonged winter.

The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center has measured 52 inches of snowfall in Rendezvous Bowl so far this month, compared to 45 inches for all of January, which was plagued by cold drought.

The center ceased issuing avalanche and weather forecasts yesterday but will continue to post automated readings for temperature, wind and snowfall.

The water content of the snowpack in the upper Snake River basin above Jackson Lake now measures 106 percent of average — which is about right, after an average winter.

Props to the spring break-starved prankster who made his or her feelings known about the weather last Tuesday along Pearl Avenue. For the winter weary, relief is on the way, with the National Weather Service calling for sunny and near 60 by the end of the week.


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cold not a record; PPP nordic leg on

By Jim Stanford on March 25, 2013

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Temperature at the airport.

Today’s chilly morning, with a temperature of -8 degrees at Jackson Hole Airport, made for lots of annoying “I’m glad I’m on spring break” Facebook posts, but it was not a record, according to meteorologist Jim Woodmencey.

The record for March 25 in Jackson is -27 degrees, set in 1965, he said.

The meteorologist noted colder temperatures in Bondurant (-18) and at Yellowstone Lake (-19) this morning. The lows may have been even a few degrees colder before dawn, he said.

The recent blast of winter has ensured that there will be a nordic leg for the 38th annual Pole Pedal Paddle on Saturday. The Jackson Hole Ski Club will set a course at the base of the mountain by the Teewinot and/or Eagle’s Rest lifts.

Today is the deadline to register for the PPP without paying an additional $15 registration fee. Sign up to participate individually or with a team here.

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