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Wind River Range Weather
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Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Wind River Range Weather on 08/23/2012 07:47:13 MDT Print View

I will be in WRR next week and am trying to finalize my gear. According to NOAA the forecast at 10600 feet in the Titcomb Basin area will be around 65-70 in the day about 40-45 at night. Does that sound right? I was expecting colder temps at night, maybe down into the mid twenties. The reason I ask is it will make a difference in which quilt I am going to take.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Wind River Range Weather on 08/23/2012 10:46:34 MDT Print View

I was just there last week and it might have been a little bit colder than that at night, but not much. I guess 40 sounds about right. I brought cap 1 base layers and a 30* quilt (w/ overfill)and just had it draped over me each night. Never really needed a hat or anything on my head for warmth either. We were at about 10,000 ft each night and sleeping in a tarptent with one other person.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Night temps on 08/23/2012 10:55:26 MDT Print View

If it was me I would figure 15-45 deg nights I know thats a pretty big range but the time of year you are going can be very unpredictable and I would never trust the weather services in the mountains

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
WRR weather on 08/23/2012 10:58:54 MDT Print View

How'd you find the forecast for Titcomb Basin? I see Pinedale having lows in the 40s and it's only 7K. Personally, I'd plan for the lower temps. And I wouldn't put too much faith in the forecast. What's the weight difference between your quilts? Better a little extra weight than a cold, uncomfortable trip for this one.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: WRR weather on 08/23/2012 11:41:26 MDT Print View

I am using the NOAA forecast for 43.08*N and 109.64*W with an average elevation of 10,653ft. It is generally pretty good at elevation and accurate to within a couple of degrees.

The weight difference between the quilts is only about 2oz between my 30* and 20* quilt.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
WWR on 08/23/2012 11:50:51 MDT Print View

I am headed to the Winds for a couple of weeks next Friday and will be taking an overfilled 40f Katabatic quilt. My bigger question is whether to bring a vest or a jacket but will most likely go vest. This year has proven to be warmer but I saw single digits in 2010 during the same time frame.

Michael Wainfeld
(Adox) - M

Locale: EastCoast
Temps on 08/23/2012 19:51:11 MDT Print View

Last week night temps in that area were high 30's-low 40's. Couple of mornings there was frost on the grass. I was very warm in a WM Versalite and an Exped Synmat UL7, in a tarptent. As noted above colder weather is very possible in August in the Winds.

Edited by Adox on 08/23/2012 19:53:19 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Wind River Range Weather on 08/23/2012 21:05:05 MDT Print View

I just heard from guidebook author Nancy Pallister who has been in the Winds for over 6 weeks. It has been an unusually mild and dry summer in the Winds. Whether this abnormal weather continues is another issue. Fire danger is extreme and she reports a fire burning in one of the most isolated (and beautiful) areas of the Wind River Reservation, just east of the Continental Divide. Expect smoke.

I would normally expect most clear nights from mid-August on at higher elevations to be below freezing, with some ice in water bottles left outside. Note that there is no weather station in the Winds except (I believe) Elkhart Park, so any data you see for Titcomb Basin is simple theoretical projection based on altitude. IMHO, theory doesn't keep you warm on a cold night; a few more ounces of down will do a better job.

A few years ago it snowed almost a foot in Titcomb Basin two successive weekends in the first half of August, and people with thermometers reported temps in the teens F when it cleared. I know that Elkhart Park reported 22*F the morning after the first storm (I was up there talking to the ranger). My dog got sick and I had to abort my trip, or I'd have been at 11,000 feet when the second storm hit.

From late August on you can expect freezing weather on clear nights and some snow with most storms at those elevations. Whether it happens this year, who knows, but I wouldn't want to be out there unprepared.

One thing I've learned from living in the Pacific NW for 40 years is not to trust weather forecasts more than 24 hours ahead. All that ocean west of us doesn't like to follow computer models. The same thing is true of high mountains, which make their own weather. For what it's worth, the NWS predicts possible freezing temperatures east of the Cascades tonight.

Edited by hikinggranny on 08/23/2012 21:39:37 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Wind River Range Weather on 08/24/2012 12:09:15 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone. I did pack gear that should get me to about 20* if needed. Hopefully it will be warmer than that since it is hard to go from Southeast summer humidity and heat to sub freezing temps.