First Snow of Fall 2020 on Deck for Wyoming
September 7th, 2020
The summer heat is coming to an end as a powerful cold front of Canadian air will push into the Rockies and much of Central US to start Labor Day week. However, only the higher elevations along the Rockies are expecting snow. Parts of Montana, almost all of Wyoming, and most of Colorado will see snow accumulations between now and Wednesday thanks to a drastic temperature drop being brought on by the cold front. The National Weather Service (NWS) has already gone and put out Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings ahead of the storm. But based on the conditions outside today one would not think snow is coming. Anyone who has plans to grill today, especially in southern Wyoming and Colorado will have no problem, as high temperatures will be climbing into the 80s ahead of the cold front.
Tonight, however, is when everything changes. For Casper, the snow will likely begin after dinnertime as temperatures plummet into the low 30s. For Cheyenne, a couple of thunderstorms may be possible first, as the sub-freezing temperatures are not expected to arrive until after midnight. The snow will likely hang around Casper until lunchtime tomorrow while it will hang around Southeast Wyoming potentially until Wednesday morning. It will not be the typical snow we get in Wyoming, which is usually a light powder. It will be more like the snow they see in the northeastern U.S.: wet and heavy. This will limit accumulations, but also has the potential to bring power outages to many people in the state as Wyoming power lines were not designed to deal with the heavier snow. Accumulations will also be limited by the fact that the ground is very warm after a hot weekend with high temperatures in the 90s and a warm labor day afternoon. It will take a few hours of good snowfall before it cools the ground enough to accumulate. The strong winds overnight tonight will also drive the snow into the ground, packing it tight, reducing accumulation amounts. In terms of totals, Cheyenne could see anywhere between 4 and 8 inches while Casper will likely see between 2 and 6. Locations such as Laramie could easily eclipse 8 inches up in the mountains. Road conditions will also be very hairy, and closures along I-80 through the Medicine Bow region should be expected.
Beyond this storm, we will warm back up into fall-like conditions with highs returning to the 60s by Friday and the 70s over the weekend under sunny skies. It does however look like the 90s are done for the time being.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -
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