Limited Snowfall Expected this Weekend
November 6th, 2020
More is becoming clear about this system as we go into the weekend. There will for sure be a large cool-down as the next system comes through the state. However, the well above average conditions this week as well as the timing of the system will be limiting the snowfall. Initially it was thought that this system would arrive in Wyoming by Saturday morning, making its way into Cheyenne by the evening hours. Now it looks like Cheyenne likely will not see any precipitation until after the midnight hour Saturday heading into Sunday morning. This has lead to much warmer expected high temperatures Saturday afternoon. For instance, initially for Cheyenne the forecast high for Saturday was about 57 and about 55 in Casper. Now they are both expected to be right around that 70 degree mark despite cloudy conditions hanging over the state. Low temperatures for Saturday night/Sunday morning were initially forecast to be right around freezing. They are now hovering closer to the 40 degree mark. Simply put, this means our chances for rain are higher and our chances for snow are lower. We may see a few flakes in Casper and some wintry mix in Cheyenne come Sunday morning, however accumulations are not expected. The system is expected to be out of Wyoming by Sunday afternoon, leaving a little window for precipitation in Cheyenne and only a slightly longer one in Casper. With how warm the ground is on top of that thanks to our above average conditions this past week, it would take a couple of hours of consistent snowfall for accumulation to begin. Higher elevations such as Laramie may see up to an inch of snow, but that’s about it.
The western part of the state however has not been as warm this past week, and naturally being some of the highest elevations in the state accumulations are more likely. Additionally the northwest region near Yellowstone is a bit closer to the Deformation Zone where the heaviest snowfall occurs in regards to the lower pressure. The deformation zone is to the northwest of, or “behind” the low in the Northern Hemisphere, and with this particular system will be over Montana and Idaho as the system pushes to the northeast. Most of Wyoming is in the warm sector of this low, which is another limiting factor in terms of snowfall. The warm sector is southeast of the low pressure behind the warm front but ahead of the cold front.
The one thing this system will bring to Wyoming is of course plenty of wind. The central region of the state will see the strongest winds coming from the southwest, with the Medicine Bow region up to Casper likely to see sustained wind speeds in excess of 30 mph and gusts in excess of 60 mph. Things may get a bit breezy in Cheyenne as well, which typically doesn’t see very strong winds from the southwest. The good news is because of the limited snowfall potential, there shouldn’t be any long term road closures and the hazard of blowing snow should be avoided (for the most part). I-80 closing in the Medicine Bow Region between Laramie and Rawlins however would not be surprising in the least. These winds are expected to calm down on Monday.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -
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