By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A strong winter-like storm left Wyoming highways closed and thousands of Wyoming residents without power on Tuesday as the weekend’s warm, mild weather was replaced with brisk winds, snow and frigid temperatures.
The storm, the result of moisture coming into Wyoming from the west mixing with cold Arctic air, dropped temperatures from the 90s on Sunday to below freezing by Monday night.
The resulting snow, cold temperatures and brisk winds forced the closure of multiple Wyoming highways by Tuesday morning, including Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Rawlins and from Evanston to the state border, U.S. Highway 189 north from Evanston to Kemmerer, U.S. Highway 20/26 from Casper to Shoshoni and U.S. Highway 14/16/20 at the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
The weather also caused power outages across the state. Rocky Mountain Power reported that almost 8,000 of its customers were without power Tuesday morning, most of them in the Rock Springs area.
However, outage maps also showed that people were without power in Green River, Riverton, Lander, Casper, Glendo and Douglas.
Snow from the storm appeared vary widely around the state, ranging from 3 inches in Gillette to 5 inches in Wheatland, 7.5 inches in Story, north of Buffalo and 11 inches in Douglas.
It appeared no schools were forced to close by the storm.
By Tuesday morning, Cheyenne had received less than one-half inch of snow.
The storm forced temperatures far below normal for early September and meteorologist Don Day said the cool, wet weather would continue in the region until at least Wednesday before conditions improve heading into the weekend.
“By Saturday afternoon, we’ve got a nice high pressure ridge returning to the region,” he said in his daily podcast. “It’s not a hot one. But what it will do is bring a return of nice looking, in fact, great looking September weather by the weekend that will probably stretch into all the next week.”