By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Strong winds blasted the entire state of Wyoming on Tuesday, with some areas seeing gusts between 60 mph and 95 mph on Monday and Tuesday.
Meteorologist Noah Myers at the National Weather Service office in Riverton told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that the windy weather experienced by much of the state was pretty unique for the time of year.
“It’s stronger and lasting longer than normal,” Myers said. “Usually when we have a strong wind, one place will be windier than the rest, but now it’s widespread.”
The Weather Service’s Riverton coverage area, which spans much of central and western Wyoming, will likely see the end of the wind on Tuesday night, but Johnson County will still have windy weather on Wednesday.
Myers noted that Casper saw particularly strong winds all day on Monday, peaking at 88 mph.
Some of the strongest gusts seen in the Riverton coverage area included Buffalo and Rock Springs, where gusts of up to 70 mph were measured in the previous 24 hours.
Interstate 25 from Wyoming into Colorado was closed to light, high-profile vehicles as of Tuesday afternoon due to the strong winds, which were blowing around 35 mph in Cheyenne at the time, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
At least a few semi-trucks had blown over on the interstate due to the wind on Tuesday, causing traffic backups.
Much of Interstate 80 was also closed to the same vehicles, with the addition of an extreme blow over risk.
According to the National Weather Service in Cheyenne, the strongest wind gusts seen over the last 24 hours was in Elk Mountain, which had gusts of around 95 mph during the windy period.
The windy weather was expected to continue in southeastern Wyoming throughout Wednesday, with the strongest winds shifting east near Cheyenne and Laramie, but the farther west, the wind was expected to get weaker.
A high wind warning for the Cheyenne area was in place until Wednesday evening.
Much of the western United States saw windy weather over the last 24 hours. In Idaho, a 70-foot screen at a Driggs drive-in theater was knocked over by strong winds. The screen had been up since the 1950s.