By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
Right on time. It’s the first day of winter and Wyoming is going to feel it. Big time.
Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day on Wednesday morning said the arctic blast, which will bring sub-zero temperatures to nearly all of Wyoming with life-threatening wind chills, is slightly ahead of schedule and has already entered parts of northern Wyoming.
The front will move south and east through the state and approximate times and locations are listed below.
You’ll know when it’s in your area because the winds will pick up.
“There will be very strong bursts of wind ahead of the front gusting 40 – 50 mph or more, followed by bands of light to moderate snowfall,” Day said in his morning weather forecast.
Next up, a weather phenomenon called “flash freezing.” That’s where already-cold temperatures will drop 30 to 40 degrees over a few hours.
“The drop is so sudden and so intense, things will be getting really icy,” Day said. “Even though the snow won’t be heavy, things are going to get really slick out there.”
Day said the best way to handle the storm is not to go outside. “It will be brutal statewide by late Wednesday. You don’t want to get stuck out there,” he said.
Day said to expect -50 degree or colder wind chills with air temperatures between -15 and -35 degrees throughout the state.
Some of the areas that could see even colder wind chills include central and eastern Wyoming, especially Niobrara County, where -70 degree wind chills could occur.
When Will It Hit?
The cold front entered the state late Tuesday evening with Sheridan, Buffalo, and Gillette areas all on the (pun intended) tip of the iceberg as those communities got blasted at about 11pm.
Here are some approximate times it will hit other areas in the state.
5am — Cody, Powell
8am — Worland, Thermopolis
9am — Casper, Douglas, Lusk
12pm — Lander, Riverton, Wheatland
3pm — Cheyenne
4pm — Laramie, Rawlins
5pm — Jackson
7pm — Rock Springs, Green River
Predicted Low Temps on Wednesday Night
As Cowboy State Daily did on Monday, here is a look at the predicted coldest low temperatures around the state. Predicted wind chill temperatures are included as well.
Because the timing of the cold front is a moving target, the lows for only Wednesday night will be looked at.
At a later time, Cowboy State Daily will look at predicted lows for Thursday as well.
For the sake of uniformity, the same locations are being used.
-17 Rock Springs (wind chills as low as -30)
-19 Encampment (wind chills between -20 and -30)
-23 Superior, Point of Rocks (wind chills as low as -40)
-23 Cheyenne, Ulm (wind chills between -40 and -50)
-24 Leo, Casper, Baggs, Eden (wind chills as low as -45)
-25 Medicine Bow, Wamsutter (wind chills between -30 and -40)
-25 Burlington, Bairoil (wind chills as low as -50)
-26 Thermopolis (wind chills as low as -40)
-26 Shell, Newcastle, Yoder (wind chills as low as -55)
-27 Gillette, Basin (wind chills as low as -55)
-28 Ethete, Greybull, Anderson (wind chills as low as -45)
-28 Jeffrey City, Shoshoni (wind chills as low as -50)
-28 Ten Sleep, Hartville, Natrona, Upton, Wright, Rozet, Torrington (wind chills as low as -60)
-29 Sheridan, Kirby, Lysite, Worland, Lance Creek (wind chills as low as -50)
-29 Lance Creek (wind chills as low as -60)
-30 Devils Tower, Edgerton, Midwest, Sussex (wind chills as low as -52)
-31 Bill (wind chills between -50 and -60)
-32 Glendo, Jay Em (wind chills as low as -65)
-33 Lusk, Manville (wind chills between -55 and -65)
-34 Keeline, Van Tassell (wind chills between -60 and -70)