Wyoming’s Whiplash Winter Returns With Weeks Of May Snow And Rain

The first day of May will be cloudy and colder across Wyoming with rain, thunderstorms and snow showers overnight — typical for Wyoming spring, says Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day.

Andrew Rossi

April 30, 20244 min read

Spring snow flurries 4 30 24

The last day of April was bright and breezy in Wyoming — and a bit more than breezy in some places — with mild temperatures and sunny skies. The first day of May will likely be colder and cloudy with a decent chance of snow.

Wyoming’s whiplash winter continues to make spring a roller coaster of fluctuating temperatures and wintry conditions, and it’s likely to continue into the first weeks of May.

“I like to use the word ‘unsettled,’” said Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day. “The weather just won't settle into a particularly stable pattern for a while. This means off-and-on chances of rain and snow down low, and off-and-on snow chances up high. The transition from winter to spring is still happening.”

Snowy Day In May

Starting Wednesday morning, most of Wyoming will be under another erratic weather pattern, Day said. Showers and thunderstorms are likely throughout the day, transitioning into snow flurries overnight.

“Everybody in the state will be impacted by this active weather,” Day said.

The heaviest rain and snow showers are expected in the mountains, particularly the southern and western ranges of the Cowboy State. Meanwhile, Day said the plains and low elevations will experience “a hit-and-miss pattern of scattered rain and snow showers.”

These snow and rain cycles are likely to continue into Thursday and Friday. Day sees the first day of May as a good preview of what Wyomingites should expect for the first few weeks of May.

“No one's going to get a lot of precipitation,” he said. “But there are three or four chances of getting wet over the next week or so. And then, through at least the middle of May, it's going to stay this way.”

An Important Transition

April showers might bring May flowers, but that adage isn’t entirely accurate in Wyoming. Day said that historically, May is one of the wettest months of the year.

“May is the month when you still have a lot of spring,” he said. “But you can still freeze and get snow. By the end of the month, you're getting closer to June and that early summer pattern. But May usually gives us a little bit of everything.”

When does it end? According to Day, the last frost of the season in Wyoming’s lower elevations usually happens between May 15 and 20. That leaves plenty of time for more snow showers across the state.

This chilling news might disappoint many Wyomingites eager for consistent spring weather, but Day doesn’t think it’s surprising at all. His oft-stated mantra on winter weather is that it doesn’t go away until after Mother’s Day.

“May is an important month because it's transitional,” he said. “This year, it will be tracking very close to the averages. You should expect it to be wet at times, and I think it will be.”

Typical April

The chaos of Wyoming’s wet season was on full display in April. Looking over the last month, Day categorized it as “a typical April” for the Cowboy State.

“If you look at the data, the numbers, it was a pretty typical April,” he said. “Precipitation was average in just about all areas, if not a little bit above. Temperatures were really close to the 30-year average. We had rain, snow, and some thunderstorms. We had some warm days and some cold days. It was very much a typical April.”

April also brought much-needed moisture to northern Wyoming, which had been largely unaffected by the heavy snowfall experienced in southern Wyoming. Day acknowledges that more moisture is needed in areas around Casper and Gillette, but there are still plenty of opportunities for more over the next month.

“There are still pockets of the state that can use some moisture,” he said. “But a lot of people did get some decent April moisture. And, again, May is normally one of the wettest months of the year, and I think it's going to be tracking very close to the averages.”

Andrew Rossi can be reached at arossi@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter