Cold, Wet, Windy And Snow — Welcome To Springtime In Wyoming

Get ready for cold, wet, windy and even snowy weather in parts of the state, says Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day. In other words, typical springtime in Wyoming.

Andrew Rossi

May 06, 20245 min read

Interstate 80 eastbound in southwest Wyoming west of Rawlins on Monday morning was goomy, cold, wet and snowy.
Interstate 80 eastbound in southwest Wyoming west of Rawlins on Monday morning was goomy, cold, wet and snowy. (Wyoming Department of Transportation)

The first full week of May will be a mix of cold, wet, wind and even some snow around Wyoming.

Wyomingites woke up to cold temperatures and precipitation Monday morning, with snow reported in several areas. According to Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day, it’s a perfect storm of spring weather that’s pretty typical for springtime here.

“It's a classic Wyoming spring,” he said. “Rain, snow, wind, thunder, lightning — all those things are happening right now.”

The first full week of May will be cold, wet and windy in the Cowboy State, but the devil is in the details, and those details will likely bring good news to dry areas still recovering from drought, Day said.

Watches, Warnings And Outlooks

As of Monday morning, the National Weather Service had issued a watch, warning or outlook for almost every region of Wyoming.

Winter Weather Advisories were in effect in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, the Bighorn Mountains and the Wind River and Wyoming ranges. Old Faithful in Yellowstone could receive as much as 6 inches of snow through Wednesday.

A High Wind Warning is in effect for nearly all of southern Wyoming until at least Tuesday evening. Cheyenne, Laramie and Rock Springs could experience winds as high as 65 mph.

Meanwhile, the NWS issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for most of central Wyoming and the Bighorn Basin, anticipating wind gusts up to 80 mph in those “wind-prone areas.”

Day said Wyomingites can expect Monday’s conditions to persist through the workweek.

“The area of the state that will have the highest impact will be the northern counties, especially the northeast along the Interstate 90 corridor,” he said. “Gillette, Buffalo and communities in the northeast corner are likely to get 1 to 2 inches of rain and wet snow combined. If you add the wet snow to the rain that's going to fall, we'll easily see a foot or more in the Bighorns and heavy snowfall in the Black Hills.”

The Bighorn Basin received plenty of rain over the weekend, and more is likely throughout the week. Day said it’ll get drier the farther south one goes, but there could be more wind to contend with.

“As you go farther south, the precipitation is lighter, but the wind is going to be more of a factor,” he said. “The heavier moisture gets down to Casper, Douglas, Lander and Riverton. The I-80 corridor will get wet, but not as much.”

Persistent Fun Through Friday

Wyoming’s smorgasbord of spring weather will undoubtedly create hazardous conditions for drivers on the state’s highways. Day said Wyoming could and should expect to encounter anything and everything on the roads.

“If you're traveling over the next four to five days, you could experience just about everything from rain to snow to fog to very strong winds,” he said. “The mountain passes are going to be pretty rough with the snow up in the mountains.”

Day’s analysis of current weather patterns suggests there won’t be much relief throughout the week. Wyoming will most likely stay wet and windy through Friday.

“The worst of the weather will continue through Friday,” he said. “Then we'll start to see moderating temperatures this weekend.”

The Colder, The Better?

Many Wyomingites might find cold precipitation raining on their springtime parades. But Day said even a warm spring shower is historically too much to hope for in the Cowboy State.

“You don't get warm rain in Wyoming in May,” he said. “It just doesn't happen.”

If there’s a silver lining in this week’s weather, it’s that it will bring much-needed moisture to the northeast corner of Wyoming. Even with numerous spring snowstorms and rain showers, northeast Wyoming stayed mostly dry, while its winter snowpack was depleted to a fraction of its 30-year average.

Day explained that getting enough moisture is only part of the solution to an arid problem. That’s why the chilly temperatures blanketing northeast Wyoming should be welcomed.

“What's good about this weather pattern is it's not coming all at once,” he said. “It's going to get spread out in waves. And when it's cool like this, you don't lose much moisture to evaporation. The ground soaks it in well. So yeah, this will be really good for those northeast counties.”

Gloomy Until Mother’s Day

While it isn’t an official meteorological phenomenon, Day’s oft-stated mantra for Wyoming’s spring weather is that winter doesn’t historically go away until after Mother’s Day. But with Mother’s Day less than a week away, he isn’t quite ready to put out a forecast for this year’s celebration of mom on Sunday.

“I don't want to overpromise a nice weekend at this point,” he said. “We’ll have to see how things play out before we can get a precise weekend forecast.”

May is historically one of the wettest months of the year for Wyoming. Day said the latter half of May is when temperatures start to trend warmer and the days stay sunny.

Wyomingites will have to endure another week of windy, wintry weather before summer-like conditions set in. Day said that’s just the cold, harsh reality of spring in the Cowboy State.

“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,” he said. “Everyone’s ready for the warmer weather, and we will get some warm days soon. But we must suffer through this first.”

Andrew Rossi can be reached at

Share this article



Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter