Just When Wyoming Seems To Be Firmly In Spring, Snow Expected

Warm and windy weather is in store for most of Wyoming this weekend, but meteorologist Don Day says to expect a wet and cold start to the work week on Monday with high-country snow.

Andrew Rossi

May 17, 20244 min read

Rural scene snow windmill 5 17 24
(Getty Images)

Anyone worried about a windy weekend around Wyoming shouldn’t get too wound up. It’s going to be a fairly nice weekend — mostly.

Then Monday, some areas of the state can expect snow.

But first, some of that famous Cowboy State wind.

The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook on Friday for nearly all of Wyoming. Only Unita and Sheridan Counties are spared.

The outlook was mainly for strong winds that are expected to create critical wildfire conditions, the agency reports. Wind gusts of up to 65 mph are possible in northern Wyoming and elsewhere.

But there’s still some winter whiplash left in the forecast, and it’ll make for a wet start to the work week come Monday, said Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day.

“I'd call this a nuisance wind, especially because it's pretty warm everywhere,” Day said. “But I am a little concerned about the system coming in Monday and Tuesday.”

Montana Lows

Friday’s wind was generated by a low-pressure system moving through Montana and into southern Canada. Day said low pressure in Montana always means wind further south in Wyoming.

“When lows go north to Wyoming, it's a windy pattern,” he said. “Up north, you’re getting rain. Down south, you’re getting wind. That’s what's causing this typical spring situation with the system scooting on.”

If the wind continues into the weekend, it won’t be anything like last month’s intense windstorms, Day said. He doesn’t believe there’s a high likelihood of the wind blowing over high-profile vehicles on Interstate 90 or toppling trees, like the branch that crushed his truck in February.

“If trees are falling over, it’s because they were going to anyway,” he said.

Temperatures over the weekend should be in the 60s and 70s across Wyoming. There’s a chance of scattered thunderstorms on the northern and southern borders of the Cowboy State, but nothing too intense.

“It’s not that bad of a weekend coming up,” he said, adding that people should enjoy the springlike weather while they can.

Snow High And Wet Below

The warm weekend weather might not continue into the beginning of next week. Day’s keeping his eye on a front that could mean more snow in the mountains and higher areas of the state, along with a cool-down elsewhere.

“If it gets cold enough, it’s certainly going to snow in the mountains,” he said. “I could see it snowing in Yellowstone National Park, the Wind Rivers, the Bighorns and the southern mountains. I could see it snowing overnight into the morning along some of the high elevations of central and southern Wyoming.”

If cold moisture reaches the lower elevation areas, it will likely be a rain-snow mix with next to no chance of accumulation. That will come with a noticeable drop in temperature for the entire state.

“A large chunk of Wyoming is going to experience cooler, wet weather on Monday and Tuesday,” Day said. “Then we start to warm up from Wednesday to Sunday.”

Almost There

Whenever April and May arrive, Day reminds Wyomingites of his informed outlook on the “true” end of winter — it doesn’t go away until after Mother’s Day.

With Mother’s Day now come and gone, Day said that still holds, but it isn’t over until it’s over.

Nearly everyone anticipates Memorial Day as the first “summer holiday,” which ideally means true summer weather. But with a full 10 days between then and now, Day won’t commit to a forecast.

“We're almost there,” he said. “The pattern is definitely evolving out of late spring. Everyone’s looking for summer, but we've got another week before we can really say that. We’re not quite there yet.”

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

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Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter