Those expecting the first snow of the season weren’t surprised to wake up this morning with snow on the ground and a winter storm moving through southcentral Wyoming.
For Laramie, the storm means some strong winds and about 3 inches of snow, said Jason Straub, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Cheyenne. A winter weather advisory for the area also remains in effect until noon.
“The winter storm system coming through is going to start bringing snow overnight,” Straub said Tuesday afternoon. “Right now, the forecast is for 2.5 inches in Laramie, probably close to 3 inches.”
While that may not seem like much snow, the real fly in the ointment will be the wind, he said.
“At the same time, we’re also expecting some very strong winds, so by morning Laramie winds will be 30-40 mph with some gusts above 50,” Straub said. “So, there will be some definite drifting and blowing snow.
“In Laramie proper, yes, there will be some snow, but the bigger threat is the quick drop in visibility with the blowing snow.”
While Laramie will only see a few inches of the white stuff, those who have to drive Interstate 80 should expect to see more, along with reduced visibility and strong wind gusts that can topple high-centered vehicles, Straub said.
“Most of the I-80 corridor to the northwest is expecting 6-8 inches of snow, then add the blowing snow,” he said. “It’s going to be a difficult driving day for all of I-80 pretty much from Rawlins to Cheyenne today and tomorrow.”
With a high near 41 in Laramie on Wednesday and a low around 21, people can expect whatever snow that falls to be wet and heavy, Straub said.
“The snow will likely be a wet snow,” he said. “We’re looking at Laramie temperatures down into the mid-20s, so it will be fairly wet and not the flakey stuff.”
Most of the snow is expected before 11 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Thursday has a 40% chance of snow, mainly in the afternoon with a high near 37. That changes to about a 20% chance of snow before midnight. Friday will continue to be colder with a high of 38 degrees, but it will be sunny.