As winter storms continue to cherry-pick their impact around Wyoming, snowpack levels have made a slight increase on average.
Snowpack in Wyoming is up to 104% of the median, a 16% increase from the end of December. It's an improvement from this time last year when snowpack was at 76% of the median, and it's just 4% behind the 2020 level.
“Being above average is good,” said National Weather Service hydrologist Tony Anderson. “In order for those numbers to remain above normal, we’re still going to depend on a regular supply of snow as the season unfolds.”
Early this week, snowpack in the Laramie Basin, which covers much of Albany County was measured at 121% of the median, the same as in 2020. Last year, snowpack was 68% of the median on Jan. 11.
Snowpack also is below average in the South Platte Basin, which covers Cheyenne and the southeastern corner of the state, landing at 62% of the median Jan. 11. At the same time last year snowpack was at 114%. Although below its median level, the South Platte snowpack has improved from the 31% level it was at as of Dec. 28.
The Lower Green River Basin is at 130% of the median, up from 2021 and 2020, which were at 85% and 128% respectively. And the Upper Green River Basin was close at 121% of median this week. Between them, the basins cover the southern part of Wyoming through Rawlins and Rock Springs.
The numbers also reflect an increase of precipitation for the southwestern parts of the state.
“We had a fairly robust late December that really picked up all across the state,” Anderson said. “The difference has appeared generally in the last month.”
Anderson noted that it's still early in the snow season, so precipitation rates can change.
The city of Laramie could be see about an inch of snow Friday with a cold front passing through, said Lauren Kubelka, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Cheyenne. While forecasters don't expect a lot of snow, strong winds gusting over 40 mph will cause some visibility problems for drivers.
At higher elevations, 4-5 inches of snow could fall on the Snowy Range Mountains through Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Highs are expected to stay in the 30s, with lows in the teens over the weekend, with wind gusts between 30 and 40 mph Friday.
Cheyenne and Rawlins are expected to get a dusting of snow, if any.