CHEYENNE – A storm that closed schools, businesses and government offices in southeast Wyoming today brought about a foot of snow to Cheyenne, according to official measurements from the National Weather Service.
The storm began Monday afternoon and was projected to continue until around 3 p.m. today in Cheyenne. NWS meteorologist Andrew Lyons said the official measurement at the weather station was 12.5 inches, though snowfall totals have varied around the area.
"We’ve gotten numerous reports in and around Cheyenne of anywhere from 10 to 16 inches," Lyons said.
The forecast projected an additional 1 to 2 inches of snow falling in Cheyenne today.
“It’s really starting to taper off now," Lyons said in an interview around 10:30 a.m. "It’s much weaker than it was earlier this morning.”
As of noon today, much of Interstate 80 remained closed from Cheyenne to Rock Springs. The Wyoming Department of Transportation estimates the majority of the interstate will reopen between 8 and 10 p.m. The department has also recommended no unnecessary travel along Interstate 25 in Laramie County until road conditions improve.
The cold weather will continue after the storm, with subzero temperatures and windchills forecasted for overnight Tuesday.
“We’re looking at temperatures pretty much below zero for everybody," Lyons said. “Here in Cheyenne, it should be about minus-2 (degrees Fahrenheit).”
Lyons said temperatures in Cheyenne may barely get above freezing Thursday and Friday before another storm moves in this weekend that could bring a couple more inches of snow.
“Right now, it’s looking like Cheyenne is going to be spared the worst of (the next storm),” Lyons said. “Mainly late Friday night through Sunday evening, that’s kind of the main timeframe we’re watching for this storm."
This is not the first time Cheyenne has seen an intense storm during the week of Thanksgiving, however. This year marks the 40th anniversary of a November 1979 snowstorm that brought about 25 inches of snow to Cheyenne over a three-day span.
The 1979 storm broke the record for snowiest single day, with 19.8 inches of snow recorded Nov. 20.
“Even for November, this snowstorm is pretty significant, but that one was the most we ever had," NWS meteorologist Steve Rubin said of the 1979 storm.