Wyoming Winter Weather Awareness Day

October 6, 2010

Winter Storm
Lincoln Monument at Summit along Interstate 80 - between Cheyenne and Laramie.

Overview Terminology Home and Work Safety Driving Safety Road Conditions Weather Sources

The National Weather Service (NWS) offices serving Wyoming are sponsoring the 2010 Winter Weather Awareness Day on October 6th.

The National Weather Service Offices in Wyoming encourage you to become familiar with safety rules and make plans to protect yourself, your family, students and employees when winter storms strike. Winter storm warnings are disseminated through NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio, local television and radio stations, cable television systems and on the Internet at various sites including weather.gov.

This information describes the different types of severe winter weather we have in Wyoming and provides safety information related to each type. Click on one of the tabs above to learn more.

Snow falls frequently across Wyoming from November through May and at lower elevations is light to moderate. About five times a year on the average, stations at the lower elevations will have snowfall exceeding five inches. Accumulations of 10 to 15 inches or more for a single storm occur but are infrequent outside of the mountains. Wind will frequently accompany or follow a snowstorm and pile the snow into drifts several feet deep. The snow sometimes drifts so much that it is difficult to obtain an accurate measurement of snowfall.

An unusually heavy snow occurred at Sheridan on the 3rd and 4th of April 1955. During this period the snowfall amounted to 39.0 inches, had a water equivalent of 4.30 inches and blizzard conditions lasted more than 43 hours.

High winds and low temperatures with snow cause blizzard or near blizzard conditions. These conditions sometimes last a day or two, but it is uncommon for a severe blizzard to last over three days.

Total annual snowfall varies considerably. At the lower elevations in the east, the range is from 60 to 70 inches. Over the drier southwest portion, amounts vary from 45 to 55 inches. Snow is very light in the Big Horn Basin with annual averages from 15 to 20 inches over the lower portion and 30 to 40 inches on the sides of the Basin where elevations range from 5,000 to 6,000 feet. The mountains receive a great deal more snow and in the higher ranges annual amounts are well over 200 inches. At Bechler River Ranger Station in the southwest corner of Yellowstone Park, the snowfall averages 262 inches for a 20-year period.

Wyoming is served by five National Weather Service offices. We issue watches and warnings for the protection of life and property. For additional information, contact your local NWS office:

Cheyenne, WY Riverton, WY Billings, MT Rapid City, SD Salt Lake City, UT
800-269-6220 800-211-1448 406-652-0851 605-341-9271 801-524-5133

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