UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for northeast Wyoming. A Blizzard Warning means a combination of snow, blowing snow, and strong winds will create dangerous whiteout conditions.
Isn’t it just like the Wyoming weather to tease us with nearly 50-degree temperatures one day and a Winter Storm Watch the next?
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Watch, effective Wednesday, March 13, at 6 a.m. through Thursday, March 14 at 6 p.m. According to NWS Meteorologist Susan Sanders, it’s likely the watch will be upgraded to a warning before the day is out.
Here’s the difference, as defined by NWS:
- A Winter Storm Watch is issued when there is the potential for significant and hazardous winter weather within 48 hours. It does not mean that significant and hazardous winter weather will occur, it only means it is possible.
- A Winter Storm Warning is issued when a significant combination of hazardous winter weather is occurring or imminent.
Sanders said this latest system could dump around 8 inches of snow across Campbell County and bring with it 40 to 50 mph winds. The NWS predicts the track of this system will be producing precipitation longer in this area.
“March and April are the snowiest months in Gillette,” said Sanders, noting that warmer temperatures allow the air to hold more moisture as the system works its way up from the Gulf of Mexico.
“That’s why we have more snow in the spring,” Sanders explained. “The combination of typical storm tracks and the ability for the air to hold more moisture and produce more snow.”
In the winter, storms typically come from the north and west and have already made their way over the Rocky Mountains, so they are drier, Sanders added.
The silver lining of this storm is that there doesn’t appear to be a lot of cold air behind the system, meaning the snow should melt rather quickly.
Keep an eye on the storm with County 17’s new, live weather cam.