Many Wyoming residents can expect a Thanksgiving from hell weather-wise
A winter storm is calling for Thanksgiving dinner across the region, and Wyoming is expected to see the worst of it.
The Cowboy State forecast for the four-day Thanksgiving weekend includes several inches of snow, strong winds and significantly colder temperatures. The National Weather Service office in Riverton has issued a winter storm warning Thursday evening into Friday morning for most of northern and central Wyoming.
“Thursday through Sunday will be a lot colder than it was before,” Cowboy State Meteorologist Delle Don Day said. “Snow will fall Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning.”
Snow storm between north and south
Every community in Wyoming can expect snow on Thanksgiving, but the onset of snow will vary by location, Day said. The winter weather pattern is coming from the north and will move south throughout the day.
Residents in northern Wyoming can expect to wake up to falling snow on Thanksgiving morning. Central Wyoming will see the first snowfall at noon, and southern Wyoming can expect snowfall by sunset.
“The entire state will see very cold temperatures and areas of light snow on Friday,” Day said. “By Saturday morning, most of the snow will be gone. But the cold will remain until the end of the week.”
How much and how deep?
With any winter storm, the first questions revolve around expected snow depths and subzero temperatures. Day wishes he could provide a global response, but Wyoming doesn’t work that way.
“The frustrating thing about blizzards in Wyoming is that they don’t affect everyone equally. There are always winners and losers,” he said.
It is easier to predict high and low temperatures. Day expects most of Wyoming to see daytime highs in the teens and 20s on Friday and Saturday. Daytime lows will be in the teens or possibly single digits.
Snowfall is more difficult to predict and varies by location. Day is confident every community will get snow, most likely several inches of it.
“Places like Sheridan, Buffalo, Casey to Casper, Casper to Lusk and Lander will likely see 6 inches or more of snow,” he said. “I can see up to 10, 11, 12 inches in some of those locations. Those are going to be affected the most.”
This weather pattern tends to hit Lander hard, along with the eastern slopes of the Wind River Mountains and any mountain range that runs east to west, Day said.
Southern Wyoming communities, such as Cheyenne and Laramie, will see light to moderate snow, no more than 4 inches. As always, different areas will get different amounts of snow, but Day said there’s no escape this time.
“It’s going to snow for everyone,” he said.
As for accumulation, Day said the ground remained cold enough for the snow to stick to the ground. This will likely be the basis for snow for the season.
However, it won’t stick until it sticks. This is the place that holiday travelers need to pay attention to.
Trials for traveling Türkiye
While the ground is cold enough for snow, Wyoming’s highways haven’t arrived yet. The first round of snow probably won’t stick to highways, making Thanksgiving weekend travel more dangerous, Day said.
“The snow will melt at first,” he added. “But the arctic air that comes in will freeze things. There will be melting, then freezing, and then snow accumulation on top of that.”
Since weekend temperatures are likely to stay below 30 degrees, the ice on Wyoming’s roads will melt quite a bit. Conditions will remain icy throughout the weekend and possibly early next week.
While many Wyoming residents drive to Thanksgiving dinner, many others take flights. There’s nothing worse than a delayed or canceled flight on Thanksgiving weekend, the busiest travel weekend of the year.
This weather pattern will impact the entire Intermountain West region, Day said. Airports in eastern Idaho, northern Utah, and western parts of Nebraska and South Dakota will have to contend with snow and ice.
Furthermore, Day said there should not be significant impacts on travel for the rest of the United States. This storm will snow in the Midwest, the Great Lakes and part of New England, but not a lot.
Furthermore, the weather system causing rain delays at airports in the Southeastern United States will end by Thanksgiving. The most likely delays will be at regional airports in Wyoming and Colorado.
Wyoming gets the worst
There’s no denying that. The weather in Wyoming will be the worst this Thanksgiving.
“The biggest travel headaches are going to be here,” Day said. “That doesn’t mean Chicago, Detroit and parts of the Northeast won’t have winter weather. But we are ground zero for the worst weather in the country.
The “good thing” in this winter storm is the Thanksgiving holiday guest. Any impacts on travel should be minor and manageable by the time the weekend arrives and travelers start heading home, Day said.
He added: “The worst weather will be on Thursday and Friday, which are the least busy days.” “The weather is improving on Saturday and Sunday. If you are traveling by plane, things will be better. Hopefully.”