snow

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort / Instagram

A low pressure system that moved through Wyoming Monday brought some strange weather, including strong winds statewide and snow in the upper elevations in the Tetons.

Gusts nearing 70 miles per hour were recorded in the Jackson area, and windy conditions fueled wildfires in Natrona and Sweetwater Counties.

Dave Lipson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Riverton, says this kind of weather is more typical of September or October.

David Koch

For some Wyoming residents, Memorial Day weekend means enjoying the season’s first drive over a mountain pass that’s been closed all winter. Barring any major snow storms, Wyoming Department of Transportation says most seasonal closures over the state’s mountain passes should re-open in time for Memorial Day weekend.

District engineer Pat Persson manages snow removal on the Snowy Range between Laramie and Saratoga. He says it’s been an easier job this year than year’s past because the snow pack isn’t as deep. But he says, a snowstorm could still quickly move in and slow progress.

Caroline Ballard

Southeastern Wyoming may be seeing heavy snow this weekend, but if you have tried skiing there over the past month or so, you may have run into a problem: dirt. With temperatures consistently in the 40s and 50s and little precipitation, snowpack in this part of the state is well below average. 

Cross country skiing on the icy slush isn't fun. Just ask Matthew Klump, a sophomore at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He’s just finished  skiing a Valentine’s Day weekend race at Happy Jack, and is recounting the race with some of his teammates.

Stories about people who grew up skiing.

Subscribe to the Wyoming Stories podcast here.

Snowpack around the state is above average this year. Tony Bergantino, a climatologist with the Wyoming State Climate Office, says it’s the highest snowpack on record in five of Wyoming's basins. 

“They’re all above normal, and up in the upper northwest and southwest and in the central part of the state, they’re at the lowest,” se says. “And that’s still about 114-115 percent of normal.”

Bergantino says the snowy winter has brought most of the state out of drought conditions.  

Associated Press

Heavy snowfall this winter has crashed the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s budget.  Budget Officer Kevin Hibbard says WYDOT budgeted $22-million, but the department over-spent that amount at the beginning of March.  

“February this year was the most expensive month,” Hibbard says.  “We had about 6-million dollars in snow control expenditures in the month of February.”

Irina Zhorov

Women still only make up a small percentage of all hunters, but that number has increased significantly in recent years. Now, organizations like the Wyoming Women’s Foundation want to encourage more growth through mentorship. The group says hunting is an important way to teach self-sufficiency and economic independence. Wyoming Public Radio's Irina Zhorov tagged along on the state's inaugural Women's Antelope Hunt and filed this report.  

Dan Cepeda, Casper Star-Tribune / AP Photo

WEB: branches down    Casper was hard hit by last week’s early winter storm. The heavy snow felled many branches around the city, causing extensive damage. Assistant Public Services Director for the City of Casper, Peter Meyers, says branch cleanup will likely continue for the next several weeks.

Snowpack up and down in Wyoming

Dec 18, 2012

While much of the state is at or slightly above average when it comes to snowfall this year, the eastern and southern portions of the state are well below average. 

Some people worry that another drought is on the way, which could lead to problems for agriculture producers and for forest managers next spring and summer. 

But Lee Hackleman of the Natural Resources Conservation Service says it’s much too early to be concerned.

Avalanche risk 'considerable' at high elevations

Dec 3, 2012

The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center has raised the risk of avalanches to “considerable” for areas above 9,000 feet.

The Center’s Mike Rheam says that means naturally occurring avalanches are possible, and human-triggered avalanches are likely. Rheam says there’s a two-foot slab of new snow at high elevations in western Wyoming, which could give way easily.