Last year’s drought could impact the Wyoming water supply this summer.
The National Weather Service says that, although recent storms have helped replenish mountain snowpack, there might not be enough to get back to normal levels of runoff, which is state’s most common water source for crops and municipalities.
NWS Hydrologist Jim Fahey says that’s because the upper soil levels were parched by the drought and will likely absorb much of the runoff. Fahey says this could become especially problematic for some people during the summer months.
Warm weather has caused Casper’s Hogadon Ski Area to postpone its opening day. The slopes were set to open this Saturday, but Anna Wyttenback of Casper’s Leisure Services Department says they’ll push it back more than a week in hopes of some 15° or colder days, when they can start making snow. Wyttenback says Hogadon isn’t worried about its ski season yet.
“I think we’ll cross that bridge as we get there, but we’re definitely hoping for a snowfall like we had last winter. And we’ll just have to wait a little further into December and see how that goes.”
Wyoming has experienced record high temperatures this month – in some cases more than 20 degrees above average. The National Weather Service says that’s because winter storms coming in from the west have been following slightly different tracks than usual.
“The lows that have developed have either gone way to our south or have gone to our north,” said Chuck Baker, a lead forecaster in Riverton.