NWS: Expect near-normal temperatures, above average precipitation in early 2018
While 2018 welcomed Wyoming with a blast of frigid air, National Weather Service (NWS) Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tim Troutman notes the first part of the new year – from January to early March – will bring more normal weather conditions.
“Overall, across the state of Wyoming, we’re probably going to see near-normal temperatures overall,” he says. “That means, generally, in January, we’ll have highs ranging from 30 to 35 degrees across the state, with lows generally in the mid- to upper-teens, and in February, we’ll have upper-30s for the high and lows into the 20s.”
For precipitation, Troutman says Wyoming is positioned to see slightly above normal precipitation into January and February.
“We’re still under the influence of a slight La Niña pattern, which has been characterized by generally above normal precipitation, especially West of the continental division to the northwest corner of Wyoming,” he adds. “For the northeast and southeast part of the state, we’ll see at or below normal precipitation, generally.”
For the first two weeks of January, Troutman also adds there is no indication of any severe storm systems, though the first weekend of the year may bring light snow accumulations to western Wyoming.
“Beyond that, there isn’t any indication for major storm systems over the first 10 days of 2018,” he says.
With ever-changing forecasts leading into the future, Troutman encourages Wyomingites to keep tabs on their local weather forecasts, noting that NWS offices in Billings, Cheyenne, Rapid City, Riverton and Salt Lake City are responsible for forecasts across Wyoming.
“People in central and western Wyoming can find their forecast at weather.gov/riverton, and people east of Natrona County to the southeast corner of the state can visit weather.gov/Cheyenne,” he says.
The forecasts for the northeast corner of the state can be found at weather.gov/rapidcity. Sheridan County is covered by the Billings NWS office at weather.gov/billings, and Uinta County is covered by Salt Lake City, which provides forecast data at weather.gov/saltlakecity.
“People should definitely stay aware of the weather,” Troutman says. “We’re in the winter season and conditions can change rapidly as we travel across the state.”
He continues, “Wyoming is a large state, and there is the potential for more winter weather through this spring. It’s very important to keep abreast of the latest forecasts, updates and weather advisories from NWS before traveling or recreating outdoors.”
Bitterly cold temperatures, particularly when wind chills are accounted for, can dramatically affect people and livestock especially when they are exposed for an extended period of time.
“It’s really important, also, to have a winter weather safety kit for anyone who is traveling or venturing out from their homes,” Troutman says. “People need to have a plan before they travel and keep a close watch on the weather.”
Troutman comments, “The brunt of our winter season happens from now through April, so Wyomingites need to be weather aware.”
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.