Weather forecast: Meteorologist shares predictions for fall and winter weather
Meteorologist and DayWeather, Inc. President Don Day, Jr. discussed La Niña predictions and a future fall and winter forecast for the state of Wyoming and the West.
In early May and June, the state of Wyoming experienced a very cool spring and had some very beneficial moisture in the northern parts of the state.
“The spring was really a spring of contrast depending on where producers were,” said Day. “The central and northern parts of the state did very well in May and June with drought status being removed in parts of northeastern Wyoming, but the southern counties of the state were extremely windy and a lot drier – mainly counties along Interstate 80.”
To recap, the spring was cool for everybody, but it was cool and wet in the central and the northern areas, and it was cool and very windy in the south, which made the dryness even worse, he noted.
The state experienced below average temperatures in May and above average in June and July. There continued to be precipitation in northern and eastern Wyoming, but the central and southern portions of the state stayed dry.
“The way this summer has gone on so far is, the best precipitation has been in the north and it has certainly been a lot drier in the central and south,” he said. “Compared to last summer, some parts of Wyoming have had a better summer with rain than last summer with the heavier and spring moisture in the north.”
Recently, there has been some beneficial late season precipitation in areas of the central, south and eastern parts of the state, but it’s now the time of year some of those chances are starting to dwindle, he mentioned.
Extended fall forecast
Day suggested there will be some possibilities for a couple of cold shots – colder and wet weather in September.
“We try to apply as much science to the long-term forecast as possible,” explained Day. “Looking at historical patterns that we’re similar to in the past with what we’re experiencing now, what we’re seeing right now for the fall season is nothing extraordinary.”
There will be some sporadic cold spells in September, but from September through November, Day predicted seasonal norms – there is really nothing out of the ordinary, he mentioned.
“It’s going to be a bit colder and we can always expect some colder and wet weather to come during the season change, so it’s not unusual for us to have snow in October all the way down into the plains,” Day said. “Folks in Wyoming should expect what I’m looking at to be a pretty typical fall and the couple of things you get with it, which is basically colder temperatures and nothing off the charts of normal.”
While fall looks to bring normal weather patterns, winter weather is expected to be a bit colder and harsher than years prior.
“From what we’ve seen before historically, to what we’re seeing potentially for this winter and into spring, is driven by what we’re seeing out in the Pacific,” shared Day. “We’re still experiencing the La Niña – it’s been a multi-year La Niña, but we see it fading as we get into December and January, and seeing it completely transition into being gone by early spring.”
It’s important to note, when a La Niña fades going into the cold season, winters can be pretty harsh. He shared, while last winter wasn’t terribly bad in terms of prolonged cold and really severe winter storms, the state didn’t really get big or intense winter storms until late spring.
Day predicted December through February is going to be colder than the three-month period they’ve seen in the last two winters, and with La Niña fading and going away by spring, it should be a colder and wet spring as well.
“We had the cooler and wet weather this spring, but not for everybody. The 2023 spring season, based on what we’ve seen in the past and what we’re seeing right now, should be more productive,” concluded Day. “I’m optimistic the state will go into a better precipitation this winter and spring compared to the last two years – this means better snowpack and better precipitation on the plains but we could be a pretty cold and will likely see a harsher winter than the last two or three.”
Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.