CASPER, Wyo. — This weekend’s winter storm has the potential to drop upwards of 2 feet of snow on Casper Mountain — well, maybe.
Even with a blast of arctic air on the region’s doorstep, confidence in forecast models of snowfall totals is somewhat slim, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Riverton said in the forecast discussion.
Models have teeter-tottered on snowfall amounts, with some on Thursday predicting up to about a foot of snow in Casper from Friday through Monday. On Friday morning, the models began to show Casper snowfall totaling 6–9 inches.
Meanwhile, the Tetons are looking at snowfall accumulations between 24 and 36 inches, with most of that snow falling today, the NWS in Riverton said.
“The big X factor with these systems, as always, is with the potential for those dastardly convective snowbands to make a mockery of any forecast. So, this will have to be watched,” meteorologists wrote in the forecast discussion.
Even with the uncertainty, the NWS in Riverton has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Natrona County’s lower elevations. The warning says that snow accumulation of 4–8 inches is possible, potentially impacting travel as patchy, blowing snow becomes a concern.
Travel impacts should be expected as some roads are already having trouble Friday. Swaths of interstates and major highways have been closed early Friday due to high winds and blowing and drifting snow.
Although expected snowfall remains a toss-up, one thing is for certain: It will get bitterly cold. Arctic air is expected to filter into the region Saturday, dropping temperatures into the single digits and pushing overnight lows into the negatives, according to the forecast.
“The other concern is the bitterly cold temperatures. The reasoning remains the same as yesterday, with falling temperatures likely on Saturday and then remaining below zero during the day on Sunday and Monday for many locations. Sunday night looks bitterly cold although cloud cover may hold temperatures up a bit. Monday night, with a clearing sky, still looks to [be the] coldest with temperatures approaching 30 below in the coldest basin locations,” the forecast discussion states.
The temperature forecast for Casper includes a low tonight of 21 degrees, rebounding only to 24 on Saturday before falling to 3 degrees Saturday night. Sunday’s forecast high is 4 degrees, with an overnight low of minus 11. Monday is likely to be 5 degrees with an overnight low of minus 7.
More on the forecast is available from the NWS in Riverton. A briefing on the storm and cold air is available in the video below.