(Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — The National Weather Service in Riverton is warning that Casper and much of Wyoming should brace for very heavy winds ahead of significant snowfall by midweek.

According to the NWS in Riverton, central Wyoming will be under a high wind warning starting Monday evening, with 40–50 mph winds and possible localized gusts of up to 75 mph or higher. The NWS in Riverton warns that “people should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches,” remaining in lower elevations and avoiding trees and windows at home.

Rain is possible by Tuesday afternoon, turning to snow at night. Heavy snow is expected along with much colder temperatures. Up to 5 inches is possible overnight Tuesday.

On Wednesday, heavy snow is likely to continue, along with gusty winds of up to 43 mph. Another 7 inches of snow is possible, with a total potential accumulation of 14 inches over the storm’s duration.

The NWS in Riverton says travel will be difficult to impossible, with high winds and heavy snow causing low visibility and drifting.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from Tuesday night through Wednesday night. A high of 13 degrees is expected on Wednesday, with an overnight low of minus 10 degrees. Thursday will be mostly sunny, with a high of 12 degrees.

The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement on Sunday night urging travelers to closely watch conditions.

“It is paramount that our community plans ahead and are prepared for this significant winter storm,” said the release. “Expect to alter or even cancel your travel plans through most of the upcoming week.” The sheriff’s office also recommended removing parked vehicles from side streets to assist snowplows working in the area.

CORRECTION, Feb. 20, 2023: The story erroneously credited the end quote to the Wyoming Highway Patrol. It is from the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office.