(File photo, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — With the weather hawks eagerly awaiting the first snow of the season, Casper and the larger Natrona County area are bracing for a cocktail of weather conditions, ranging from elevated fire risks to freezing temperatures.

The National Weather Service in Riverton has issued a freeze watch for lower elevations in western Wyoming come Friday night, and elevated fire weather for the southern portion of the state. It has also issued hazardous weather outlooks for widespread precipitation across central Wyoming and heavy rain in the north.

Snow levels could get as low as 7,000 feet Friday night and with rain forecast for the Casper area, that could mean snow on Casper Mountain. Some areas of the Equality State could see a hard freeze with overnight lows dropping into the mid- to upper 20s in the western valleys and basins.

As the new week rolls in, though, conditions begin to stabilize, potentially warming up and drying out.

A detailed forecast for Casper:

Today’s Outlook

Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies with the high hovering near 75. The morning’s light and variable wind will give way to a breezier eastward flow, ranging between 16 and 21 mph.

Friday’s Whirlwind

For those planning Friday outings, prepare for windy conditions. Expect a high near 70 and winds initially from the west-northwest at 6–11 mph. These winds will shift and escalate to a strong southwest flow at 21–31 mph, with gusts reaching as high as 37 mph. A chance of evening showers and thunderstorms exists, especially with lows dropping to around 45.

The Weekend

Saturday will likely see a 30% chance of showers, mostly sunny conditions and, again — hold onto your hats — a windy environment. West-southwest winds will blow at 22–28 mph, gusting at up to 41 mph.

By night, expect clearer, though still breezy, conditions and a low around 43.

Come Sunday, the outlook appears more stable with sunny skies, a high near 73 and comparatively gentler winds ranging from 7 to 16 mph.

Weather spotters across the region are encouraged to report any significant shifts, especially as the state grapples with this turbulent weather pattern.