Brrrrr! Winter in the Bighorn Basin to Start with Negative High Temps and Significant Snow
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 19, 2022
Wyomingites must brace themselves for temperatures as low as 50 below zero this week, while the Bighorn Basin can expect a full day of snow before the worst of the cold weather hits.
Winter 2022-2023 is determined to make a big impression during its first week. Unfortunately, all of Wyoming is invited to the party.
The National Weather Service Office in Riverton has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook and a Wind Chill Watch for the Bighorn Basin. Both advisories anticipate an intense cold front moving through Wyoming on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 21 & 22.
High temperatures on Thursday could be as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit – and that’s without the omnipresent wind chill.
Thursday, Dec. 22 – the second day of winter – will be the coldest day of the week by a significant margin. High temperatures on that day throughout the Bighorn Basin include -10 in Cody, -15 in Worland, and -16 in Greybull.
However, the air could become much colder. The N.W.S. Office warns that “wind chills as low as 50 below zero” are possible in the Cody Foothills and the Bighorn Basin’s north, southwest, and southeast regions. At these temperatures, frostbite on exposed skin is possible in as little as 10 minutes.
The Wind Chill Watch for the Bighorn Basin remains effective until Friday, Dec. 23.
Meanwhile, the intense cold will be preceded by “significant snow.” On Tuesday and Wednesday, “significant snowfall (is) possible over the far west with the heaviest snow expected Tuesday night and Wednesday.” New snow accumulation of up to two inches is anticipated in Cody on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
The Bighorn Basin has already grappled with record-breaking cold in 2022. Similar conditions were experienced in February – when Cody and other towns got close to breaking their all-time low-temperature records.
The N.W.S. Riverton Office and W.Y.D.O.T. ask drivers to focus on the impacts of the cold in addition to the cold itself.
Due to powdery snow blowing across Wyoming’s roads and highways, there’s always a chance of travel problems – including road closures. Impacts could include slippery road conditions, cold wind chills, and areas of blowing snow that will significantly impact visibility while driving.
Wyomingites can check the current weather conditions on the N.W.S. Forecast Office Riverton website. In addition, road conditions will be available on the Wyoming Travel Information Service and the Wyoming 511 app.