April fifth-snowiest for city; third storm boosts snowpack

Apr 23, 2013 By Bob Moen, The Associated Press

For the third straight week, a spring snowstorm dumped snow and made travel hazardous in Wyoming, but a forecaster says the latest round of wintry weather is moving through the state much faster and isn't as potent as the previous two.

And much better weather is on the way.

"I think we're going to get a break from it now," Rich Miller, a National Weather Service specialist in Riverton, said Monday. "A week from now, we'll be seeing dry weather."

Riverton has received 20.6 inches of snow this month, its fifth snowiest April on record.

Both Casper and Riverton received 2-4 more inches of snow Monday. Cheyenne, which received 17 inches of snow last week, got about 4 inches from Monday's storm.

Monday's storm began in northern Wyoming and swept south.

Sheridan received about 8 inches of snow, Gillette got 7 inches, Story had 13 inches and Big Horn received 18. Worland and Buffalo got 6 to 7 inches. Mountain areas saw higher amounts.

The snow made for hazardous travel in the Sheridan area, including Interstate 90, where no travel was advised Monday morning.

In southern Wyoming, crashes on snow-covered and slick roads caused temporary closures of I-80 and I-25 in the Cheyenne area.

The latest storm to hit the state comes in the wake of big snowstorms in each of the past two weeks that dumped about 7 feet of snow on Casper Mountain and more than 2 feet in the city of Casper. With another week to go in the month, Casper has already seen its second snowiest April on record with 35.1 inches.

Unlike the three-day storm last week, this week's storm moved quickly, Miller said.

"Basically it's going through a lot quicker -- just a one-day event," he said.

All the snow has boosted Wyoming's snowpack to where it normally should be on average this time of year.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service's latest report released Monday puts the statewide average at 100 percent of normal.

Spring snowstorms over the last two weeks have sent the snowpack soaring in much of the state. Each storm dropped up to several feet of snow in many mountain areas.

Just two weeks ago, the snowpack was 77 percent of normal and dropping quickly across the state.

"Up through March it was looking like it would be another dry one like this time last year," said Lee Hackleman, a water supply specialist with the NRCS in Casper.

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