Dogs and their owners enjoyed a Thanksgiving week snowfall in central Wyoming following a November marked by warm, dry conditions. 

But record-breaking temperatures that followed the snow ensured the white stuff vanished within days. 

High temperatures broke records in many parts of the state over the last week. In Lander, the temperature reached 61 degrees Fahrenheit on Nov. 28, breaking the 122-year-old record set in 1899, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Old records also fell in Casper, Rock Springs, Cheyenne and Riverton, according to NOAA. 

“Overall November has been marked by an unseasonable area of high pressure that’s been over the Intermountain West,” said Trevor LaVoie, a meteorologist with the NOAA Riverton office. “That has pretty much kept temperatures warm and we haven’t had any cold intrusions for the month of November really.”

Meteorologists expect that to change soon, LaVoie said.

“We should have a system that will cool things down” starting over the weekend and extending into next week, LaVoie said, with a chance of precipitation mainly in the northern and western parts of the state. 

Snow-sports enthusiasts will likely welcome the change. 

Many ski resorts across the West had to delay openings this season due to warm and dry conditions. That trend is becoming more common as warming conditions hamper snow-making.

The U.S. is in a La Niña pattern for the second winter in a row, LaVoie noted. 

“If people remember, we did have a relatively dry winter last year,” he said. “It wasn’t until March where we really got the needed snow that we should have gotten all season … it’s possible that we’ll have the same thing, we’ll have a repeat of last year.”

Katie Klingsporn

Katie Klingsporn is WyoFile's managing editor. She is a journalist and word geek who has been writing about life in the West for 15 years. Her pieces have appeared in Adventure Journal, National Geographic...

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