The lingering winter storm that pummeled most of the state beginning Monday night boosted snowpack in the mountains to seasonal norms and dumped nearly a foot of snow in lower elevations, according to the National Weather Service.
High winds combined with snow, especially in the eastern portion of the state, made for treacherous travel conditions and forced closures along major roadways, including portions of Interstate 80 and I-25.
Paul Willis of Casper was delighted. By Wednesday, the 63-year old and his daughter were on their second round of shoveling for residential clients. “We’ll probably do 20 driveways today,” Willis said, adding that he enjoys the work. You just have to dress for the weather, he said.
Total snowfall varied throughout the state, with nearly 24 inches reported in Edgerton and just a few inches in areas around Cheyenne. Sustained high winds — up to 50 mph across much of southern and eastern portions of the state — made it difficult to accurately measure snowfall, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Natoli.
“It was really difficult to get a solid measurement because of how much the wind was blowing [the snow] around,” Natoli said Thursday morning. “It definitely contributed to prolonged road closures. Even though some areas didn’t see that much snow, the relentless wind is just continuing to drift snow back onto the roadways.”
Most major roadways were open Thursday, but travel advisories remained for much of the state.
“We’re still seeing the impacts from the storm today and we’ll see some [Friday] morning too, with the winds just refusing to let up, especially in the eastern part of the state,” Natoli said.