Cheyenne Weatherman: Next 2-3 Months Will Decide Drought Severity
A Cheyenne-based meteorologist says that while Laramie County and Wyoming as a whole are currently facing drought conditions for this year, the next few months will really determine how that plays out.
Don Day jr. is the founder and president of Dayweather Inc. in Cheyenne. On Wednesday morning, he told Townsquare Media of Cheyenne that April, May, and June will be critical in terms of potential summer drought. "We are in a drought situation still across the Cowboy State. We have been since this La Nina going a couple of years ago." He went on to say that while the La Nina weather pattern is slowly weakening ''it is a really slow process."
He adds "hopefully it will be ending by this summer."
He goes on to say that he thinks April and May will be a little wetter than they were a year ago, which would help reduce drought conditions. "But we've got a pretty big hole to climb out of, and it's not going to be a situation we can remedy in two or three months.
In terms of the overall state drought outlook, Day says April, May, and June are the wettest months, so "You are going to get rain and snow regardless. But you need above-average precipitation because that is when you catch up in a drought in Wyoming."
Long-term he says "It's probably going to be a situation that will go into 2023 but slowly improve."
He says Laramie County and southeast Wyoming are actually in a somewhat better situation in terms of the drought than other areas of the state. For the year, the plains areas southeast and central Wyoming are actually at or a little above historical averages for precipitation. That being the case, the part of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Wheatland and over to Casper is not facing quite as severe a drought outlook as areas such as Gillette, Sheridan, Cody, Jackson, Rock Springs, and Evanston. That doesn't mean southeast Wyoming is exempt from drought conditions though, as most of the region is on the cusp between moderate and severe drought conditions.
Day says it's too early to predict spring runoff across Wyoming yet "because so much of the snow we get comes in April and May." He says the statewide snowpack is at about 80 percent of normal as of right now.
But some drainages in southern Wyoming, such as the North Platte are at about 90 percent of normal.
Catch the full interview below:
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