National Weather Service says winter is on its way

Courtesy photo/US National Weather Service Cheyenne, Wyoming The National Weather Service in Cheyenne predicts a cold and snowy winter.

CHEYENNE – The National Weather Service reports a cold front coming in this weekend bringing with it the chance of snow.

After the high winds blowing through eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska, meteorologists at the NWS station in Cheyenne expect a warm weekend with highs in the mid 60s. The NWS expects a sky favorable to precipitation. A cold front moving through the region in the coming weekend is expected to bring with it rain, snow in higher elevations and nightly lows below freezing through at least Wednesday.

Recent rain has brought an end to the high-risk fire season as attention turns to the coming winter and the snow it will bring. While it’s difficult for NWS to say exactly how much snow will fall this weekend, meteorologists are predicting much cooler weather than what the region has seen so far this fall.

The coming winter looks to average in both temperatures and precipitation for eastern Wyoming and the Nebraska panhandle. Meteorologists say residents can expect highs in the mid to upper 30s in December and January and slightly warmer weather with highs around 40 degrees in February. The lows for all three months are expected to be below 20 with the normal occasional swing much higher or lower than the expected average.

Precipitation is also expected to be normal this winter with averages of eight and a half inches of expected snowfall in December, seven inches in January and seven and a half inches in February.

Meteorologists in Cheyenne expect drought conditions to remain the same, with little relief heading this way and even possibly worsening in the coming winter. Frozen soil creates difficulties for absorbing melted snow into the ground, and with temperatures expected to stay the same as they have been for recent years, there is little hope of drought relief.

Going south into Colorado, the South Central Plains, Oklahoma and over to the southeast and southwest, the NWS expects temperatures to be higher than the yearly average. Areas north of Wyoming into South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana are expected to experience slightly lower temperatures than normal with the chance of higher precipitation. Meteorologists expect the same for the Northwest region of the country, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The eastern United States from Missouri up the Ohio Valley and over to New England are expected to experience above average amounts of precipitation this winter from December to February.

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