SWEETWATER COUNTY — Sweetwater County residents dreaming of a white Christmas are likely to get their wish, according to Geri Swanson, National Weather Service meteorologist.
The county is expected to receive 2 inches of snow Sunday, which would mark the first time it has snowed on Christmas since 2000 when the area got a trace, she said.
The precipitation was expected to begin Saturday afternoon and intensify after 10 p.m.
Over the course of Saturday afternoon and evening, the storm began heading east, said Dave Lipson, National Weather Service meteorologist.
The snow is expected to end by Sunday afternoon, but the bigger part of the story will be the winds, he said.
Winds are expected to increase from the 20-30 mph that were forecast for Saturday to gusts of up to 45-50 mph Sunday. The worst part of the storm will take place from 8-11 a.m.
“It will be kind of a quick hitter,” Lipson said.
In other parts of the Interstate 80 corridor, Uinta County is expected to receive 3-6 inches, including 6 inches in Evanston, while Rawlins will see about 2 inches.
Stephanie Harsha, Wyoming Department of Transportation public relations specialist, said if weather gets severe enough roads may close.
“If conditions become exceedingly detrimental to travel, WyDOT will not hesitate to close roads to traffic until they can be reasonable safe to travel,” she said. “Every effort is made to keep high priority roads, such as Interstate 80, open to travel, in order to continue the flow of economic goods and services, to avoid hindering public travel as much as possible.”
Alan Blackburn, co-owner of White Pine Ski Area and Resort, said the weather will be perfect for people who will be heading up the mountain on Christmas weekend.
Holiday weather frightful for some, with snow and storms
Across the Midwest
The weather outside will be frightful for holiday travelers throughout the Midwest this weekend, with snow stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the upper Midwest on Christmas Eve and possible severe weather in the middle of the U.S. on Christmas Day, The Associated Press reports..
Forecasters cautioned travelers to keep alternate routes in mind and prepare for possible delays.
There is a blizzard watch posted for much of the Dakotas and a winter storm watch in effect from Montana to Lake Superior.
The Storm Prediction Center cautioned that warm, humid air would bring possible severe weather to the Plains states on Sunday — reaching as far north as Omaha, Nebraska.
A lesser threat of severe weather extended southward into Arkansas and Oklahoma, where the atmosphere would be warm but more stable.