2021 Has Already Brought Casper ‘Thundersnow’
We are less than two weeks into 2021 and this year is already turning into one for the history books. In addition to everything going in the capitol and with President Trump being impeached for the second time, we can now add crazy Wyoming weather to mix. For the first time that I can personally remember, we experienced a thundersnow.
Thundersnow (also know as a winter thunderstorm or thundersnowstorm) is a rare occurrence for this part of the country. Wikipedia defines it as:
An unusual kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It typically falls in regions of strong upward motion within the cold sector of an extratropical cyclone. Thermodynamically, it is not different from any other type of thunderstorm, but the top of the cumulonimbus cloud is usually quite low. In addition to snow, graupel or hail may fall as well.
Again, while a winter thunderstorm is semi-rare for states like Wyoming, they are quite common in the Great Lake regions, our neighbors in Montana and also Canada.
Thankfully it didn't last long in Casper this evening (January 13th, 2021), but it did make road conditions very hazardous. Along with the already high winds we were already experiencing, it made road conditions extremely slick very quickly and also greatly reduced visibility.