Does It Snow in Wyoming? (When, Where & How Much)

Climate can affect not just how we go about our daily activities but also our overall health. Snowfall is almost always seen as depressing, but it has positive mental health effects on some people due to the serenity it brings. Whatever its effects on you, the answer to “Does it snow in Wyoming?” will help you decide whether or not moving to or visiting the state is worthwhile.

So, does it snow in Wyoming? Yes, it snows in the State of Wyoming. Generally, the mountaintops and highlands experience a snowfall that can reach up to 5,080mm or 200 inches. Meanwhile, the lowlands experience lesser snow but can reach a maximum of 1,270mm or 50 inches.

To have a clearer picture, let’s talk about where and when it snows in Wyoming and the average and heaviest annual snowfall in most parts of the state. We’ll also answer common questions about the Wyoming winter season climate or weather. This way, you’ll be well prepared if you decide to retire in the state or enjoy winter vacations and activities with your family.

Jackson Hold, Wyoming, Winter

A Closer Look at Wyoming Snow

Wyoming is among the coldest states in the US mainly because of its elevation, precisely, 6,700 feet or 6,000 feet (excluding the mountains) above sea level. With this kind of topography and elevation variations, the state of Wyoming doesn’t have a homogenous, climatological characteristic, as you’ll notice below.

What Part of Wyoming Gets Snow?

During the winter season, the state experiences frequent and rapid changes in the coldness level, depending on the direction of the wind. Some parts of Wyoming experience up to 10 cold waves annually, while most parts only experience around four or less.

These cold waves are usually accompanied by snow, but not enough to lead to severe snow and cold conditions. That means it snows across the whole of Wyoming, but usually not every winter or the whole winter season.

When Does It Snow in Wyoming?

Snow starts to fall in late September in areas with low elevations and October in higher parts, but there are instances when it only starts to snow around late November. It will usually last four or five months, so the snowless period will be eight to nine months.

What Is the Average Snowfall in Wyoming?

So, how much snow does Wyoming get? On average, the state’s lower areas experience an above-five-inch snowfall five times a year. Those within the mountains will expect around 10 to 15 inches of snow in a single Wyoming snowstorm.

The lower elevations in the state’s east side have an annual average snowfall ranging from 60 to 70 inches. Meanwhile, the southwest area receives an average of 45 to 55 inches.

The Big Horn Basin area has the lightest snowfall, averaging from 15 to 20 inches. Its lowest part receives an average of about 15 to 20 inches of snow annually, while its sides have an annual average range fall of approximately 30 to 40 inches.

The state’s highest elevation, the mountains, has the highest estimated annual snowfall of up to 200 inches. In fact, the highest recorded snowfall in a 20-year period in Yellowstone Park’s southwest corner is 262 inches, as of writing.

However, keep in mind that moderate to strong winds almost always accompany a snowstorm. Thus, there is no accurate snowfall measurement since the snow will usually drift deeply into the ground.

When Is the Snow Heaviest in Wyoming?

Like Virginia and any other state or country that experiences snow regularly, the amount of snowfall or the snowiest months will differ across Wyoming. For instance, it’s usually from March to April in Casper, Cheyenne, Douglas, Lander, Rawlins, and Riverton. On the other hand, the spring season starts during these months on the east side of the Continental Divide.

Another example is Torrington, Cody, Buffalo, and those in the northeastern part of Wyoming typically experience the heaviest snow in March, while significant Wyoming snowfall is rare in Worland and Rock Springs. Lastly, the Continental Divide’s western part usually has the heaviest snowfall during mid-winter. Specifically, between December and early March.

Table of Average Annual Heavy Snow Fall Across the State

To know how much snow Wyoming gets, below is a table summary of the average heavy snowfall in selected areas in the state from 1991 to 2020. Note that the number of days refers to those wherein the area experienced at least 0.25 meters or one inch of snow.

These numbers are obtained from the US National Centers for Environmental Information’s records.

North-Central Area

City, Towns, or ParksMillimetersInchesNo. of Days
Boysen Reservoir Dam40916.111.1
Ten Sleep159362.734.4

Northwest Area

City, Towns, or ParksCentimetersInchesNo. of Days
Yellowstone Park, Mammoth181671.552.7
Yellowstone Park, Old Faithful5004197.079.9
Yellowstone Lake5065199.491.8
Yellowstone Park, South Entrance7457293.692.1

Northeast Area

City, Towns, or ParksCentimetersInchesNo. of Days
Devils Tower124048.831.6

Southwest Area

City, Towns, or ParksCentimetersInchesNo. of Days
Fontenelle Reservoir Dam67326.514.6

Southeast Area

City, Towns, or ParksCentimetersInchesNo. of Days

FAQs About Wyoming Winter Season

Wyoming Winter Traffic

How Cold Does Wyoming Get?

Most of the cold waves the state experiences move towards the Continental Divide’s eastern side. At times, only the northeastern section of Wyoming gets affected by the cold air, which is when the air slides down eastward over the plains.

Temperature-wise during the cold months, the average daily highest temperature in Wyoming is around 42 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and approximately 42 degrees Fahrenheit in January, the coldest month. The lowest average temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit but can go as low as 0 to 18 degrees Fahrenheit or -17.8 to -7.8 degrees Celsius in the western valleys. Lastly, the nighttime temperatures remain low, a few degrees above freezing, even during warm winter spells.

Likewise, the winter season in Wyoming is quite windy, with the highest level ranging from 40 to 40 miles per hour and gustiness ranging from 50 to 60. Similar to snowfall, the wind direction will vary across the state, such as west to northwest and west to south to west. Still, most areas will experience constant and strong winds wherein the trees bend towards a particular direction, following where the wind blows.

Is Wyoming Snow Blizzard Common?

Clearly, blizzards and near-blizzard conditions can occur in Wyoming since this phenomenon happens when there’s low temperature, high winds, and snow. All common in the state during the winter season. They usually last for a day or two.

History-wise, the state experienced five of the worst blizzards, namely:

  1. 1887: Constant more-than-one-inch snowfall for more than 16 hours, preventing ranchers from feeding their herds. All the available grasses were also covered with ice and snow, so thousands of cows died due to starvation.
  2. The Siberian Express of 1933: Considered one of the worst natural disasters in Wyoming, the temperature in Yellowstone National Park dropped to as low as -66 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. 1949: Also known as the Storm of the Century, the blizzard stranded many travelers to the state and killed thousands of cattle.
  4. The April Storm of 1955: Surprised most Wyoming residents who’re used to short blizzards, this blizzard in Sheridan lasted for three days wherein more than a foot of snow dropped every day.
  5. The Spring Blizzard of 1984: This April blizzard experienced by Campbell County residents led to days of road closures, massive snowdrifts, and white-out conditions.

Are Winters Harsh in Wyoming?

From all the information provided above and considering that it’s a Western state, we can say that Wyoming winter falls into moderate harshness. Thanks to the Chinook wind coming off the Rockies, the winter season in Wyoming won’t make you feel as miserable as some states with long, harsh winters.

Are There Good Winter Activities in Wyoming?

Staying at home can be one of the good things to do during the cold winter season, but it can also lead to boredom and overeating! That is most especially if you’re an outdoorsy person.

Fortunately, you’ll find that there are many ways to enjoy the snow in Wyoming, both indoors and outdoors. You can enjoy common winter activities such as snowboarding, ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, dog sledding, and sleigh-riding.

You can also enjoy winter biking in the many trails found in Wind River and Jackson. Just ensure you’re all geared up by wearing winter cycling gloves, pants, and tops. Swimming in the hot springs found in the state is also one activity you shouldn’t miss!

Nonetheless, you’ll find aquatic centers, museums, and botanical gardens that are open during the winter season. You can even enjoy shopping for cowboy boots in Lou Taubert, a famous outfitter in Wyoming.

Does It Snow in Wyoming – In Conclusion

Wyoming Winter Snow

We all have preferences in terms of climate; some would love to stay in colder states like Alaska and New Hampshire, while others prefer to live in warmer states like Florida and Arizona. Likewise, some of us enjoy snowfall, while others don’t.

If you belong to the cold-season-loving group, Wyoming would be one of the best places to live since it doesn’t experience extreme temperature increases even during the summer season. That said, keep in mind that it has a long winter season, and snowfall is typical. At times, blizzards even happen. Nonetheless, the season isn’t as cold, fierce, and awkward as neighboring states like Montana and Idaho.

Just make sure you’re all prep up by having several pairs of winter boots, coats, warmers, and more. You can also start investing in gear items, such as durable snowboard and ski goggles, that you can use for winter activities you want to try and enjoy. Finally, having a home with a Wyoming snow fence would be the perfect choice if you plan to retire in the state.


Kris Peter

A positive individual enjoying the journey, and always searching for adventure. I created Sunlight Living to help my parents (and eventually myself) prepare for retirement. About Kris

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