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Old 09-08-2008, 10:04 AM
2 posts, read 7,204 times
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I live in western NY where we get approximatley 93" of snow per year. And is listed as # 11 on city data's snowiest cities (500,000+ population). //www.city-data.com/top2/c464.html I have heard that Cheyenne gets approximately 71" per year. We also get a lot of rain and very little sunshine. We aren't much different than Seattle when it comes to rain and cloudy days.

We get to the negative temps and ususually don't get much warmer than 35 before March. Winters generally start late November and go through March. Our snow stays ALL SEASON LONG.....

Can anyone compare the stats? So that I can et a better understanding of the "Wyoming Winters" I have heard so much about and also the Chinook winds. I hear they "eat" the snow?

I'm looking to relocate and am very pleased with what I have seen and heard online. I can't wait to visit.

Oh yeah - Are there 4 seasons there?

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Old 09-08-2008, 11:29 AM
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We always have at least "2" seasons here each year ... winter and summer. Some years, we even have "4" seasons, with a definite spring of some duration and a discernable fall.

The difference in the winter season between NY and Wyoming are substantial due to two major factors:

(1) the lower elevation constant high moisture level present in NY. Your snow falls in a wet and cold environment, without dry air and bright sunshine to melt it off during the winter season (which is of much shorter duration than Wyoming's). So NY snow piles up and remains in a wet, heavy mess. Wyoming snow can get blown away, or melt during the winter that can last from October through May.

(2) the dry ambient air in Wyoming takes away the snowfall on the ground ... evaporates it. I've seen the winds come through at 40-75 mph for days on end and take the snowfall off the ground that had fallen in the previous storm(s), with air temperatures still in the sub-freezing range. This can happen during the daytime, or even at night when there's no sunshine on the snow to help the process.

It's not uncommon for the strong winds to blow constantly for weeks on end, with velocities well over 20 mph and gusts to much higher strengths. Even here on the plains of the SE corner of Wyoming at 5,000' to 6,000' elevation, we can get weeks of sub-zero temps, and times where the temps drop 10-15 degrees lower than that for days on end while the wind still blows. Sometimes, just having freezing temperatures is a warm spell after days of single digit temps day and night. It wouldn't be unusual for winds to be stronger than 75 mph in the gusts for a couple of days on end. We even had an unusually strong windstorm come through last winter that blew blades off the commercial wind farm generators by us ....

NY gets a "mud season" in the spring, where all that winter snow accumulation melts off over a period of weeks. You won't see that in Wyoming except in some very isolated places in wetland meadows and in some forested areas. Our farmland goes from being snow covered to needing irrigation or natural rainfall very quickly.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:03 PM
Location: Sheridan, Wy
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Up here in Sheridan and Buffalo, the wind isn't quite as constant and we are considered the banana belt of Wyoming. This year we had a longer spring, and it is now fall like temps here for the past month... and I am thinking this year we will get snow early and actually start in early Oct. maybe the end of Sept. according to what Farmer's almanac is predicting.

I used to live in Oregon and the snow was wet there too... boy do I love dry snow much better than the wet stuff. The higher humidity with wet snow the cold feels worse to me. Out here the cold is "dry" so as long as you keep yourself layered it really doesn't feel bad at all. Below zero is not uncommon here, even up in the banana belt haha. We got down to -23 a few nights last winter.

Now as you start going further south in Wyoming the more windy it is, and cooler/snowier I believe. But don't quote me on that because I am more familiar with Northeastern Wyoming around the Big Horns...

Best of luck to you.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:04 PM
Location: Sheridan, Wy
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I forgot to mention Sunsprit is right, some years, we go from Summer to Winter. But the past few years I have lived here, I have been able to have a fall and spring, sometimes they are a small period of time... but I have seen them haha
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:22 PM
Location: Sheridan, WY
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As sunsprit mentioned, in the west (not just Wyoming - it was much more an issue in Nevada & the Great Basin) the snow sublimates away. Low humidity, high altitude - and snow just .... goes away, even in sub-zero temps. I've seen two feet of snow disappear in four days of dry wind and sublimation. This is how the high deserts remain dry, even with substantial snowfall.

I've lived in western NY state in the past, and here's what I'd say is the biggest differences between WY and NY in winter:

In NY, you can predict storm behavior much better than in WY (or the west overall). You don't have the mountain uplift effects, mountain shadows, etc, and storms, even lake effect storms, follow more predictable patterns in NY.

I've seen paltry predictions turn into full-blown blizzards, and I've seen predicted blizzards turn into flurries or just cloudy days.

The winds involved in winter storms in Wyoming dwarf the hardest storms I saw in the Adirondaks and western NY state. There are places in Wyoming that windy beyond what you're used to - or beyond what anyone from almost anywhere else is used to.

The temperatures will be on par; I've been in -45F in upstate NY, but it seemed much colder than western cold, mostly due to the humidity. Wyoming can have some hard sub-zero spells, but they're not quite like the sub-zero spells in the Adirondaks, where the temperature goes sub-zero for a month at a time, with no positive temperatures during the day (eg, -40F at night, -10F during the day), for three weeks at a clip, pretty reliably in the last week of January to the second week of February).

Western temps tend to fluctuate a lot more, both up and down. At higher elevations, it is not unusual to see 50 degree fluctuations from day to night.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:58 PM
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Smile Thanks everyone!

You are all so helpful. Now I'm intrested in learning more about Sheridan. A lady I spoke to from the Chamber of Commerece in Wyoming told me she lives in Wheatland and loves it. So much to explore......

Any more info please share!!
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