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Early autumn storms heighten flash flood risk in Wyoming

A flash flood warning is in effect near Rockspring, there’s a flash flood watch across much of Western and Central Wyoming, and more rain is expected through the weekend. 

National Weather Service forecaster, Kelly Allen, says low pressure is hitting the mountains from the east causing heavy storms.  Usually, Wyoming’s weather comes from the west, and brings less moisture because California mountains wring it out before it reaches the Rockies.  But the high pressure system parked over the Midwest is stopping up tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico over the Rocky Mountain region.

Allen says this weather is more typical for November, when it would come in the form of a strong winter storm.  But, she says, the high pressure system is already breaking apart.

“We’ll start to dry out on Monday, when we switch to a more southwest flow,” Allen says.  “And then there’s a chance of another storm mid to late next week, but it’s not quite as wet as this one.” 

Allen says people living close to land scorched by wildfires should take special precautions against flash floods, especially near the Burroughs fire north of Dubois and the Sheep Herder fire east of Casper.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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