severe weather

A few weeks ago, rancher Noah Brooks said what was troubling him most was the weather.

“The fact that it didn’t rain, June, July, August but maybe three times, that this community runs around cattle and feed and if we don’t get some rain, we’re in big big trouble, and I think that we’re drying out,” he said.

Brooks lives in Clark, Colorado. But the conditions he describes are persistent throughout the region.

Firefighters have long studied how fires behave to figure out where they’re going and how to keep people safe. But wildfires are becoming more unpredictable.


Large numbers of migratory birds have reportedly dropped dead in New Mexico and Colorado.

There’s still confusion over the deaths, like how many died and what exactly killed them. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes the bird deaths in Colorado and New Mexico were caused by an unusual cold front.


The Science Behind Utah’s Big Wind Storm

Sep 10, 2020

The wild winds that swept across Northern Utah Monday and Tuesday were caused by a storm system and cold front that came down from Canada, according to Meteorologist Christine Cruz with the National Weather Service.

The system, which brought unusually strong winds, made its way through the central plains of the U.S. and into the Wasatch Front, she said.

“It was a very cold air mass behind that front and we were very warm ahead of it,” Cruz said. “We were in the 90s to even 100s ahead of it, and this air behind it was in the 30s and 40s.”

No, it's not a sci-fi movie. A fire tornado touched down near the Nevada-California border Saturday, during the Loyalton Fire about 25 miles west of Reno, Nev.

There's an effort afoot to better identify heat waves – like the one gripping much of the American West right now.

Matthias Krumbholz

Afternoon thunderstorms tend to happen in July and August across the mountain west. University of Wyoming Atmospheric Scientist Karen Kosiba said that's because it's monsoon season.

It's a situation nobody wants to imagine: a major earthquake, flood, fire or other natural disaster strikes while the U.S. is grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Severe weather season, flooding — those things don't stop because we're responding to COVID-19," says Joyce Flinn, director of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

I'm riding shotgun in Randy Okray's snow plow. He's the Gillette maintenance crew leader for the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT). Okray is clearing up Interstate 90.

NPS

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy calls for more prescribed burns in the future. But according to a recent study, that may not do much in mitigating wildfires after all. The study looks specifically at Grand Teton National Park and predicts widespread wildfires there for the second half of the century—even if there are managed wildfires.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is reminding residents to use extra caution around snow plows on highways.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Outlier weather events are growing more common globally, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in the Bridger-Teton National Forest is no exception.

The Trump administration’s latest National Preparedness Report is the first of its kind to completely ignore climate change

Catherine Wheeler

This week's snowstorm brought several inches of snow and snow drifts between three and six feet high in areas of Wyoming. On Thursday morning, Gillette residents started to dig themselves out, and downtown Gillette's parking was impossible. City crews had to wait until Thursday night in order to address the problem.

WYDOT

WYDOT is working to reopen portions of Interstate 80 and Interstate 25 following this week’s massive snowstorm.

Matt Murphy is with WYDOT District 1 in Southeast Wyoming. He says his department’s main priority is clearing snow drifts on I-80, some reaching as high as 10 feet. And the wind complicates things.   

“It looks like the high wind is supposed to continue for most of the day today. And that’s going to just kind of prolong the drifts and contribute to poor visibility especially in our wind-prone areas,” said Murphy.

A recent report from NOAA’s National Centers for Environment Information shows there were 14 severe weather events across the country last year costing a total of $89.4 billion. Five of those affected the Mountain West region.

Teams of people from the Mountain West, including firefighters and Red Cross volunteers, have already been deployed to the East Coast in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

Lauren Jaeger

Climate change is causing temperatures to rise, fanning the flames of wildfires across the region. But when it comes to extreme weather in the region, there’s a new kid on the block — tornados.  

Mike Vanata

Albany County Emergency Management officials and national weather service representatives say there may have been more than one tornado that touched down near Laramie Wednesday night. Emergency Management Coordinator Aimee Binning said they reached that conclusion after an assessment of the damage.

Lauren Jaeger

After a tornado touched down just north of Laramie Wednesday evening, observers flooded social media with photos and videos of the twister, and the Washington Post called the picturesque storm “Tornado of the Year.”

Tornado touches down near Wheatland

Jun 7, 2012

Storms have brought a tornado and 2-inch hail to Wyoming in another day of severe weather.

The National Weather Service says that a tornado touched down briefly near Wheatland.   Emergency responders in Platte County say there are reports that 3 homes were severely damaged and several other reports of property damage.  Several power lines were also knocked down.