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Winds topped 70 mph over weekend; gusts stronger in neighboring counties

Mar 1, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

Exceptionally strong winds over the weekend resulted in downed tree limbs and minor property damage as meteorologists measured wind speeds rarely seen in Fremont County.

In Lander, the winds toppled trash containers, and whirlwinds of dirt blasted cars and windows. People who went outside were seen running from point A to point B to get out of the winds as quickly as possible.

According to the NWS, the highest peak statewide occurred in Lincoln County with a reported 124 mph at 3:45 p.m. about 10,870 high on Mt. Coffin.

Fremont County experienced some of the fastest gusts in Wyoming, including a 75 mph peak at 6:50 p.m. in the Camp Creek area south of Muddy Gap. There was also a 70 mph wind peak reported at 3:11 p.m. on South Pass.

At Hunt Field Airport in Lander, the NWS reported a wind gust of 67 mph at 4 p.m.

Other high winds reported included 69 mph at 5:01 p.m. on Beaver Rim, 68 mph at 4:02 p.m. in Crowheart, 66 mph at 4:55 p.m. on Boysen Pass and 62 mph at 8 a.m. in Jeffrey City.

The NWS reported a 56-mph wind peak at 3:17 p.m. at Riverton Regional Airport.

The windy conditions were caused by a storm system that intensified over the northern part of the state. A cold front also moving across Wyoming helped increase wind speeds.

More coming

Snow and wind are expected throughout the rest of the week in the Wind River Basin.

Wednesday will be mostly sunny, with a high around 41 degrees and low of 17 degrees. There is a 20 percent chance of snow Wednesday night. Wind is likely, with gusts reaching 24 mph.

Thursday is expected to be chilly, with a 14-degree low and a high of 35 degrees. A west wind between 8 and 18 mph will make it feel colder.

There is a 20 percent chance of snow Thursday night.

It's supposed to be mostly sunny Friday, with a high near 30 degrees. However, the NWS reports it will be blustery, with a west-northwest wind that could reach to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

There is a 20 percent chance of snowfall Wednesday in Lander, with the likelihood increasing to 50 percent that evening.

The possibility of snow in the Lander area will remain until Thursday.

Chillier temperatures will accompany the snow. Wednesday in Lander is expected to reach 42 degrees, but a southwest wind between 17 and 20 mph will make it feel colder. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.

Temperatures are anticipated to dip to around 19 degrees. The breeze will remain in the area, with gusts as high as 33 mph. New snow accumulation of less than an inch is likely.

On Thursday, the high was expected to reach a degree higher than freezing. A west wind between 8 and 13 mph is also in the mix.

The NWS forecasts a low of 14 degrees Thursday, with more wind.

By Friday, sunshine is expected to replace the snowflakes, with a high of 29 degrees and a low of 15 degrees. There will also be wind.

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