Mar 28, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff WriterSpring officially started March 20, bringing warmer, windy weather along with it.
The pleasant weather was blown away Monday as a cold front pushed northeast across the state bringing high and damaging winds.
According to the National Weather Service office in Riverton, the highest wind gust in the county was 82 mph Monday was at Boysen Reservoir, followed by a 75 mph wind peak near Sweetwater Station.
Other strong gusts were reported at Hunt Field Airport in Lander (72 mph), Jeffrey City (69 mph), Riverton Regional Airport (64 mph), South Pass (63 mph) and Atlantic City (55 mph).
Statewide, the highest reported gust was 85 mph in neighboring Natrona County.
The NWS reported several structural damage incidents in central Wyoming because of the high winds, including a horse trailer that blew over 10 miles west of Casper, which caused the vehicle pulling the trailer to crash into a ditch.
Wind damage was reported at the old Gizmo's building in Shoshoni, and a porch under construction was damaged in Riverton, among other reports.
According to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office report, there were four grass fires reported Monday in the Pavillion and Riverton areas. There was also a report in Riverton concerning downed wires. A brief power outage in central Riverton also was reported.
The windy start to the week followed record-breaking heat in both Riverton and Lander.
"Warm southwest flow continued to bring warmer than normal temperatures to the Cowboy State Sunday, breaking high temperature records for the fourth day in a row across central Wyoming," the NWS report states.
The NWS reported Riverton's 66-degree high Thursday broke the previous 62-degree record for that day set in 2009. On Friday, Lander and Riverton airports reached 75 degrees. Lander's previous record was 71 degrees and Riverton's was 72 degrees, both set in 2004.
Downtown Riverton experienced the warmest temperature Friday, with a reported 77-degree high, trumping the 2004 record of 74 degrees.
The above-average temperatures continued Saturday and Sunday in both communities.
According to the NWS, Lander recorded 70 degrees Saturday, which is a degree above the previous record set in 2004. Temperatures warmed up Sunday, with Lander reporting a high of 73 degrees, breaking the 1956 record of 70 degrees.
At Riverton Regional Airport on Saturday, the temperature reached 69 degrees, tying the 2004 record.
Downtown Riverton experienced a 73-degree high, which was a degree higher than the 1993 record.
Similar to Lander, Riverton was hotter Sunday, with a high of 73 degrees at the airport and a high of 76 degrees downtown. Both temperatures surpassed previous records of 70 degrees, set in 2007, and 75 degrees, set in 1910, respectively.
Sunny skies and slight winds are in Riverton's and Lander's forecast through Friday, with temperatures in the 60s. By Saturday, temperatures should rise to the upper 70s and be accompanied by a breeze, portending good weather for the Roy Peck Invitational Track Meet in Riverton.
According to the NWS, there is a chance of showers Saturday night and Sunday.
Sunday is expected to be cooler in both towns, with a high near 55 degrees.
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