Oct 4, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterMore than 5 inches of snow had fallen in Riverton by mid-morning Friday, but weather forecasters said the precipitation should stop by evening.
Lander and surrounding areas saw 10-12 inches closer to the Wind River Mountains.
"Anywhere from 4 to 6 p.m. it should wind down," National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Anglin said Friday. "Then this weekend ... it should be warm enough to where it will melt. The sun will be out too."
Officials had reopened Wyoming Highway 28 over South Pass by noon Friday. Other area roads remained closed, but the Wyoming Department of Transportation was expected to open the roads throughout the day.
Closures still affected U.S. Highway 287/Wyoming Highway 789 between Wyoming Highway 28/U.S. Highway 287 and Rawlins, U.S. Highway 20/26 between Shoshoni and Casper and Wyoming Highway 135 between Wyoming Highway 789 and Sweetwater Station.
Other roads in Fremont County were drivable but slick, Beers said, encouraging people to exercise caution when traveling in winter weather. If possible, he said drivers should delay their plans until the storm subsides.
"If it's nasty out there, is it really that important to get there today?" he said. "That's really the question you need to ask yourself."
Better this time
Law enforcement officials said they haven't been called out to as many weather-related emergencies this week compared to last week, when a similar snowstorm hit Fremont County.
WyDOT recorded seven slide-offs between Lander and Hudson on Friday morning, and at about 10 p.m. Thursday one truck jack-knifed on Wyoming Highway 28 near Red Canyon.
"It's just the usual," Sheriff Skip Hornecker said Friday. "We have slide-offs, fender bumpers, those kinds of things, but nothing real serious. It's not as critical as last week --no heavy duty power outages or big trees down."
Anglin said this week's storm came with more wind, which blew much of the heavy, wet snow off of the leaf-filled trees and kept so many branches from breaking onto power lines.
"Another thing is, last week you saw big flakes come straight down and accumulate," he said. "We didn't quite get that this time."
The weather doesn't seem so unusual this week, either, he said. People were surprised at the snow that fell last week, still in September, but Anglin said early October storms are relatively common in the Wind River Basin.
"It's not an every-year type of thing, but they do happen," he said.
The most recent was in 2009, when 15 inches of snow fell in parts of Fremont County during the first week of the month. Anglin said most of that precipitation came down Oct. 4, 2009. There was significant tree damage that year as well.
By mid-morning Friday, 9 inches of snow had fallen in Lander, with about a foot expected by the end of the storm. Anglin said that precipitation also should melt over the weekend.
The Wind River Mountains got their "fair share" of snow too; Anglin said more than 2 feet fell in some places.
"Unless we get a major warm-up, that should stick around," Anglin said.
Riverton High School students will participate in the annual Wolverines in Action community service project Thursday in Riverton.
The school will send 800 students around the city from 8:15 a.m. to noon to help with yard clean-up and other tasks.
For more information or to register for or offer assistance, call the high school at 856-9491.
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