Heavy, Wet Snow Downs Trees, Cuts Power

(Leslie Stratmoen Photo)
(Leslie Stratmoen Photo)

An early winter storm dropped into Idaho overnight Thursday to Friday and rotated through Wyoming leaving about a foot of snow covering the foothills of the Big Horns of the Rocky Mountains.

A National Weather Service meteorologist said it was precipitation falling in below freezing temperatures that left thick blankets of snow weighing down trees throughout Sheridan.

It was this set up that caused power outages to be spotty around town.

As of late Friday afternoon, about 3,000 of the 15,000 customers served were without power and Tony Spilde of Montana-Dakota Utilities said more could be added to the list.

Meteorologist David Church of the National Weather Service said the event is unusual, but has happened before, when cold air from the north hasn't quite built up yet to make the snow more powder-like.

He said the snow would freeze, overnight Friday, when temperatures dropped down to 19 degrees, but melt by Monday as temperatures rise to around 70. If it were November, he said, the temperature would be cold enough for the snow to stick around.

In the nearby town of Buffalo, the snow wasn't expected to stay around too long, either. The five inches recorded there would most likely be melted over the weekend with temperatures forecast in the 40s and 50s. Even so, the storm basically isolated Sheridan Friday, because most roads leading in and out were closed.

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