One look at this video, and you might think this Wyoming trooper made a wrong turn and ended up in Antarctica.
That wasn’t the case, but one might disagree after Wednesday’s wild weather day in southeastern Wyoming.
A dangerous blizzard has begun its intensification into a soon-to-be bomb cyclone Thursday as it wallops the Midwest and Great Lakes, with damaging winds also eyeing the East Coast and contributing to a travel nightmare for millions ahead of the Christmas holiday weekend.
The National Weather Service in Cheyenne said their record 1-hour temperature drop Wednesday saw a 51-degree plummet. The temperature went from 42 degrees to negative 9 degrees in two hours. Wind chills also crashed to 40 below zero locally in Cheyenne.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol said troopers responded to over 787 calls for service, 196 motorists assists and 104 crashes in 12 hours as heavy snow bands led to near-zero visibility. The patrol released footage showing the hazardous conditions as the storm pushed across southeastern portions of the state and into the Nebraska Panhandle.
The NWS even issued a Snow Squall Warning for Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 30 near Sidney, Nebraska. Transportation officials also closed portions of Interstate 25, U.S. Highway 85 and U.S. Highway 287 from the Wyoming-Colorado state line due to safety concerns.
“Full tank of gas, supplies, blankets, food and a car kit all make the difference in situations like these,” the NWS in Cheyenne said.
Temperatures at Denver International Airport briefly dropped to negative 24 degrees Thursday morning, just shy of meeting the monthly record low of negative 25 set in 1990, the NWS said.
Is there any end in sight for this cold air lingering in Wyoming and Colorado? The answer is yes, but you will have to stick it out for two more days of cold weather.
“Luckily, by the weekend, and just in time for Christmas, temperatures will be back into the upper 30s and 40s,” the NWS said.