Severe Weather Chances Reduced Heading into the Weekend

May 21st, 2021
Cooler temperatures and cloudy skies are limiting the severe weather potential for Friday...
Cooler temperatures and cloudy skies are limiting the severe weather potential for Friday afternoon, however some sunshine and warmth remaining in the Nebraska Panhandle are keeping the risks for that region a bit higher.(KGWN)
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 12:07 PM CDT
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Thursday was once again the warmest day of the week for most locations in Wyoming, but now heading into the weekend there are some big changes thanks to the system that brought some severe storms to the state. A cold front that pushed through Thursday evening and overnight into this morning has dropped temperatures across Northern and Central Wyoming by over 20 degrees with a shift in wind direction from the south and southeast to the north and northeast. An abundance of cloud cover has also taken over after a mostly sunny day, making things feel cooler across the board. These things are actually good news when it comes to severe weather chances heading into the weekend, as the scattered storm pattern is not over yet.

The northern half of Wyoming is done with severe weather into the weekend. The colder conditions are not going to provide enough instability for storms to really get going. Places like Casper could get warm enough at parts of the day today for a few rumbles of thunder, but that’s it. Locations like Sheridan and Gillette will be too cool to see it as temperatures top off in the mid to upper 40s today, a stark difference from the upper 70s and lower 80s of yesterday. Shower activity is expected to be pretty widespread around that region later this afternoon and evening, and scattered showers are anticipated to last through much of the overnight hours for the northern half of the state as well.

Severe weather does remain a possibility for parts of Eastern Wyoming today, however, as wind direction will return to the south and southeast, bringing in more moisture and warmth. With the exception of Cheyenne though nowhere in Wyoming should be seeing the heat we were yesterday, so that will limit the severe potential. And as stated above, the lack of sunshine will limit the amount of instability that builds in ahead of storms today as well. Cheyenne and Laramie County have the highest risk for severe storms today, however it’s looking as though most of the showers and storms in the southern half of the state later today will be west of the Laramie Mountain Range. The Panhandle of Nebraska is where the severe weather risk is highest in the region today; some sunshine is still present there as well as winds coming from the south and southeast, bringing in plenty of warmth. There is a Slight (Level 2) risk for severe weather in the Panhandle this afternoon; nowhere in Wyoming is seeing a Level 2 risk and only parts of Eastern Wyoming are seeing the Level 1 risk.

Temperatures will rise a bit on Saturday as the wind direction shifts from the north to the...
Temperatures will rise a bit on Saturday as the wind direction shifts from the north to the east, bringing some warmth in with it. The highest potential for severe weather Saturday remains in the Nebraska Panhandle.(KGWN)

Saturday will see slightly warmer conditions for most of the state but a bit cooler for Cheyenne. It will still be warm enough to support severe weather in the Capital City, however, and the risk for Wyoming will overall be higher than today. Widespread rain is expected during the afternoon hours with thunderstorm activity expected in the southeastern corner of the state. A Marginal (Level 1) risk is in effect for Southeast Wyoming, reaching as far north as Lusk. As of now far Southeast Laramie County is in the Slight Risk zone for Saturday afternoon. This could potentially expand to include Cheyenne by tomorrow. The risks should be a bit lower than what was seen on Thursday, however the possibility for isolated tornadoes Saturday afternoon in Southeast Wyoming and the Nebraska Panhandle cannot be ruled out. The severe weather risks are expected to persist into Sunday over Nebraska, South Dakota, and Eastern Wyoming while the trough in the jet stream works to lift out of the region.

Sunday will introduce a bit of a new pattern to Wyoming as the next week begins, bringing in winter strength Wyoming winds, especially for the middle of the state. Sustained speeds of 30+mph are expected in Casper, Douglas, and Riverton both Sunday and Monday with Cheyenne and Laramie likely joining that group on Sunday.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

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