CHEYENNE — Another spring snowstorm — the fourth in as many weeks — dumped around a foot of heavy, wet snow on parts of Wyoming, closing schools and roads but bringing more relief from a prolonged drought.
Cheyenne received 15 inches by noon Wednesday while 20 inches was measured near Buford, west of Cheyenne.
Elsewhere, Lander received 11 inches, Wheatland 8, Riverton 6, Casper 4, Worland 3 and Big Piney 12.
In Cheyenne, the heavy, wet snow brought down some tree branches and caused scattered power outages.
"Spring snow is heavier so the weight of that snow on the lines ... it affects the operation of the line," said Sharon Fain, spokeswoman for Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power.
Fain said there were fewer than 100 small, isolated outages in the Cheyenne area.
Classes at K-12 schools in Cheyenne and surrounding communities as well as at Laramie County Community College were closed for the day. Local government office hours, including F.E. Warren Air Force Base, were delayed.
A 50-mile section of Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne was closed Wednesday morning and many highways in southeast and central Wyoming were slick with snowfall.
The snow was expected to end by Wednesday evening but near-record cold temperatures were predicted after nightfall, according to the National Weather Service.
Meteorologist Richard Emanuel said this week's storm and storms during the previous three weeks boosted Cheyenne's April snowfall to 37.6 inches — the fourth greatest on record for the month and most since 1920.
"April is our second snowiest month here on average and actually does contain the highest frequency of heavy snows," Emanuel said. "As time goes on, the chances for it happening decrease so maybe this will be our last big snow. But not necessarily."
Despite the lingering winter weather, the snow has been welcome, providing relief from a yearlong drought. Entering April, 84 percent of Wyoming was rated with severe drought conditions or worse. Each month from last November to March, the state saw five consecutive 12-month periods ranking as the driest on record since 1895.