SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s crisp fall weather is predicted to be interrupted Thursday by a winter storm that could deliver 6 to 12 inches of snow in town.
Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Billings Kurt Hooley said the winter storm watch will likely start tomorrow morning and last through Friday afternoon, and Sheridan and Red Lodge are among the target areas for predicted snowfall.
“People may find it hard to believe that by tomorrow afternoon, there’ll be a lot of snow,” Hooley said, indicating that today’s temperatures are expected to be in the 70s with partly sunny skies. “It will be a completely different story by tomorrow.”
Hooley said Sheridan residents can expect rain as soon as this evening that will continue off and on into tomorrow morning, when it will probably change to heavy, wet snow.
“Six to 12 inches of snow right now is a lot different than 6 to 12 inches of snow in December,” Hooley said. “It will have much more impact now than it would in the wintertime.”
Hooley said because most of the leaves haven’t fallen off of the trees in the area yet, the weight of the snow is more likely to cause broken branches, which can create safety hazards and power outages. He said motorists will also be greatly affected.
“The roads will get slushy during the storm, and once we go below freezing, the roads will be slick for the Friday morning commute,” Hooley added.
He said the NWS will continue to monitor the storm and update the forecast as necessary, as even a slight shift in the storm’s path can lead to significant changes in the overall forecast.
Snowfall in the Bighorn Mountains Thursday and Friday is anticipated to be between 12 and 18 inches.