Half Of Wyoming Is In Drought, Half Is Wet
Some years are wet, some are dry. It is a back and forth cycle that, for Wyoming, is mostly due to El Niño and La Niña.
According to NOA "El Niño and La Niña episodes typically last nine to 12 months, but some prolonged events may last for years. While their frequency can be quite irregular, El Niño and La Niña events occur on average every two to seven years. Typically, El Niño occurs more frequently than La Niña."
CURRENTLY, WYOMING IS A PATCHWORK OF WET AND DRY SPOTS.
Right now, half of Wyoming has more than enough water. But the central and Eastern parts of the states face serious drought conditions.
Cheyenne-based meteorologist Don Day Jr. explains that this is a natural back and forth cycle and, currently, we are in the dry cycle. We will have another dry summer unless the pacific El Niño and La Niña flips.
Drought.gov gives a visual in a color coded heat map. This site focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary.
Sunday 04/19/21 was such a beautiful day I decided to go for a drive. A long drive. To what is probably the most scenic and best fishing spot in North America. The Miracle Mile.
I drove through Casper, Wyoming on the way there and noticed how low the Platte river was through the center of town. I continued to keep an eye on the river as I drove West, toward Alcova. There were a lot of sandbars along the way.
But that made sense, since Alcova Reservoir had been drained, almost to the bottom, to repair the aging dam. You can watch a video showing how low it got at this link. You can also see some markings, not seen since the 1930's left by people when they were first filling the site at this link.
The view from over the reservoir, on state road 407, showed the water filling back up nicely. Thought it has a bit more to go before it gets back to where it was designed to be.
South of Alcova, I could see the Platte snaking round the hills and mountains. It was flowing and running hard. Fisherman stood on the edge. Drift boats drifted by. The first of the pelicans, ducks and gees had arrived.
Wyoming goes through periods of wet years and dry according to the La Nina and El Nino effects. One gives us rain one plunges the state into a drought. Currently the state is in the drought effect. But it is not currently as bad as it has been during other drought seasons. These recent spring snows we have been having certainly have not hurt. I looked up to the mountains to see a lot of snow pack with more to come this week.
What has been hurting is the central and eastern planes of Wyoming. Those grasslands need a good soaking.