Wyoming Pioneer - Proudly Serving the Hulet and Devils Tower Community

Polar plunge brings frigid Christmas week


December 29, 2022

Hot on the heels of a nation-spanning storm that closed down the region for several days came a “polar plunge” last week, just in time for Christmas.

Travel once again became difficult as temperatures began to plunge and the new snow joined what was already on the ground to blow whiteouts across the roads. The strong, gusty winds continued until the end of the week, with the combination of fresh snow and wind resulting in blizzard-like conditions in some parts of the region.

The bigger problem for human fingers and toes, though, was the dangerously cold wind chills. These continued to drop throughout the “plunge”, reaching bone-chilling levels across northeastern Wyoming and southeast South Dakota.

The cold snap was part of a powerful Arctic storm that crossed the U.S. and some of Canada, leading to winter weather alerts for an estimated 100 million people, according to national news sources. Even Florida was predicted to see its coldest Christmas in three decades, while the National Weather Service called it a “once-in-a-generation” winter weather event and predicted that every state in the continental U.S. would experience temperatures below 20 degrees on Christmas Eve.

Perhaps Santa was preparing his route to more comfortable levels. On Thursday morning, the wind chill value was -50 degrees Fahrenheit at the North Pole – four degrees higher than it had been in Pine Haven the evening before.

By Thursday, the lowest recorded wind chill across the region was -65 degrees near Whitewood in Lawrence County, SD.

In Crook County, the recorded low at that time was -54 degrees east of Pine Haven on the evening of December 21, closely followed by -53 degrees south of Alva at around the same time.

In Pine Haven itself, a low of -50 degrees was reported by the National Weather Service early on Thursday morning, with -48 degrees in Beulah on Thursday morning and -40 degrees near Hulett and by the Devils Tower on Wednesday night.

The good news is that, according to the National Weather Service, once temperatures have stabilized, they are likely to remain above average for at least a little while.


Our Family of Publications Includes:


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023

Rendered 02/15/2023 03:27