LOCAL NEWS

Wyoming residents bracing for temps as extreme as -35

Dec 21, 2022, 5:38 PM | Updated: 8:45 pm

EVANSTON, Wyo. — There’s a certain badge of honor when you live or work in Evanston, Wyoming in the winter. 

“The cold doesn’t bug me,” Jared Briggs said with a laugh. “I don’t know how people in St. George do it, honestly. That’s way hot. It’s too hot.”

Briggs owns MyLife Financial in downtown Evanston where shoveling the sidewalk in front of his insurance business has become a big part of his job.

“Today this is the third time,” he said. “I can’t have our elderly clients who come in working on Medicare slip and fall in the cold.”

For as cold as it has been lately, what’s coming requires more than the sweatshirt Briggs was wearing.

“I mean, it’s cold, but when it’s negative 20, it’s another level,” he said. “I live in Randolph and it was negative 22 the other day and my truck wouldn’t start.”

Everyone in Evanston is talking about the arctic blast about to roll through.

Winter storm warning issued for parts of No. Utah; winds to bring sub-zero temps

The wind and swirling snow all day Wednesday was just the beginning.

Southwestern Wyoming could see temperatures of -35 degrees in the next day or two.

Meteorologists say these cold winds could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

“It is something that we knew was going to be outside of the norm and we’ve been kind of taking steps going through our plans that we have,” Michael Whisenant said. He is Uinta County’s Public Health Response Coordinator. 

Uinta County emergency managers said they were prepared with shelters for anybody who might need to get out of the cold.

They also put a cellphone texting system in place for any emergency public messages they want to get out and have developed a Wyoming Ready app to keep people updated.

They reminded people to have emergency winter supplies in their cars just in case.“Yesterday I was in a meeting with other emergency managers because this cold front that’s coming in now,” said Sgt. Josh Rasnake, who is Uintah County’s Emergency Manager. “I want people to have things in their vehicles, kits ready to be deployed in their vehicles in case they get stuck somewhere.”

A 72-hour kit is recommended for each member of your family, and those kits should be personalized to each member’s needs. For those starting from scratch, kits don’t need to be complicated; start with the basics you can gather around your home — food, water, and warm clothing.

Grab a phone charger, flashlight and batteries, as well as a first aid kit. Also recommended, a candle and matches.

Negative 20-degree weather isn’t out of the norm for Evanston, just not this early in the winter.

“This is kind of a unique thing for December. We don’t usually see wind chills of 20, 30, until January or February,” Evanston Mayor Kent Williams said. “So, it’s kind of a unique thing for December, but it’s not anything that we’re not, I mean that we haven’t seen before. Obviously, it’s cold and we need to prepare for that.”

Emergency managers feel this early season cold could surprise some people who aren’t prepared.

“It does make the need to take extra steps a bit more serious,” Whisenant said. “You can start to feel the effects of hypothermia in just a few minutes for any exposed parts of your body when it is that cold.”

Briggs said he was prepared for the extreme cold.

“Your nose hairs freeze up and you cough when you take a deep breath,” he said.

What helps him through it is knowing it’ll soon warm back up. To around zero.

“We can do it, man! We’re good,” he said with a laugh. “Bring it on!”

Stay up to date on the forecast near you by downloading the KSL Weather App here.

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Wyoming residents bracing for temps as extreme as -35