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A classic White Christmas morning will be possible

A. Marie Hamilton, NLJ Reporter

According to the National Weather Service in Rapid City, South Dakota, which covers Weston County, Newcastle can expect to see a white Christmas this holiday season.
“Newcastle, and much of Weston County, can safely assume they will see the white flakes on their window sills and on the ground for that ‘White Christmas’ feel this Christmas,” Dave Hintz, NWS Rapid City Meteorologist in charge, told the News Letter Journal.
“Right now, looking at Christmas Day, we’re calling for a moderate to high chance of snow, but leading up to Christmas, it’s actually going to be partly sunny with highs around freezing temperatures,” Hintz said.
Hintz also said that residents can expect a mix of rain and snow on Sunday evening as a winter storm pushes in from the southwest.
“The snow predictions for Christmas are a little wishy-washy still with this system coming in this weekend, but up to that point and through Friday, it’s going to be pretty sunny, breezy and beautiful,” Hintz said. “But I’ll say the residents of Newcastle and most of Weston County will see their hallmark White Christmas this year.”
Although the storm isn’t expected to make its way north until late Sunday afternoon on Christmas Eve, Hintz said the weather before then is expected to be mostly beautiful sunny skies, with temperatures in the 40s.
However, according to NWS Cheyenne meteorologist Michael Charnick, the storm system is still unsettled and they do not know how much snow eastern and northeastern Wyoming will see or how much of an impact it will have on holiday traveling.
“As of right now — the worst timing for any sort of holiday driving is going to be during the late morning and afternoon hours on Sunday – if Weston residents are heading south on either the I-25 or US-85,” Charnick said in a press release. “That’s where if the storm does come together — like we anticipate it to — the snow rates would be heaviest and when temperatures will be plunging.”
As for travel plans, both Hintz and Charnick had some last minute advice for Newcastle residents — who could encounter wet or slick roads either leading up to or after Christmas Day.
“As we always say, just keep an eye on the weather and road reports,” Hintz said. “Be safe — allow yourself plenty of time to travel and know there’s going to be a lot of people on the roads.”
“Also, inform the people at your destination of your travel plans, tell them which roads and/or highways you anticipate traveling on, if those plans change while traveling, let people at your destination know just in case of any emergencies,” Hintz said.
Motorists should also make sure their vehicle is winter ready: check gas gauges, have tires with the proper tread that are properly aired and have windshield wipers that work. It’s always smart to travel with some light snacks, bottled water and extra clothing and/or blankets during the winter.
The meteorologists suggested that residents who don’t already use the Wyoming Department of Transportation road application may want to download it to have road and weather updates during their travel and easily find alternative routes. The Wyoming 511 app includes highway cameras that travelers can use to get to their destinations safely.


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