What Is “NORMAL” For Wyoming’s Climate?
In a recent article on the Wyoming Public Media website, they worry about Winter Snowmelt Increasing and Raising Western Snowpack Concerns. Another Wyoming Public Media headline reads Warmer Climate Will Be The New 'Normal.'
It is a real concern that we have enough water here in the state. But an ever-changing climate is something that we always have to worry about.
At times you will hear someone say that the temperatures are "above normal" or "below normal." You'll hear that snowpack is above or below "normal." Let's talk about what "normal" really is in this case.
As most of you are aware, at one time Wyoming was at the bottom of the ocean. What we now call Wyoming was once tropical. In the extreme opposite of that, Wyoming was under a mile of ice more than once. It might be a bit hard to picture but this state was once much higher than it is now. For example, Devil's Tower was once deep underground.
Today, Wyoming is a high planes desert. The mountains you see were not always here. In fact, Wyoming's mountain ranges have risen and fallen more than once.
What is "normal" for Wyoming's weather is the same story for its geography as it is for the rest of the planet. Nothing stays the same.
We can't change what has been naturally happening for billions of years. That would be like trying to change continental drift or the rise and fall of mountains.
Wyoming was never like you see it now.
The best we can do is what humans have been doing for much of our history, we change and adapt to what cards the planet is dealing us.