When it comes to climate change Wyoming it typical of the rest of the planet. Everything is always changing. Nothing stays the same, yet Wyoming does have a few wild extremes that are worth noting.

Currently, the state is going through a prolonged drought, as is much of the western part of North America.

But while this dry time is annoying for us to go through it is actually "normal," as are all of the other extremes the state has gone through.

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.

Wake Up Wyoming logo
Get our free mobile app

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."


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.

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.

Driving Wyoming's Badwater Road

A road trip through Wyoming backcountry shows the gorgeous sights and long history The Cowboy State has to offer.

More From Wake Up Wyoming