|Wyoming is a state in the western United States. The easternmost section of the state is a region known as the High Plains, due to its altitude above sea level, while the majority of the state is dominated by the mountain ranges and rangelands of the Rocky Mountain West. Wyoming is the least populous U.S. state. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the state population was 515,004 in 2006, a 4.3% increase since 2000. The capital and the most populous city of Wyoming is Cheyenne. |
Being such an arid state, much of Wyoming receives less than 10 inches (25 cm) of rainfall per year. Consequently, the land supports few opportunities for farming. Ranching is widespread, especially in areas near the numerous mountain chains. The Snowy Range in the south-central part of the state is an extension of the Colorado Rockies in both geology and appearance. The Wind River Range in the west-central part of the state is remote and includes Gannett Peak, the highest peak in the state. The Big Horn Mountains in the north-central portion are somewhat isolated from the bulk of the Rocky Mountains.
Wyoming was the location of the Johnson County War of 1892 which was fought between large cattle operators and free ranging interest groups. This war was fought because the moving of ranchers moving following the passage of the homestead act.
Fort Casper Museum and Historic Site, 4001 Fort Casper Road, Casper, (307) 235-8462. Take a tour of the reconstructed military post from 1865 and explore Wyoming's cultural history.
National parks and monuments
Wyoming became the first state in the Union to elect a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who took office the following January.
Throughout the winter months, pay special attention to the weather when traveling on highways in Wyoming. If the snow gates are down, do NOT ignore them. There are large expanses of land between towns that are wholly uninhabited, and getting stuck out on the interstate in whiteout conditions is an extraordinarily hazardous predicament to be caught in to say the least!
The climate of any area in Wyoming is largely determined by its latitude, altitude and local topography. When put together, these factors have a lot to do with airflow patterns, temperature variations, precipitation and humidity brought on by weather systems that migrate eastward. In winter, Wyoming is often beneath the jet stream, or north of it, which accounts for its frequent strong winds, blasts of arctic air and precipitation. The ingredients make for great snow conditions at Wyoming's northwestern ski areas. In summer, the jet stream retreats northward to somewhere over Canada, leaving the state's weather mild and pleasant at a time when the majority of Wyoming's visitors choose to arrive. Jackson, located at 6,230 feet (1,899 m) above sea level and surrounded by mountains, averages a high temperature in July of 80˚ F (26.6° C). The average is more likely to be 65˚ F (18.3° C). The closest National Weather Station (in Riverton on the other side of the Wind River Mountains at 4,955 feet (1,510 m)) reports slightly warmer weather in July.
Severe weather is not uncommon in Wyoming either. The state is among the leaders for hail damage in the United States.
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