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Casper is a somewhat remote town supported mainly by the oil and gas industries (exploration, production, and refinement), and more recently by low-sulfur coal in the Powder River Basin to the north and east. Ranching and agriculture are also present. Employment is steady but not oriented towards growth. The city has a distinctly Western, almost boom-town feel, with a traditional downtown and suburban development encroaching upon the grasslands. In clear contrast to the surrounding bluffs, downtown and most residential areas have lots of trees. The area is noted for its wide-open spaces and friendliness.
Casper is located in the North Platte River Valley. The immediately surrounding country is mostly rolling and hilly grassland with flat prairies in each direction except toward the south, where Casper Mountain rises 3,500 feet above the valley floor. With a semiarid climate, Casper experiences large daily and annual temperature ranges due to low humidity and high elevation. Summer days are warm, dry, and pleasant with cool evenings. Winters are variable with occasional outbreaks of windy cold.
About 70% of annual precipitation occurs during late spring and summer mostly as thunderstorms. Monthly snowfall amounts are unusually uniform from November through February, a bit heavier in March and April. Snow has occurred as early as September and as late as early June. Wind is significant especially in winter and spring. First freeze is late September, last is late May.
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