The National Weather Service has issued a special weather alert regarding the storm, which is forecast to bring 10 to 20 inches of fresh snow to East Idaho’s higher mountains Saturday morning through Sunday morning.
Snow and rain are in the forecast for most of East Idaho’s higher elevation communities but these towns won’t get nearly as much snow as the region’s higher peaks and mountain passes.
The Driggs, Victor, Island Park, Arco, Ashton, Spencer, Dubois, St. Anthony, Palisades, Swan Valley, Bone, Henry, Wayan, Soda Springs, Bancroft, Grace, Lava Hot Springs, Inkom, Arimo, McCammon, Downey, Swanlake, Thatcher, Montpelier, Georgetown, Paris and St. Charles areas are all expected to receive the rain-snow mix Saturday morning through Sunday morning but snow accumulations are forecast to be minimal.
The weather service said anyone planning to travel in East Idaho’s higher mountains above these communities can expect to experience the storm’s full wrath — 10 to 20 inches of snow — and this could make for very hazardous driving conditions on mountain passes and other nearby roads.
East Idaho’s lower elevations are forecast to receive rain Saturday morning through Sunday morning. Areas such as Pocatello, Chubbuck, Blackfoot, Fort Hall, Aberdeen, American Falls, Burley, Shelley, Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Ammon, Rigby, Preston, Malad and Firth could all receive up to a half-inch of rain during that span.
The weather service said as the storm approaches East Idaho the special weather alert might be escalated to a more severe winter weather warning if the forecast holds or worsens.
If as much precipitation falls on East Idaho as expected, flooding along the region’s streams and rivers could definitely result, the weather service said.
The storm is also forecast to hit the central Idaho mountains, dumping up to 20 inches of snow on the higher elevations there Friday afternoon through Saturday evening. This includes the Hailey, Sun Valley, Stanley, Challis and Mackay areas.
Outside of Idaho, the storm has triggered winter storm watches, winter weather advisories, flood warnings and flood watches in much of Montana and winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories in Wyoming, especially in the western part of the state.