BOISE – January 17th seems a bit late to be bracing for the first big winter storm of the season, but here we are.
The National Weather Service office in Boise issued a Winter Storm Warning for Wednesday for nearly all of southern Idaho.
The latest update has new snow totals:
- For the Upper Treasure Valley expect 5-9 inches
- Lower Treasure Valley 3-6 inches
- Magic Valley 7-12 inches
- West Central Mountains 10-20 inches (below 4,000 feet) and 2-3 feet (above 5,500 feet)
- Boise Mountains 10-20 inches (below 4,000 feet) and 2-3 feet (above 5,500 feet)
- Sawtooths 3-5 feet
- Baker County 4-6 inches
“It’s a big change,” meteorologist Larry Gebert said. “It will start as snow. Timing on this means that it should start at about 9 a.m. tomorrow – your drive to work should be OK. Driving home will be a different story with snow on the ground, and changing over to a rain-snow mix.”
The snow level will start out at the valley floor level, and rise throughout the day with rain mixing into lower elevations. Snow level by Thursday should be 5,000 feet. Forecasters put the chance of precipitation in the Boise area at 100 percent for Wednesday.
The brunt of the storm is expected Wednesday afternoon and into the evening as a warm front moves over.
After Wednesday, the storm will primarily mean rain for the valley areas and mountain snow. The stormy pattern isn’t expected to let up – with much of the 7 Day Forecast filled with rain and snow icons.
Some areas already have seen some snow, with Brundage Mountain getting about 10 inches overnight.
SW Idaho has seen a remarkably mild, dry winter – with many ski resorts struggling to open, and even the ones with lifts up and running are seeing poor snow conditions in some cases. Bogus Basin is nearly 10 days past its previous record for latest opening ever, and hopes the massive storm will help boost fortunes for the rest of the winter season.
Other parts of the Pacific Northwest are already getting hammered with snow. Seattle saw a rash of school closures and delays with snow down around sea level, and Portland is seeing a messy rain/snow storm plow through.
KTVB.COM will be tracking the storm minute-by-minute online, as well as on the new Idaho Weather app – just search KTVB in your app store for iPhone, Android or Blackberry.