Storm brings snow to Idaho highways, ski slopes

Soldier Mountain is opening Sunday, and the operators of other Idaho ski areas are happy about the new snow. Road conditions Saturday afternoon included snow, ice, rock falls, and animals on the roadway in the mountain areas.

Mountain snowfall is a welcome sight for skiers, snowboarders, and the operators of Idaho ski areas, but on Saturday, it made conditions more difficult for drivers on the highways.

The Idaho Transportation Department on Saturday afternoon reported snow on Idaho Highway 21 from Highland Valley Summit near Boise all the way to Stanley. Other concerns include rock falls and large animals on the roadway.

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Similar conditions have been reported for Idaho 55 north of Horseshoe Bend. That includes the McCall-Donnelly area, where many people are visiting for Winter Carnival.

KTVB director of photography Xanti Alcelay said he encountered a "whiteout" Saturday afternoon while driving south from Cascade into Boise County on Highway 55.

Idaho Highway 55 at Smiths Ferry the afternoon of Saturday, January 27, 2018.

U.S. 95 had snow on the road from Council to New Meadows, but was mostly slushy and wet elsewhere.

Idaho 75 between Stanley and Hailey had patches of ice and packed snow, with snow continuing to fall.

Roadways were wet with rain in valley locations, where temperatures rose well above the freezing mark on Saturday afternoon.

Idaho road reports can be found at this link or by calling 511.

The storm bringing snow to the region’s mountains on Saturday is a boon for ski areas such as Bogus Basin, which had temporarily scaled back operations earlier in January due to a lack of snow.

Bogus has received four inches of new snow since 5 p.m. Friday, and expects two to four inches by Saturday night.

Soldier Mountain, near Fairfield, plans to open Sunday.

“We want to give skiers and snowboarders every opportunity to enjoy the slopes at Soldier this season, and now we have just enough snow to open. Low snow conditions exist, though it has been snowing steadily since midnight,” said the Soldier Mountain owners in a statement emailed to KTVB on Saturday morning.

Sun Valley reports an inch of new snow since 5:30 a.m. Saturday, and two inches over the past three days.

Brundage Mountain near McCall has received three inches of new snow in the past day.

Three inches of new snow have accumulated at Tamarack Resort since Friday night. Tamarack reports 5.5 inches of new snow in the past two days.

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Snow is expected to continue falling into Sunday morning in the mountains, but winter weather advisories issued for Adams, Blaine, Boise, Camas, Elmore, Gem, Valley, and Washington counties expired Saturday night. The KTVB First Alert forecast is available here.