The snowstorms that began entering East Idaho on Friday night are forecast to exit the region on Wednesday morning, leaving plenty of snow in their wake.
The National Weather Service issued a final winter weather advisory on Tuesday afternoon regarding the snowstorms. The advisory forecast an inch of additional snow Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning in East Idaho and winds of up to 35 mph during that time frame, with the result being a continuation of the hazardous driving conditions that have plagued the region since the storms started rolling through on Friday night.
The region’s break from winter weather will be short because the weather service is predicting that another snowstorm will hit East Idaho Thursday night through Friday night.
Several inches of snow fell on much of East Idaho from just the Monday and Tuesday storms, with Bern and Montpelier receiving the most snow at 13 and 12 inches respectively, according to the weather service.
Malad received 5 inches of snow from the Monday and Tuesday storms while Pocatello, American Falls, Inkom, Arimo and Downey tallied 1.5 to 3 inches of snow and Idaho Falls received an inch, the weather service said.
The snowy weather caused numerous East Idaho school districts, charter schools and private schools to close on Monday and Tuesday.
Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25, however, did not cancel classes on either day.
The district offered the following explanation via Facebook on why it decided to keep its schools open: “The safety of our learners is our highest priority. Opinions regarding school closure will vary, but please know that we carefully weigh a variety of factors in our decision-making process. We respect that our district’s parents reserve the right to use their own best judgment when it comes to decisions regarding the personal safety of their learners.”
As of Tuesday night, there were still multiple roads closed in East Idaho because of the winter weather.
Highway 32 from near Tetonia to Highway 47 near Ashton, Highway 33 between the Sugar City and Tetonia areas, Highway 26 from Ririe to Swan Valley, and Interstate 15 southbound from Roberts to Idaho Falls all remained closed Tuesday night because of blowing and drifting snow.
Motorists will be tested by winter weather conditions again starting Thursday night, when a new snowstorm enters East Idaho, according to the weather service.
The weather service predicts that 6 to 9 inches of snow will fall on East Idaho’s higher elevations during the Thursday night through Friday night storm while the lower elevations will receive 1 to 3 inches of snow.
The storm will also bring winds of up to 30 mph to East Idaho Thursday night through Friday night.
Despite the snowstorm, Friday will likely have the warmest temperatures of the week in East Idaho with highs in the mid-30s in most places and lows in the upper 20s. East Idaho’s high temps during the rest of the week will likely be slightly below freezing with lows in the teens.