East Idaho’s highlands are expected to get clobbered by a series of Canadian winter storms that will barrel through the region Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for East Idaho telling motorists that the storms could make driving impossible in mountain areas.
The weather service said that if you do drive in East Idaho’s highlands during the storms you should make sure you have flashlights, food, water and blankets in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
The storms are forecast to dump the most snow — 8 to 22 inches — on the following areas Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon: Island Park, Kilgore, Driggs, Victor, Tetonia, Swan Valley, Palisades, Henry and Wayan. It’s possible that even more snow could fall on the higher mountains in those areas.
Also forecast to receive significant snow — 6 to 12 inches — are the Inkom, Lava Hot Springs, Spencer, Ashton, Bone, Soda Springs, Grace, Bancroft, Thatcher, Emigration Summit, Georgetown, Paris and Montpelier areas.
The rest of East Idaho including the Pocatello, American Falls, Fort Hall, Aberdeen, Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Rigby, Rexburg, Dubois, Malad, Downey, McCammon and Preston areas could receive anywhere from an inch to 6 inches of snow Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon.
The storms are also expected to bring rain to East Idaho, especially in the lower elevations, as well as winds of up to 45 mph.
The winds will cause enough blowing and drifting snow in East Idaho’s higher elevations that road closures are possible during the storms.
The big snowstorm that dumped several inches of snow on East Idaho on Sunday and Monday shut down several roads including long stretches of Interstate 15 and Interstate 84. By Tuesday morning all of those roads had been reopened.
The incoming storms will likely differ from the Sunday-Monday storm in that they’re expected to hit hardest in East Idaho’s higher elevations with much less of an impact in the lowlands. But motorists should still use extreme caution while driving in lower elevation areas during the incoming storms because road conditions could become very slick.
Elsewhere in the state the incoming storms have triggered a winter weather advisory in the Stanley area and winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories in North Idaho.
Outside of Idaho, winter storm warnings, winter storm watches and/or winter weather advisories are in effect in Washington state, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Utah in anticipation of the storms.