Winter

Much of the Mountain West saw record breaking snowfall last year which was great news for the mountain resort industry. This year's snowfall may be less intense. 

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

After a mild January, February brought record snowfall to central Idaho.

Tiny Stanley, Idaho, deep in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, was cut off from the world this week. All roads leading to the town of fewer than 100 residents were blocked by avalanches or snow drifts Wednesday, February 27.

water, boise river
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

We’ve made it over halfway through winter and snowpack at the Boise basin is at about 75 percent median, which is below normal. Normal would be around 100 percent. And while frigid winter storms go through the midwest, states like Idaho just aren’t getting as much.

 

 

Brent Eades / Flickr

A recently released study finds Idaho is one of the worst states for driving in bad weather. Snow, not rain, is the problem.

It’s still technically fall, but with dustings of snow already falling in some parts of the state, winter is definitely coming. A report from Safewise – a website that reviews and compares safety products – finds Idaho is one of the most dangerous places to drive in snow.


Wet Winter For Idaho Predicted By Farmer's Almanac

Sep 12, 2018
Will Hastings / Flickr

Fall is just around the corner, and – according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac – a wet winter will follow.

US Air Force / Flickr Creative Commons

Northern Idaho could get up to 2 feet of snow through Saturday.

The National Weather Service says starting Thursday moist air coming in from the Pacific Ocean will hit cold air that's part of an Arctic front over northeastern Washington state and northern Idaho.

Southern Idaho Tourism

In April, as all the snow from last year's punishing winter melted, flows over Shoshone Falls peaked around 20,000 cubic feet per second. By May, the flow rate over the falls had settled around 12,000 cfs, but they still dazzled. If you missed the show in the spring, water managers are again upping the water that will tumble over the Niagara of the West.

A bike, sleeping bag, and cart left ona sidewalk.
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise has reopened the day shelter at the Pioneer Neighborhood Community Center on the south end of downtown for its ninth year. Boise Parks and Recreation manages the shelter, which is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week until April 1.


Chris Nelson / Flickr Creative Commons

Friday, the BLM will begin to close several recreation areas in the Wood River Valley to motorized vehicles. The goal is to reduce the stress put on big game animals.

Malcolm / Flickr

The first day of winter is December 21, but a telltale sign of the colder months is here. Starting November 30, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center will start publishing daily avalanche advisories. The center is relying on a range of media to broadcast its information.

With Winter Coming, Nampa Releases Snow Plan

Oct 24, 2017
Michael Kappel / Flickr Creative Commons

The air is crisp and the leaves are still falling, but winter is coming. After last year’s brutal snow, the city of Nampa is out with its official plan for dealing with cold weather hazards like snow-covered roads and ice.

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area

Thanks in part to a low unemployment rate, help wanted signs can be found all over Boise, from fast food joints to department stores. And now Bogus Basin is adding to that crunch, looking for 500 workers for the season.


Old Farmer's Almanac To Idaho: Winter Is Coming

Sep 14, 2017
Alexey Kljatov / Flickr

As summer winds down, the prospect of winter looms on the horizon. After last year’s record-setting cold and snow, many places are still recovering from the weather. With the seasons changing, one source of weather information is saying Idaho could be in for another rough winter.


Climate March
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

This past winter Southern Idaho experienced one of its snowiest and coldest on record. So we can’t be blamed for wanting to look ahead into the summer. But one organization wants us to look back again.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

For the first time since 2011, the Pacific Northwest isn't showing any signs of drought.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that Oregon, Washington and Idaho are free from drought worries.

Kathie Dello, deputy director of Oregon's climate office, says the Northwest saw lots of precipitation during the water year that began in October.

She says snow and rain came earlier and stayed later. Typically drier months such as October, February, March and April were wetter than usual across the region.

US Air Force / Flickr Creative Commons

Heavy snow has damaged roads, caused roofs to collapse and made this winter one for the record books. With spring just around the corner, a proposal to spend $52 million to help the state clean up and repair damage from the blistering winter is gaining traction.

State budget writers approved tapping Idaho's financial surplus to help fix flood and storm damage. The money still needs to be approved by the state Senate and House before being doled out. The state's finance committee says it'll attach an emergency clause to the bill allowing the funds to be accessed immediately.

The Good News: There Were Fewer Inversions Than Last Winter

Feb 28, 2017
Jay Breidenbach / National Weather Service

The Treasure Valley has suffered through unusually high snowfall this winter. Between October 1, 2016, and February 1, 2017, more than 35 inches fell. All that snow has covered up the usual complaint about Southern Idaho winters: Inversions. Yes, those cold, grey, smoggy days.

Idaho Fish and Game

Idaho Fish and Game crews are feeding 4,000 elk in eastern Idaho this winter, after a fire burned 22,000 acres of their winter range.

The fire hit the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area in Bonneville County last year. Without grass, forbs and brush, elk and deer now have nothing to eat. Fish and Game worried they would travel to private property 13 miles away and start eating haystacks and spilling into towns.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Elk and deer continue to struggle this winter and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is adding 27 more feeding sites for the animals.

That brings the number of feed sites around the Southeast Region to 89.

There are 16 elk sites feeding 2,780 animals. There are 71 deer sites, feeding 8,731 of the animals. And two pronghorn sites are getting feed to 215 animals. The sites are in 12 Idaho counties.

Boise Unlikely To Break Seasonal Snow Record

Feb 8, 2017
Boise River, snow, weather
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The National Weather Service considers the snow season running from October to May; so far this year, Boise has seen 37.6 inches – significant, but not close to an all-time record.

Jethro Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho transportation officials put together a $450,000 emergency repair project when pavement on Interstate 90 broke apart this winter.

The Spokesman-Review reports Idaho Transportation Department officials say people's lives were at stake when a midwinter thaw caused potholes to open up on I-90 through Coeur d'Alene. The department patched the cracks during two nights in late January.

An extra thick bonding agent was used to help seal the asphalt patches.

Jason Lantz / Idaho Bureau of Land Management

Four days in January cost Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon more than $25 million in winter storm damage. The Idaho Statesman talked with a New Jersey-based company that analyzes insurance claims data, and reports the Jan. 6-9 storm meets the industry standard of a “catastrophic event.”

Verisk Analytics says the total pricetag for damaged homes, cars and businesses is unclear.

Keith Kohl / Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP

Antelope injured while falling on ice. Horses stranded in snowy mountains. Cougars descending from their wilderness lairs to forage in a town.

It's been a beastly winter in the American West, not just for people but for animals too. One storm after another has buried much of the region in snow, and temperatures have often stayed below freezing, endangering a rich diversity of wild animals.

Dean Shareski / Flickr

This winter’s snow and cold temperatures have taken a toll on area roads. And it’s not just piles of snow that are causing problems. On many streets there are new potholes to worry about.

Potholes crop up every winter, but back-to-back storms this season have made these road hazards blossom.

The Idaho Transportation Department says usually there is time after a winter storm for crews to put temporary patches on potholes. But with so many storms so close together, they can't keep up.

Bill Dentzer / Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed a disaster declaration for Washington County in west-central Idaho due to snow accumulations.

The proclamation signed Monday makes available $65,000 that officials in Weiser say is needed to truck snow out of the city.

The document notes that snow is putting buildings at risk. The Idaho Statesman reports that Weiser's only grocery store collapsed under the weight of snow last week.

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