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Warmer temperatures and accelerated snow melt could mean something more for the valley

Snowfall in Surprise Valley
Amanda Niess
Boise State Public Radio
Snowfall in Surprise Valley

After a stretch of storms and freezing temperatures, the weather in the Treasure Valley is supposed to warm up. Snow piled up this last week, but upcoming forecasts say temperatures are going to go up into the forties.

Jay Breidenbach with the National Weather Service in Boise says most of the snow could be gone by next week.

“We're going to see a sloppy mess if this snow melts slowly and slowly is the key term here,” Breidenbach said. “And I think the slow melt is going to prevent any kind of significant flooding.”

If it were to rain in the valley, there is a possibility for rapid runoff and possible flooding but the forecast only predicts a slight warming trend and drier conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

“There's always uncertainty in what the future weather is going to bring us,” said Breidenbach. “And if we got into a heavy rain situation, rain on snow could cause some rapid runoff but we're not seeing those types of rainfall intensities in our forecast at this point. So I think the most likely scenario is a slow melt.”

If rain does fall in the coming days, snow melt could accelerate, but there’s still a low chance for flooding in the valley.

Breidenbach says avalanches remain a risk at higher elevations especially with a new snowpack and changing temperatures.

“The snow can slide and that can be a really dangerous situation,” Breidenbach said. “New precipitation, new snowfall on existing snowpack is, of course, one of the triggers that increase avalanche danger.”

The National Weather Service does not issue avalanche warnings so he suggests checking the latest at area avalanche forecast centers for predictions and risks for the mountains.

Amanda Niess was a newsroom assistant through February of 2024.

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