January 7, 2019

The second of two weekend winter storms will linger in East Idaho longer than expected, likely dumping several inches of snow on much of the region through Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service has declared winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for East Idaho because of this second storm, which as of early Monday morning had already resulted in the closure of two major highways.

Highway 32 between Ashton and Tetonia and Highway 33 between Sugar City and Tetonia are both closed because of drifting and blowing snow, the Idaho Transportation Department reported. Both highways will remain closed until conditions improve.

The weather service said the storm that’s been hitting East Idaho since Sunday night is packing destructive winds of up to 55 mph that are strong enough to knock down tree limbs and power lines. Power outages are possible, the weather service said.

This second storm of the weekend looks like it will be more powerful than the first storm, which began hitting East Idaho late Saturday night but dropped less snow than expected on many areas by the time it exited on Sunday afternoon.

Motorists should expect very difficult travel conditions in East Idaho through Monday afternoon because of the second storm. There will likely be snow covered roads, snow drifts as well as reduced visibility due to blowing snow in most of the region.

The weather service said, “If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”

The following areas are forecast to be hit hardest by the storm and are expected to receive up to 5 inches of snow through Monday afternoon: Island Park, Victor, Palisades, Swan Valley, Bone, Wayan, Henry, Soda Springs, Grace, Bancroft, Lava Hot Springs, Inkom, McCammon, Arimo, Downey, Swanlake, Arbon, Malad, Holbrook, Preston, Dayton, Weston, Franklin, Thatcher, Rockland, Albion and Malta. It’s possible those areas could receive more than 5 inches of snow if the storm is more severe than expected.

The Montpelier, Paris, Georgetown and St. Charles areas are forecast to receive up to 3 inches of snow through Monday afternoon, while the Raft River, Burley, Heyburn, Paul, Rupert and Declo areas could receive up to 2 inches of snow.

The rest of East Idaho including the region’s largest cities — Pocatello, Chubbuck, Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Ammon and Rexburg — are forecast to receive an inch of snow through Monday afternoon. Also forecast to receive around an inch of snow are the Fort Hall, Shelley, Firth, American Falls, Aberdeen, Driggs, Ashton, St. Anthony, Tetonia, Sugar City, Atomic City, Idaho National Laboratory, Mud Lake, Arco, Rigby, Dubois, Spencer and Oakley areas.

The storm has triggered winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for Monday in the central Idaho mountains including Sun Valley, Stanley and Hailey. Winter weather advisories are also in effect in south central Idaho including the Shoshone area, in southwest Idaho north of Mountain Home and Boise, and in North Idaho.

Winter storm warnings and/or winter weather advisories are in effect in all of the states surrounding Idaho as well because of the storm.

Update hourly