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WINTER STORM WARNINGS DECLARED FOR EAST IDAHO: Destructive winds, several inches of snow and road closures expected

December 30, 2018

A powerful winter storm is forecast to hammer East Idaho, possibly dumping a foot of snow on some mountain areas and bringing destructive winds to the region that could result in road closures, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm is forecast to arrive in East Idaho late Saturday night and continue through Sunday night.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings, winter weather advisories and wind advisories for East Idaho because of the incoming storm.

The storm is expected to result in snow-covered roads and possible white-out conditions that will likely make for extremely difficult driving conditions throughout East Idaho.

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

This will be the fourth snowstorm of the week to hit East Idaho and is expected to be more severe than its three predecessors.

Those storms dumped several inches of snow on East Idaho and the incoming storm will do the same. The big difference will be that the incoming storm will also be packing winds of up to 50 mph that will have “major impacts” on travel, the weather service said.

The areas that will be hardest hit by the storm late Saturday night through Sunday night are Island Park, Ashton, Driggs and Victor. These areas are all under winter storm warnings and could receive up to 8 inches of snow or even up to 12 inches depending on the storm’s severity.

Also under winter storm warnings for late Saturday night through Sunday night are the Palisades, Bone, Swan Valley, Henry, Wayan, Soda Springs, Grace and Bancroft areas, all of which could receive up to 5 inches of snow or even up to 9 inches depending on the storm’s severity.

Winter weather advisories calling for up to 3 or 4 inches of snow late Saturday night through Sunday night have been declared for the following areas: Pocatello, Chubbuck, American Falls, Aberdeen, Inkom, Arimo, McCammon, Downey, Swanlake, Preston, Weston, Dayton, Franklin, Arbon, Rockland, Malta, Lava Hot Springs, Thatcher, Malad, Holbrook, Montpelier, Georgetown, St. Charles, Paris, Idaho Falls, Ammon, Rigby, Rexburg, St. Anthony, Spencer, Dubois, Atomic City, Blackfoot, Firth and Shelley. It’s even possible some of those areas could receive 6 to 8 inches of snow depending on the storm’s severity.

The Arco, Craters of the Moon, Burley, Rupert, Heyburn, Paul, Declo, Raft River, Albion, City of Rocks and Oakley areas are forecast to receive less than an inch of snow from the storm but they’re all under wind advisories calling for gusts of up to 50 mph that will make controlling a vehicle difficult, the weather service said.

The weather service said the big impact of the incoming storm throughout East Idaho will be the destructive winds, which will be powerful enough to knock down tree limbs. Even in areas that don’t receive a lot of snow from the storm, the gusts will create very poor visibility by blowing the snow that does fall as well as the several inches of snow already on the ground from this week’s storms, the weather service said. The winds will also create deep snow drifts.

The weather service said the expected poor visibility and drifting snow in East Idaho caused by the incoming storm’s powerful winds will likely result in road closures.

Elsewhere in the state, the central Idaho mountains including the Stanley and Sun Valley areas are under winter weather advisories calling for several inches of snow from the incoming storm late Saturday night through Sunday night.

Much of North Idaho is also under winter weather advisories because of the storm. Winter weather advisories, winter storm watches, winter storm warnings and/or high wind warnings are in effect in Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington state and Utah in anticipation of the storm.

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