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WINTER STORM WARNING: SNOW, SLEET, FREEZING RAIN AND HIGH WINDS TO HAMMER EAST IDAHO

January 17, 2019

The National Weather Service has issued multiple winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories in anticipation of a snowstorm that could dump up to a foot of snow on much of East Idaho and make travel through parts of the region impossible.

The storm is forecast to hit East Idaho late Wednesday night and continue through Friday morning.

The weather service said the storm will bring snow, sleet and freezing rain to East Idaho that will make for icy and potentially hazardous driving conditions. Motorists are being advised to use caution. Winds of up to 40 mph are also in the forecast and those gusts will result in snow drifts and reduced visibility due to blowing snow. The weather service said travel might become impossible in some of East Idaho’s higher elevation areas because of the storm.

The hardest hit areas are forecast to be Island Park, Palisades, Swan Valley and Victor, all of which are expected to receive up to a foot of snow late Wednesday night through Friday morning.

The Driggs, Tetonia, Ashton, Inkom, Arimo, McCammon, Lava Hot Springs, Downey, Swanlake, Thatcher, Soda Springs, Bone, Grace, Bancroft, Henry, Wayan, Montpelier, Georgetown, Paris, St. Charles, Preston, Weston, Dayton, Franklin, Arbon and Malad areas are forecast to receive up to 8 inches of snow late Wednesday night through Friday morning. It’s even possible some of those areas could receive a foot of snow depending on the storm’s severity.

The Idaho Falls, Ammon, St. Anthony, Rexburg, Sugar City, Rigby, Dubois, Spencer, Mud Lake, Idaho National Laboratory, Atomic City, Arco and Craters of the Moon areas are forecast to receive up to 4 inches of snow late Wednesday night through Friday morning.

Although the Pocatello, Chubbuck, Blackfoot, Fort Hall, Shelley, Firth, American Falls, Aberdeen, Rockland, Raft River, Burley, Rupert, Heyburn, Paul, Declo, Holbrook, Albion, City of Rocks, Oakley and Malta areas are forecast to only receive up to an inch of snow late Wednesday night through Friday morning, sleet and freezing rain are also expected to fall on those areas making for very icy road conditions.

The city of Pocatello has issued a press release warning its residents about the strong potential for flooding in the city on Thursday because of that day’s expected precipitation and above-freezing daytime high temps. The city is taking the extra step of making sand and sand bags available to Pocatellans at its street operations facility, 1080 S. First Ave., to protect homes and businesses from the flooding.

“If it becomes necessary, additional sand and sand bags will be moved to other locations in town,” the city of Pocatello said in its press release.

Pocatello officials are especially concerned that ice clogged storm drains will cause flooding in the city on Thursday, so any resident who sees an obstructed storm drain should immediately contact the Pocatello Street Operations Department at 208-234-6250.

Elsewhere in the state, the central Idaho mountains including Hailey, Sun Valley and Stanley are under winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories calling for maximum potential snowfall amounts of 8 to 12 inches late Wednesday night through Friday morning.

Winter weather advisories are also in effect in much of south central Idaho including the Shoshone area as well as North Idaho because of the incoming storm.

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

Once the storm exits the region on Friday, snow remains in the forecast for East Idaho Saturday through next Wednesday. The weather service has not yet issued any estimates on how much snow could fall on those days from the additional storms passing through the region.

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