Snow

Rich Brown

One of the signature events of the annual McCall Winter Carnival is the giant images carved in blocks of snow. But many people don’t know that the Carnival hosts two separate snow sculpting competitions. One is sponsored by local businesses and teams can use power tools and chicken wire to build their masterpieces.

Bogus Basin Recreation Area

Forecasters have some good news for Boise area skiers. After a recent lull in new snow, Bogus Basin could get two feet by the end of the weekend.

The National Weather Service in Boise is predicting up to four inches of new snow early Friday. Rain is in the forecast for the mountain Friday afternoon, but the snow is expected to resume Saturday and continue through Sunday night. The heaviest snow is expected Sunday night, with up to nine inches predicted.

By the time the system winds down Monday, forecasters expect 13 to 24 inches of new snow.

Bogus Basin's Plan To Keep The Mountain White

Dec 18, 2015
Jessica Murri

It’s a cold morning at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area without a single cloud in the sky, but that doesn’t keep snow from piling up on the slopes. That’s thanks to a brand new SMI Super Polecat snow gun, blowing thousands of gallons of water into the freezing air.

“Since November First, we have used 800,000 gallons of water through the snowguns . . . so that’s enough to cover one acre of ground with a foot of snow,” says Director of Mountain Operations at Bogus Basin, Nate Shake.

Jon Preuss / Sawtooth Avalanche Center

This week, an avalanche on Bald Mountain injured a skier who was out of bounds at the Sun Valley ski resort. When it happened, the avalanche danger in the area was “high,” which means human-triggered avalanches were likely.

Every day, snow science experts from the Sawtooth Avalanche Center head out into the backcountry to figure out the severity of avalanche danger.

Bogus Basin Names Its Next General Manager

Oct 26, 2015
Bogus Basin, ski
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Bogus Basin has announced the hiring of its next general manager. Brad Wilson will begin work on November 9. His selection was announced Monday afternoon by the Bogus Basin board of directors.

Wilson replaces former president and general manager Alan Moore, who retired at the end of the February.

Wilson brings to Boise several decades’ worth of experience in the ski and resort industry.

Jeff Jones / Flickr Creative Commons

Warm temperatures in February have taken a toll on winter snowpack in the Cascade Mountains and other areas in the West.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service said Wednesday that nearly a third of monitoring sites in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada reported the lowest snowpack ever measured as of March 1, and some sites didn't have snow.

Snowpack in Nevada, Utah and Idaho also fell farther below normal.

Courtesy Robin Rausch

For the fourth-straight year, Meridian chef Rich Brown won the top prize at the Idaho state snow sculpting competition in McCall, creating a 14-foot circus elephant in just three days.

The McCall competition is one of two sculpting contests held at the winter carnival each year. Local businesses host a themed contest, the state competition is later in the week. Brown took part in both and picked up first prize in the state competition.

He and his two teammates chose to sculpt a circus elephant. "It turned out very well," says Brown.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Hydrologists from the Natural Resources Conservation Service  measured snow pack Tuesday in the mountains above the Treasure Valley. At the Mores Creek sight near Idaho City, snow pack was 53 inches. But more importantly, says water supply specialist Ron Abramovich, that snow contains 14 inches of water.

“And normally at this time of year we’d have 12 inches of water in the snow pack” he says. “So we’re a little above average, which is good.”

Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin will open Friday despite anemic snow accumulation on the mountain north of Boise.

The ski resort plans to open limited terrain to skiers and snowboarders. Bogus reports 13 inches of snow at its base.

"We’re ready and very excited to welcome the community up the mountain to have fun enjoying early-season skiing and boarding,” says Bogus General Manager Alan Moore.

weather, roads, snow, ice
Jodie Martinson / Boise State Public Radio

The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) is defending itself from criticisms over how it cleared -- or didn't clear -- the roads after last week's snow dump. A record-setting 7.6 inches of snow fell at the Boise Airport on Thursday and Friday.

Police departments tweeted warnings to drivers to mind the conditions after helping hundreds of vehicles involved in fender-benders and spins off the road.

Now, almost a week later, many major roads in Boise, Eagle, and Meridian still have snow and ice in patches and many drivers are complaining about why it's taken so long to clear.

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

The winter storm system that has blanketed much of the region since Thursday morning will have dropped up to 8- inches of snow in the Boise area by the time it’s finished.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jay Breidenbach says snow should stop falling late Friday afternoon, and more snow isn’t in the immediate forecast.

“The damage is done," Breidenbach says. "The roads are going to be just horrible this afternoon for the commute because temperatures are going to stay below freezing."

map, weather
National Weather Service

The first major winter storm of the season is headed for Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, bringing with it the season's first hard freeze and snowfall to the Treasure Valley.

There’s a good chance of snow on Thursday in the Boise area.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Les Colin says an arctic air mass is coming in from central Canada.

“There was a typhoon whose remnants went up into the Bering Sea,” Colin says, “and it created an intense storm there and the consequences spread into North America and then down south into Canada and into the United States.”

water, boise river
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Flow in the Boise River set a record low this week. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, flow Thursday at the Glenwood bridge on Boise’s west side was the lowest ever recorded on May 8. 

Jeff Myers / Flickr

Boise National Forest officials are warning drivers to stay off snow-covered forest roads.

Boise National Forest spokesman David Olson says drivers are finding lower elevations are clear, until they start climbing higher into the forest.

Julie Rose / For Boise State Public Radio

Randy Julander measures snowpack for the U.S. government’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. It’s his job to tell water users what they can expect to see flowing down their streams and irrigation canals come spring.

When Julander answered my recent phone call, he was way up in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. He was having some mixed feelings.

"Gosh, it’s clear skies and the sun is hotter than a two-dollar pistol. I’m sitting here at 8,500 feet and in shirt sleeves," Julander said.

"Does that seem like a good sign?" I asked.

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