Weather

Wildfires
3:56 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Idaho Should Have 'Normal' Wildfire Season Thanks To Recent Storms

Last Summer's Beaver Creek Fire Threatened Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey
Credit InciWeb / http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3635/

It's still at least three months away, but it looks as though Idaho’s wildfire season should be fairly normal in 2014. Ed Delgado manages predictive services at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

“We’ve got good snowpack right now and assuming it melts off fairly regularly over the next couple of months, that’s going to be good for the soils especially in the mountain areas,” Delgado says. “So that’s going to kind of prolong the wet period.”

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Water
7:57 am
Thu March 13, 2014

How One Snowstorm Can Change Idaho's Seasonal Water Outlook

Brian McInerney is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
Credit 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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Water
12:22 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Latest Snowpack Map Shows Continued Improvement In Idaho's Water Supply

Click on the map to enlarge.
Credit NRCS/USDA

The latest map showing the water content of Idaho’s snowpack reveals the state continues to make up significant deficits seen early this winter.

Idaho has 21 basins where the Natural Resources Conservation Service measures snow accumulation and then assesses how the water content compares to that of a normal year. As of Thursday, all but five are at 80 percent of their average, or greater.

The Boise River basin is at 95 percent. The Payette River basin is 94. Most areas in central, northern and eastern Idaho are now above 100 percent of their normal snowpack levels.

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Avalanche
9:33 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Urban Avalanche Levels Montana Home, One Person Killed

An avalanche in Missoula, Montana buried three people, all were rescued alive.
Credit William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Updated March 4, 2014 at 9:45 a.m.

A woman who was rescued about three hours after her Missoula home was destroyed by an avalanche has died.

About 100 neighbors converged Friday to help find 68-year-old Michel Colville, her husband and an 8-year-old boy after they were buried by the avalanche in a residential area of the western Montana city.

Police say Colville died Sunday night at St. Patrick Hospital. Her husband, Fred Allendorf, remains hospitalized in serious condition.

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Avalanches
10:17 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Headed To The Backcountry? First Check This Interactive Avalanche Map

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center captured this photo on Feb. 21, 2014 at Soldier Mountain in southern Idaho.
Credit Mark Westerdoll / Sawtooth Avalanche Center

Winter and early spring in the West means it's avalanche season. Several avalanche warnings have recently been in effect for parts of south central Idaho. And at least 17 people have died this season, including a Bellevue, Idaho man.

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Avalanche
2:20 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Blaine County Identifies Snowmobiler Killed In Idaho Avalanche

This map shows current avalanche conditions in southern Idaho, western Montana and northern Utah.
Credit Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

An avalanche in the Sawtooth National Forest killed one man and injured a woman Sunday afternoon at a popular snowmobile site in the Smiley Creek area north of Ketchum. The avalanche west of Galena Summit buried four snowmobilers early in the afternoon.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office says 64-year-old George Gilbert Martin Jr. of Bellevue, Idaho died on the scene.

Sawtooth Avalanche Center director Simon Trautman says the four snowmobilers were in a meadow which they thought was safe.

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Weather
10:04 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Flooding, Mudslides Possible Across Southern Idaho

A map of precipitation totals forecast for southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon. After a relatively dry day Thursday, more rain is expected Thursday night and Friday.
Credit National Weather Service

What a difference a week makes.

Last week, concern was mounting over how little precipitation had fallen in southern Idaho this winter. Now, forecasters say areas in southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon could see several days of flooding.

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Environment
6:30 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

What To Do If You're Caught In An Avalanche

The recent heavy snow in the region means the risk of avalanche is higher.
Scientif38 Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:44 pm

As snow continues to pound the region's ski resorts, plenty of skiers  are expected to hit the slopes. But with the increased snowpack comes the risk of avalanches.

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Weather
6:24 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Snow On The Mountains Comes With Heightened Avalanche Risk

A skier is nearly caught in an avalanche in central Oregon.
Kevin Grove

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:46 pm

The Baker County Sheriff in eastern Oregon says two cross-country skiers died Tuesday in an avalanche in the southern Wallowa Mountains. Two others were seriously injured. 

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Who Knew?
1:31 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Why Stoplights Hate Idaho Fog (And Why You Might Hate Stoplights)

Treasure Valley drivers made their way to work Monday morning in dense fog. This photo was taken on Amity in SE Boise.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County highway officials say they received dozens of complaints Monday morning as heavy fog affected the operation of stop lights. 

Mike Boydstun, the Ada County Highway Department’s traffic operations engineer, estimates between 30 and 60 people called the department to report problems between 7 and 9 a.m.

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Avalanche
10:27 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Avalanche Warning Issued For Sun Valley Region

The National Weather Service has issued an avalanche warning for central Idaho's Sun Valley region.

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center says the area got between one and a half to three feet of new snow, and that combined with strong winds have created a high avalanche danger. The warning includes the mountains around Fairfield, Galena Summit and Stanley.

Weather
11:41 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Highway 21, Idaho's 'Avalanche Alley' Closes Due To Slide Danger

Here's a look at Idaho 21 between I-84 and Robie Creek Road Friday morning from the ITD webcam.
Credit Idaho Transportation Department

“Avalanche Alley” will close at 6:00 p.m. Friday as a safety precaution. That’s the 12-mile stretch of Idaho 21 between Grandjean Junction and Banner Summit.  

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) reports the area received eight inches of snow Friday morning and more snowfall is expected Friday night and Saturday.

The area averages more than 250 inches of snow which brings 45-50 slides each year. About 90 percent of avalanches that affect Idaho highways happen on "Avalanche Alley."

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Weather
6:29 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Treasure Valley Wakes Up To New Snow; Boise And Meridian Schools Closed

Credit Jim Bauer / Flickr Creative Commons

Update, 6:41 a.m.: Bishop Kelly High School in Boise says it will close Friday.

Original post: The Treasure Valley is waking up to snow Friday morning. Forecasters say most of the region received one to two inches of new snow. 

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Weather
5:45 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

In The Northwest, A Light Dusting To Some, A Whole Lot Of Snow To Others

Snow in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

The Northwest is finally getting a dose of the icy cold weather we've been hearing about this winter from the rest of the country.

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Weather
12:41 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Dust Off That Snow Shovel, Up To 5 Inches Expected In The Treasure Valley

A shot of the Bogus Basin Ski Resort webcam, before the snow event begins.
Credit Bogus Basin

Snow is coming to southern Idaho, lots of it. The National Weather Service says a “significant snowfall event” will start Thursday night and last through Saturday.

The snow comes from a combination of moisture from the Pacific and an upper level low pressure system from Alaska. It will bring prolonged snowfall, which could mean substantial snow totals in the mountains.  NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from the Oregon border East to Twin Falls, Idaho.

Here are the latest projected snow totals from the National Weather Service:

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Agriculture
5:56 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Northwest Farmers Take Heart In Prediction Of Rainy Spring

Wheat fields in Lincoln County, Wash.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Northwest farmers call him “the weather man.” And at a farming conference in Spokane, he offered a reason for them to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

It's True: Snowiest Places Are Least Likely To Close Schools

Dark blue: It's going to take a foot or more of snow to close schools. Green: Any snow's going to shut things down.
reddit.com/user/atrubetskoy

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:48 pm

We all probably sort of knew this already, but a new map seems to show quite clearly that it doesn't take much snow to close schools in the Southern U.S. — and that it takes a lot to close them in the Northern half of the nation.

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Weather
8:27 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Treasure Valley Wakes Up To Freezing Rain

Ice accumulated on a tree on the Boise State University campus.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Police in southwestern Idaho are asking drivers to slow down and buckle up this morning as drivers are headed to work amid freezing rain.

The precipitation began falling overnight.  At 7:30 a.m., radar showed a line of precipitation over Interstate 84 from the Idaho-Oregon state line to an area east of Twin Falls. Slick roads are being blamed for several accidents and slide-offs in the region.

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The Two-Way
4:49 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Looking To Escape The Deep Freeze? Head To Alaska

A man walks across a bridge in Trenton, N.J., on Saturday. More cold weather is headed his way.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:38 am

The National Weather Service is warning, once again, that brutally cold weather is going to be spreading across much of the nation, from the upper Midwest down to the deep South and up through the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England.

The Weather Service even throws an exclamation point into its forecast for this week:

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Weather
10:06 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Avalanche Warning Issued For Sun Valley

Credit AlistarHoward / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials with the National Weather Service have issued an avalanche warning for central Idaho's Sun Valley region, warning that both natural and human-triggered avalanches are likely.

The Times-News reports the warning will remain in effect until further notice for the Sawtooth, western Smoky and Soldier Mountains as well as for alpine terrain near Galena Summit.

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