Thanks to late-season snow that fell at many area Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter.

snow, avalanche, sawtooth
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.

Bogus Basin, ski
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Next year’s Bogus Basin season passes went on sale this week. For skiers who buy before Monday, $229 will get them unlimited access to the ski mountain next season. Alan Moore, executive director of the non-profit attraction north of Boise, says prices are staying at the same level as this year.

The 2013-2014 season has been mixed, Moore says. Like many ski hills in Idaho, Bogus had pretty thin snow for a while.  But Moore says it’s also had a lot of sunny days that have drawn people out of the often hazy valley.  

Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.

If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.

"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.

yellowstone, winter, bison, snowcoach
Yellowstone NPS / Flickr Creative Commons

Yellowstone National Park is reopening for the winter.

Starting Sunday, the north, west and south entrances to the park will be open commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches.

The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room and gift shop will open for the season on Dec. 20 and the park's east entrance over Sylvan Pass is set to open Dec. 22.

Amy Goodman / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Weather Service in Boise has issued a winter storm warning for the West Central and Boise Mountains through Saturday morning. Meteorologist Colin Baxter says snow levels will be greatest in elevations above 4,000 feet.

The storm is moving in quickly from the Alaskan Gulf. Wind is also an issue with this storm.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Kids everywhere will rejoice at this news: broccoli, cauliflower and most leafy greens like spinach and arugula are in short supply these days. Produce managers are struggling to keep their section stocked, and customers are seeing higher-than-normal prices.  A cold snap in Arizona's  Yuma desert is the culprit.

Sammy Duda is with Duda Farm Fresh Foods. He says a warm December meant crops grew too fast, flooding the market ahead of schedule. This created a void when January’s cold temperatures damaged leafy greens.

“This is  not just a West Coast issue,” Duda says.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A new winter storm system could bring up to five inches of snow overnight to the Treasure Valley. Stephen Parker with the National Weather Service in Boise says temperatures for this storm won't dip much below freezing in the Valley.

Jay Breidenbach / National Weather Service

Lately it seems like every morning in the Treasure Valley has been the same. Temperatures have been in the single digits. There’s frost on windshields, and people bundle up in big coats, hats and gloves. Clouds, fog and pollution hang low in the sky.

The National Weather Service says the valley hasn’t seen an inversion of this caliber since 1999.

Flood Watch Near Salmon In Effect After Frigid Temps

Jan 23, 2013
Andrew McFarlane / Flickr Creative Commons

Ice jams on the Salmon River are causing flooding concerns. The National Weather Service reports continued sub-zero temperatures in Lemhi County. The cold weather could mean the river will flood low-lying areas this week.    

David Evetts is with the U.S. Geological Survey in Idaho. He says there is one ice jam north and one south of Salmon. Evetts says it’s common for ice jams to form in the area, but flooding isn’t always the end result.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

On the opening day of Idaho's legislative session, people navigating around the capitol city are experiencing a winter wonderland. Fresh snow blankets Boise, making roads dangerous for the evening commute.

The National Weather Service in Boise has issued a winter weather advisory for much of southwest Idaho. The advisory will be in effect until 8:00 p.m.

Roger Phillips / Idaho Statesman

Early-season snow just barely dusts the peaks above Idaho's capital, but a battle inside a federal courtroom down in the valley could have big impacts on who gets to ride where on the white stuff.

On Wednesday, backcountry skiers will ask a judge to tell the U.S. Forest Service to initiate planning efforts meant to limit where snowmobiles can drive on public land.

His decision could eventually affect national forests across the nation.

Since 2005, the Forest Service has been creating travel plans for motorized wheeled vehicles.

But snowmobiles were exempted.

The Northwest is in for a drier than normal winter.  That's according to an updated long term forecast released Thursday by the National Weather Service.

Warm Winter Means Buggy Spring In Southern Idaho

Mar 29, 2012

Here come the bugs. It was a warm winter in the southern half of Idaho. That means insects are emerging earlier and will have longer breeding seasons.

Jonathan Ross is with Gemtek Pest Control in Boise. He says calls for service are up 40 percent this month over a year ago.

 “And if we look at the last 5 or 6 years it’s really higher than it’s been any of those years.” 

Ross says he’s already getting calls for ants in people’s homes. But he’s especially worried about a possible banner year for flying, stinging insects.