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Snow in the Treasure Valley Friday: When, where, and how much?

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Out with the inversion...and in with: snow?! The short answer: Most likely, yes.

The inversion that has kept low clouds and frigid temperatures trapped near the valley floor will finally get swept out on Friday, leading to an inversion-free weekend in southern Idaho. Yes, that means we will get to see the sun! | Full forecast

But...

Before that can happen, a storm system of some sort (and wind) will have to swing through in order to mix up the atmosphere enough to get the inversion out. In this particular scenario, a cold front is going to steer through our area tonight, bringing a quick burst of precipitation with it.

Let it snow!

Because it has been so cold in the Treasure Valley and surrounding areas (and because temperatures won't get above freezing today or tonight), precipitation will fall mainly as snow, and it has the potential to stick. There is the potential for some pockets of rain or a wintry mix, but snow will be the main feature of tonight's storm.

This will be a fast-moving front, meaning it won't be a massive storm, and amounts should be relatively light (although roads could get icy or slick).

When is it going to snow?

Timing depends on where you live. Snow will start falling first in our mountains to the north of the valley (up toward McCall, for example), sometime in the early evening. Ontario and parts of the Weiser Basin could also see snow beginning at or around the dinner hour.

From there, the snow will sink south, impacting the Treasure Valley sometime mid-late evening. Know that the timing could change a bit as our storm inches closer, but if you plan to be out and about later this evening, know that snow could be falling and that roads could get slick, icy or snow-covered.

Snow should shut off by Saturday morning, leaving behind clearing skies and sunshine. A few flurries are possible in our mountains near McCall early Saturday. Otherwise, plan for windy conditions with mostly sunny skies to kick-off the weekend.

How MUCH snow?!

When we talk about snow accumulation, meteorologists look to several different computer models for some hints at what might be coming our way.

This image below is just one of those several models, but I saw a lot of consistency among all of them, which is usually a good indication of confidence. Check out some of the expected snow totals:

Big idea here: This is not going to be a massive, powerful storm that dumps feet of fresh snow on our mountains, or several inches in the valley locations. I'm thinking most areas across the Treasure Valley and Snake River Plain will see around one inch of snow (give or take obviously, depending on your exact location), and the mountains will see anywhere from one to three inches of fresh powder.

Hopefully, the ski areas can manage to squeeze out a few inches (or maybe more), but it looks like we'll have to keep our eyes on a storm setting up for the middle of next week before we start talking about more mountain snowfall.

By Saturday, skies will be mostly sunny, but it will be windy behind our cold front. Winds will be strongest from Mountain Home into the Magic Valley.

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