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Some mountain snow Friday, but then what? Idaho may ring in 2018 with another dry spell

Bare hillsides surround Sun Valley, Idaho in late December (KBOI PHOTO)

I usually struggle with New Year's resolutions, but something quickly came to mind this week while looking at the forecast. My resolution is to do everything in my non-existent power to bring more snowfall to the mountains as we enter into 2018!

I'm not asking for snowmaggedon round two (see: 2016), but the snowpack numbers released Thursday suggest that our state's mountains could use some more snow (especially the ones here in south and western Idaho).

This graphic shows how our different basins are stacking up to 'median' snowfall for this time of year. For example, the Boise Basin is sitting at 68 percent of its 'normal' amount of snow for this time of year.

This picture tells me that our mountains in central and northern Idaho are in pretty good shape. The Spokane and Northern Panhandle Region basins could use a bit more snow, but our storm track has been favoring those areas in recent weeks. Some of the basins in eastern Idaho are also doing well. It's the basins in our forecast area (Weiser, Payette, Boise, Big Wood, Little Wood, Owyhee, Bruneau) that could use some help from Mother Nature right about now.

The forecast

The West Central and Boise mountains could get some snow out of Friday and Saturday's storm (2-4" in general, with hardest hit spots seeing possibly up to 10"), but this isn't going to be a game-changing storm by any means. Meanwhile, Sun Valley and Bogus look to see little if any snow out of this weekend's storm. And, after Saturday morning, things turn quiet turning into 2018.

Oh, and fter Saturday morning, things turn quiet moving into 2018, both for the mountains and the Treasure Valley.

Kicking off 2018 with...an inversion?

It looks like this could become the likely scenario. Unless we mix things up enough with a cold front and some showers (or a wintry mix in the Treasure Valley) late Friday into early Saturday morning, our inversion will likely hold in place. Then, next week we'll be dealing with another ridge of high pressure in the western region which will trap stagnant, cold air near the valley floor.

The likely outcome: our little inversion will continue to strengthen.

After that, it's hard to be certain. Computer models hint at different patterns developing at different times, so we'll have to cross our fingers that our door for storms opens back up sometime in the second week of 2018 if not sooner. Our mountains need it!

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