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HOW much snow?! Thursday's storm delivers in a big way for many Idaho ski areas

Courtesy: Sun Valley Prism Cam

In case you're not one of those people (like myself) who religiously checks in on the snow stake cameras and web links at our local ski areas every time it snows, (or potentially could snow), don't worry: I'm here to help! We're waking to fresh snow in Idaho's mountains!

Whether or not you ski, (and yes, even if this whole 'winter' thing isn't your cup of tea), the reality is that our mountains have been hurting for more snow this winter. Many SNOTEL sites in Idaho (where snowpack is measured) were reporting near-record low or record low values for early January just a few days ago. Thursday's storm though, helped give our mountains a big boost (although we still need more if we want to be "sitting pretty" compared to our average snowfall for this time of year).

Here's a look at what's called a snowfall analysis of how much snow fell in certain areas across the state in the last 24 hours.

Key:

  • Light blue shades: 1-2" of snow
  • Darker blues: 3-4"
  • Light yellow: ~6"
  • Medium (mustard yellow): ~8-10"
  • Orange: 10-16"
  • Red shades: 14-18"

The map suggests that our hardest-hit spots saw up to 18" of snow in the last 24 hours, while many of our ski areas saw between 8-14".

This was a good storm, and one that should help make for a great long weekend on the slopes. Here's how our local ski resorts fared!

THIS is the type of weather pattern we want to see carrying over into next week. Replay, please (at least for the mountains)! In the short-term, we'll take a drier turn as a ridge of high pressure builds in through early next week. That could mean a weak valley inversion, with sunshine and mild temperatures in the mountains. Thankfully, computer models suggest there is a series of storms lined up in the Pacific Ocean that could impact the western United States next week and into the weekend. The hope? That at least some of them will bring more significant snow to the higher elevations.

Personally, I'm keeping my eye on Thursday and beyond for more potent storms, but our next chance for showers in the valley comes Tuesday. At this point, I think temperatures in the lower valleys will stay stuck in the 40's, meaning it will be too warm for any accumulating snow. I'll watch to see if this could potentially change Thursday into Friday with that second storm.

Keep the (mountain) snow dances coming...I think they're working! Enjoy your long weekend (and the fresh snow to go along with it).


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