Coronavirus Update: A statewide stay-at-home order is in effect statewide in Idaho. All Idaho ski areas are closed for the season. Backcountry skiing/riding is discouraged statewide to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). See more details in announcements. Weather: A cold front blew through Idaho on Saturday afternoon/Sunday, dropping temperatures dramatically statewide, and bringing a frost warning for Monday morning in the valleys. Temperatures will be warming up during the week statewide, with mostly sunny and clear weather expected, except for a fast-moving storm front that will come through Tuesday night/Wednesday. There's only a slight chance of snow associated with the mid-week storm system as the mountain temperatures will be edging above freezing during the day Wednesday and some precipitation may come as a rain/snow mix. Sunshine is forecast to reappear Thursday and remain through Sunday, with warmer temperatures forecast each day.
Short Term Forecast
Snowpack, weather, and water experts gathered on Friday via video conference for the last Idaho Water Supply Committee meeting of the season. The meetings are sponsored by the Idaho Department of Water Resources.
Snowpack experts from the NRCS Snow Survey said mountain snowpack has been warming up and getting prime for melt, beginning the spring runoff season in mid-April. That will bring streamflow levels up as the temperatures warm up later this week.
In late March and early April, however, snowpack continued to build in Idaho statewide, and that brought mountain snow levels in the Big Wood and Big Lost River Basins up into the 70 percent range. That's good news for farmers, irrigators, anglers, and water sports enthusiasts in those areas. Elsewhere in Idaho, there's enough snowpack and reservoir storage to provide good runoff for summer recreation and agricultural activities. Snowpack levels are near or above 100 percent in most other basins.
We are in the mid-April time frame when Idaho's ski areas normally close for the season, and we also are at a point where the mountains are warming into a melting pattern for the foreseeable future. Therefore, this will be my last post for OpenSnow this winter season.
Please follow Governor Little's "Stay at Home" order issued statewide. The order calls on Idaho residents to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. More updates will be forthcoming from the governor's office in the coming week. Idahoans have been doing a good job following the stay-at-home order, and we are flattening the curve of new COVID-19 cases. But we must stay the course.
The Idaho Community Foundation, in partnership with United Ways of Idaho and the Idaho Nonprofit Center, has created a COVID-19 Response Fund for Idaho.
Backcountry skiing at Idaho ski areas is strongly discouraged.
Local community leaders and first responders request that people not to come to their mountain communities to chase powder. If you do want to get out and enjoy the new snow, please stay close to home and be extra responsible and cautious so that you’re safe and do not cause a burden to healthcare workers.
Have you been following "The Fifty"? It's a video project documenting a team doing 50 of the classic ski descents in North America. Here's a link to the program where they tackle McGown Peak in Idaho's Sawtooth Range.
Hope you all have a great spring/summer. Hopefully, the time will come soon when life returns to normal.
- Steve Stuebner
OpenSummit → Summer Weather Forecasts
As we begin to transition into hiking and biking season, check out OpenSummit, our summer service that provides precipitation, lightning, temperature, wind, and cloud cover forecasts for over 1,000 locations across the United States.
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