Northwest may see wet winter

After last year’s lack of precipitation, forecasters say Idaho may see normal cold and snowfall.

STATESMAN STAFFOctober 12, 2013 

How you feel about that depends on what winter means to you.

Can’t wait to carve up a mountainside? You may be in luck.

But drivers with vehicles that have trouble in wet weather should consider preparing for the season.

DO YOU SKI OR SNOWBOARD?

Increasing water temperatures in the northeastern Pacific Ocean are behind the regional forecast.

AccuWeather predicts frequent precipitation, in the form of rain and snow, for the Northwest and the northern Rocky Mountains.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center expects normal or near-normal temperatures for most of Idaho during the first half of winter.

AccuWeather pegs its forecast of a wet winter on the likelihood of a jet stream that will track farther south and “bring moisture in multiple-week periods throughout the winter season.” That could mean much-needed drought relief for the western U.S.

Sun Valley, with a projected 2013-14 season opening on Nov. 21, typically receives about 220 inches of snow each winter. Brundage Mountain Resort is slated for a Thanksgiving opening. It receives about 320 inches of snow each winter.

Closer to home, Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area also hopes for a late-November opening and more than 200 inches of natural snowfall over the course of the season.

GETTING THERE: PREPARE YOUR CAR

Icy roads and dropping temperatures can leave many Idaho drivers in a bind — or in a ditch.

AAA this week urged motorists to get their vehicles inspected for little problems that can turn into bigger ones when cold weather sets in.

During October, AAA offers free inspections for both members and non-members. Drivers can take their cars to any approved facility for the check, which can identify worn belts and tires or a dying battery.

A list of shops offering the free inspections is available in the automotive services section of www.AAA.com.

CHILLY TEMPERATURES HERE TO STAY IN THE VALLEY

And they could bring showers with them this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologists predicted a 20 percent chance of showers Saturday afternoon through Sunday, down slightly from an earlier forecast. Saturday’s high of 62 will drop Sunday to a high of 59.

Sunday night should be clear and cold, and the chillier temperatures appear to be here to stay. Monday and Tuesday will bring highs near 60, but temperatures are slated to drop into the 30s at night.

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