Boise & Garden City

Boise will be hit by arctic blast Friday, keeping temperatures frigid all weekend

Wednesday’s snowfall provides a wintry setting for the nativity scene in front of Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.
Wednesday’s snowfall provides a wintry setting for the nativity scene in front of Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. npoppino@idahostatesman.com

Get ready for what may be the coldest night of the year — with weekend highs in the teens and 20s, according to National Weather Service forecasters.

Boise’s low to-date was recorded Jan. 2, when temperatures dropped to 4. It may get colder than that on Sunday, forecasters say.

“It’s an Arctic air mass that’s coming south — most of it is going east of the Continental Divide, but part of it will be on our side,” said Les Colin, senior forecaster for the National Weather Service in Boise. “It’s only a couple of days, and then it will moderate. East of the divide, it will be much colder than this. We’re on the fringe.”

More than 1.5 inches of snow fell in Boise by 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Boise. Another half-inch fell after midnight as the snow transitioned to rain. The west side of the Valley from Meridian to Ontario had received up to 4 inches of snow, and another 1 to 2 inches was expected on the west side of the Valley.

As of Thursday morning, several Treasure Valley schools announced closures.

Thursday will be warmer — with a high of about 40 — and it’s likely to be rainy much of the day, starting in the late morning, meteorologist Dave Groenert said.

Friday afternoon will get windy and cold, with snow showers possible (mostly in the mountains). No accumulation is expected.

Avoid frozen pipes

Suez officials say they haven’t yet had any customers with frozen pipe issues this season. To prepare for this weekend’s deep freeze, they recommend customers keep garage doors closed and disconnect all hoses from outside faucets. If a customer experiences no water coming out of a faucet, they should call Suez at 208-362-7304 or after hours, 208-362-1300.

Day shelter extends hours, distributes donated clothes

Due to the cold this week, the Boise day shelter Corpus Christi House is staying open a little later — until 5 p.m. — to help people stay warm. At 5 p.m. dinner is served at the nearby River of Life shelter, and Interfaith Sanctuary opens at 6 p.m.

Corpus Christi House normally closes from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. for cleaning. But on days when it’s snowing, like it did Wednesday, it will stay open those hours.

The day shelter accepts and distributes donated clothes. It is in most need of warm men’s coats, hats, gloves and hand warmers. Drop off at 525 S. Americana Boulevard. Those who’d prefer to donate money may do so through the online fundraiser Avenues of Hope at http://www.corpuschristiboise.org/

Homeless shelters reach out, ready to help more

Staff at Interfaith Sanctuary say extra efforts to bring homeless people in from the cold have paid off in recent days. Ten people who had resisted staying at local shelters for various reasons are now staying at Sanctuary, said Jodi Peterson, co-director of the shelter.

Peterson expects the shelter to fill up enough this week that staff will have to use overflow space.

“No one will be turned out in the street. We will find other options if necessary,” she said.

Jacob Lang, director of Boise Rescue Mission’s River of Life men’s shelter, said the shelter always has more guests during the winter months but plenty of beds are available. Employees have been distributing donated jackets, gloves, extra socks and beanies.

Lang said River of Life’s dining room is open all day on frigid days, like what’s ahead this weekend. Employees provide water containers there and remind guests to stay hydrated when it’s cold.

Donate clothing and food to Boise Rescue Mission Ministries Ministry Center, 308 S. 24th St (or arrange pickup by calling 208-343-2389) and Interfaith Sanctuary, 1620 W. River Street. Make monetary donations online at boiserm.org and interfaithsanctuary.org.

Protect your pets from cold, poison and other dangers

Allison Maier, spokeswoman for the Idaho Humane Society, offers these tips to help you keep your pets safe:

▪  Pets are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia if they are left outside for long periods of time when temperatures are below freezing. Short-haired dogs may need coats or sweaters.

▪  Leaving an animal in a car in cold weather is just as dangerous as doing so in hot weather. Temperatures inside a car can quickly become life-threateningly cold for pets.

▪  Deicing chemicals can be toxic to pets. Wash your dog’s feet, legs and underside after walks — and make sure he or she doesn’t try to lick the chemicals.

▪  Antifreeze tastes sweet to pets but is poisonous if consumed. Keep it stored out of your pet’s reach and make sure to clean up spills quickly. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingests any.

▪  Cats often seek warmth next to a car engine. If you park outdoors, check underneath your car and slap your hood before starting the engine.

▪  Lost animals sometimes have a harder time navigating in winter because snow and ice can hide scents that could help them find their way home. Make sure your pet has a collar, ID tag and up-to-date microchip.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

Projected weekend highs & lows

Temperatures forecast as of Thursday morning.

Saturday: High 16, low 2

Sunday: High 20, low 7

Monday: High 25, low 12

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