First of 3 snowstorms in next 7 days expected to hit Boise on Saturday

How to drive safely in the snow without driving yourself crazy

With snow in the forecast, here are some tips to get you ready for driving in wintry weather.
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With snow in the forecast, here are some tips to get you ready for driving in wintry weather.

Treasure Valley residents might see some snowflakes Friday night, but it’s more likely the snow will arrive in the Boise area Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

“There could be some snow showers overnight, but it’s probably going to be around sunrise,” meteorologist Josh Smith said.

This is going to be the first of several storms over the next week — and temperatures aren’t expected to rise above freezing much, if at all. You might want to find your snow shovel. For Boise, Sunday is likely to have more snow than Saturday.

“Sunday is when the cold front comes through,” Smith said. “We’re seeing a pretty decent amount of precipitation with it.”

The snow this weekend will be light and fluffy — not the kind of snow that’s easy to roll into snowballs or snowmen, forecasters say.

Our friends to the west are a little freaked out by this storm, which has been named Winter Storm Maya. Portlanders have created a hashtag on Twitter: #PDXSnowpocalypse2019

How much snow will we get?

The storm, expected to bring “significant” amounts of snow to eastern Oregon and west-central Idaho, was over Vancouver, British Columbia, at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

“It’s snowing right now in Vancouver and Seattle,” Smith said.

Here are the latest snowfall estimates for this weekend:

  • Boise metro area: 2 to 4 inches
  • Foothills: 3 to 6 inches
  • Bogus Basin: 15 to 20 inches
  • Idaho City: 6 to 9 inches
  • McCall: 9 to 12 inches
  • Owyhee mountains: 12 to 18 inches

Snow may fall nearly continuously in the west-central Idaho mountains this weekend but it is expected to be irregular in the Treasure Valley, with some breaks and intense showers, Smith said.

“There’s going to be some good snow showers that could do a 1-inch [per hour] rate,” Smith said.

The Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for west-central Idaho and eastern Oregon — and that means a “significant weather event, including snow, ice sleet or blowing snow, or a combination.” The area impacted is: north of the Treasure Valley to Stanley and McCall, east to Fairfield, and west to Baker City and Unity, Oregon.

The Weiser River basin, west-central Idaho Mountains and Baker County, Oregon, mountains have the highest chance of heavy snow, forecasters say. They urge travelers to be prepared for winter driving conditions.

Ada County Highway District prepares for snow

The Ada County Highway District is ready for the storm.

“Our crews have been out today pre-treating roadways with magnesium chloride, an anti-ice agent that helps prevent a bond from forming between the ice and the roadway,” Nicole DuBois, spokeswoman for ACHD, said Friday. “Once the snow begins, we will send out additional crews to treat the roadway as needed with sand, salt, magnesium chloride, and plowing.”

DuBois said 28 people are scheduled to be on-call, and other crew members will be called as needed.

There will be a short reprieve on Monday after the weekend storm exits, but another one is expected to hit Monday night. That one will last into Wednesday.

The second storm might draw in some moisture from the tropics, Smith said. He expects temperatures to stay at or below freezing, so precipitation associated with that storm is expected to be snow.

“At this point, we don’t have any amounts,” Smith said. That storm will be around until Thursday, and another storm may be rolling through as early as Thursday night.

Boise got about half of the snow it typically gets between Oct. 1 and Feb. 1, and January was warmer than normal. That spring-like weather is about to disappear.

“It’s going to feel like winter for at least the next seven days,” Smith said.

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Katy Moeller has worked at The Idaho Statesman for 13 years. She’s a generalist, an investigative reporter and a feature writer who has been on the breaking news team for a decade. She was Idaho Press Club’s 2016 Print Reporter of the Year.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.