A storm that spanned from Sunday night into Monday morning dumped several inches of snow on Eastern Idaho from Blackfoot to the north, triggering several road and school closures.
Though the Pocatello area received only a trace of snow from the storm system, officials with the National Weather Service predicted Southeast Idaho would be harder hit by another storm spanning from Monday night to 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory that encompasses the Pocatello area, warning of a “blowing and drifting hazard.”
The weather service cautioned about possible accumulations of 1 to 3 inches, paired with wind gusts of up to 35 mph, in the advisory area. It includes the cities of Pocatello, Blackfoot, American Falls, Shelley, Fort Hall, Burley, Rupert, Heyburn, Oakley, Mud Lake, Carey, Richfield, Shoshone, the Idaho National Laboratory and Craters of the Moon National Monument.
“The storm will intensify during the day Tuesday, then slacken again during the late afternoon,” the advisory reads. “Drivers should be prepared for temporary road closures and poor driving conditions. Avoid travel if at all possible, and be prepared to spend extended periods of time in your vehicle.”
The weather service issued a winter storm warning based on more severe weather predicted from south of Soda Springs to north of Island Park. Cities within the warning area include Emigration Summit, Grace, Soda Springs, Henry, Bone, Wayan, Swan Valley, Victor, Ashton, Tetonia, Driggs, Island Park and Kilgore.
Snow accumulations of 4 to 9 inches were predicted in the storm-warning area, with ridge tops expected to receive 5 to 16 inches.
Furthermore, the Wyoming Department of Transportation scheduled a closure of Teton Pass to start at 3 a.m. on Tuesday for avalanche mitigation.
Following the storm that started Sunday night, most schools from Blackfoot and to the north were closed Monday morning.
Due to strong winds creating snow drifts and poor visibility, the Idaho Transportation Department temporarily closed several roads Monday morning: U.S. 26 from Ririe to Idaho 31 in Swan Valley, Idaho 32 from Ashton to Tetonia, Idaho 33 from Newdale to Idaho 32 in Tetonia, Idaho 47 from Ashton to Bear Gulch, Idaho 87 from the U.S. 20 intersection to the Montana state line, U.S. 20 from Ashton to the Montana state line and Interstate 15 from Idaho Falls to Roberts and from Dubois to the Montana state line.
“ITD will be plowing around the clock until the roadways are clear and safe to open,” the agency said in a press release.
At the Pocatello Regional Airport, the weather service reported just 0.3 inches fell Monday morning, with the precipitation ending by 3 a.m. Idaho State Police reported a multi-vehicle crash at 3:20 a.m. that temporarily blocked both lanes of northbound I-15 north of Chubbuck. No injuries were reported.
The Sunday night and Monday morning storm helped pad a growing snow base at Pebble Creek Ski Area in Inkom. As of Monday morning, the ski area reported having 25 inches of snow near the lodge, with 2 inches of new accumulation from the storm, and a 45-inch base at the top, with 4 inches of new snow.
The forecast in the Pocatello area called for 1 to 2 inches of snow Monday night, with a 70 percent chance of snow Tuesday and up to another inch of accumulation possible. The forecast included a 20 percent chance of snow on both Tuesday night and Wednesday night, followed by a 30 percent chance of snow, with less than a half-inch of accumulation possible, on Thursday and a 60 percent chance of snow Thursday night.