Summer snowstorm to hit parts of East Idaho, could get up to 8 inches of snow

Summer snowstorm to hit parts of East Idaho, could get up to 8 inches of snow

(Salmon-Challis National Forest, Twitter)

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SALMON, Lemhi County — It's mid-September and still summer but snow is in the forecast Friday night through Saturday morning in parts of East Idaho.

Lemhi County's higher elevations could see up to 8 inches of snow while up to 2 inches could fall in the county's lowlands, the National Weather Service reported. All of Lemhi County, including the city of Salmon, is under a winter storm warning because of the expected summer snowstorm, the Idaho State Journal reported.

The mountainous Island Park area could receive up to 2 inches of snow, while the central Idaho mountains could see 2 to 4 inches, according to the weather service.

Most of East Idaho won't see any flakes Friday night through Saturday morning — just morning frost on lawns and a continuation of the rain that began Thursday evening and is expected to keep falling through much of Saturday before conditions clear on Sunday.

Sunday is expected to be sunny and warm in East Idaho but the weather service says another storm is forecast to arrive Monday.

The weather service said that although it might seem unusual to see snow in the forecast anywhere in East Idaho this time of year, snow in September in the region is not a rare occurrence.

The storm that's forecast to arrive Monday could bring more mountain snow to East Idaho both Monday and Tuesday. No storm warnings have yet been issued about that weather system but those can be expected if the forecast holds.

Both storms are forecast to bring colder than normal temperatures to East Idaho. Daytime highs Friday and Saturday and Monday and Tuesday are expected to be in the 50s and 60s while nighttime lows will be in the 30s. Daytime and nighttime temps in East Idaho's mountain areas could be even colder.

Temperatures are expected to be cold enough even in East Idaho's lower elevations to create some morning frost.

Elsewhere, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect in much of western Wyoming and central Montana, with well over a foot of snow in the forecast in some of those areas for Friday morning through Saturday morning. Snow is also in the forecast in Utah and a hazardous weather alert has been issued there.

The late summer snow might make some people think the upcoming winter could be something similar to the winter of 2016-17, which was the second snowiest on record in the Pocatello area.

But the weather service said its long-range forecast at present has East Idaho experiencing an average winter in terms of precipitation with warmer than normal temperatures.

This forecast contradicts the Old Farmer's Almanac, which says the coming winter in Idaho will be "cold" and "snowy."

The Idaho Statesman wrote a story about the book's predictions for the winter of 2017-18 in the Intermountain West including East Idaho. The Statesman reported, "The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that the Intermoutain region of the United States 'will be colder than normal, especially in the south' and that there will be 'above average snowfall.'"

Time will tell whether the weather service or almanac get it right.

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