Early icing frosts valley
Snow is early, officials say
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
Dont wax your skis yet.
This weekends snows, though picturesque while combined with
yellowing fall foliage, were an abnormal event, according to National Weather Service
meteorologist Thomas Andretta, who works out of the weather services Pocatello
and winter collided as a smidgen of snow fell in the Sun Valley area this past weekend,
helping fall display her colors in the finest of fashions. Ski runs, though white for the
time being, may have to start from scratch yet again later this fall. Express photo
by Willy Cook
"The series of low pressure systems that we had a week or so
agoits a little early in the season," he said.
On Saturday morning, Wood River Valley residents awoke to a smidgen of new
snow on the valley floor, but the mountains stood out on what could be considered the
quintessential Sun Valley autumn day: dazzling sunshine, azure skies, green and gold
foliage and mountains smothered in white.
In Smiley Creek, at the southern end of the Sawtooth Valley, about four
inches blanketed the valley.
The same weather system covered parts of Colorado with more than a foot,
according to the National Weather Service. Andretta said the Tetons were hit hard, too.
metal sculpture called Wapiti, by Bellevue resident Larry Meyers, surrounded by snow, may
be a bit of an omen of the winter to come. This Western winter scene was photographed at
Smiley Creek, at the southern end of the Sawtooth Valley. Express photo by Willy Cook
The early snowstorm also socked Wyoming and western Nebraska. Heavy, wet
snow downed power lines and paralyzed travelers, the Weather Channel reported on its Web
Andretta said the long-term outlook for Idaho this fall and early winter
calls for normal precipitation and temperatures.
"There are no real departures from normal for anywhere in Idaho over
that time period," he said.
Washington and Oregon, Andretta said, should receive higher-than-normal
precipitation and lower-than-normal temperatures through January, and the Southwest should
receive lower-than-normal precipitation and higher-than-normal temperatures through the
same time period.
The last time measurable snows fell in the Wood River Valley in September,
according to Ketchum Ranger District records, was in 1978, when a storm dropped three
inches. But the subsequent winter was a poor one, receiving a total of 83 inches of snow.
On Friday and Saturday, the Ketchum Ranger District office on Sun Valley
Road recorded a trace of snow each day.