Friday, November 30, 2012

Ullr expected to smile on Baldy

Significant snow expected this weekend

Express Staff Writer

Clouds cloak Bald Mountain on Thursday morning. These clouds brought only a dusting of snow to the mountain on Thursday but more is set to arrive Friday and into the weekend. Photo by David N. Seelig

Sun Valley Resort opened its 77th ski season over Thanksgiving weekend, but the skiing and snowboarding could get much better if an expected storm brings several feet of snow to Bald Mountain starting today.

The National Weather Service in Pocatello has issued a winter storm warning starting at 5 a.m. Friday and ending at 5 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3. The warning applies to the Wood River Valley, the Upper Snake River highlands and much of the Sawtooth Mountains, including Galena Summit north of Ketchum.

Snow accumulation forecasts vary with elevation. However, the storm warning states that up to 9 inches is expected Friday, up to 9 inches Saturday and up to 12 inches Sunday in the Ketchum area.

Original storm watches indicated that the snow level for this storm would be at 7,000 feet, due to a warm front bringing in a low-pressure system and resulting precipitation. Highs for the Wood River Valley are expected to be in the low 40s all weekend.

A more detailed report from the Weather Service states that as of Thursday morning the snow level for this weekend’s storm is expected to begin at 6,000 feet Friday, rise to 7,000 feet Saturday and then drop to 6,000 feet—and potentially the valley floor—on Sunday afternoon.

That could bring to the top of Bald Mountain anywhere from 23 to 42 inches of fresh powder by Monday morning, in addition to the 3 inches that were expected to fall Thursday night. Much of the mountains north of Ketchum could get up to 4 feet by Sunday night, forecasters predict.

The southern part of the Wood River Valley is not expected to experience any snow accumulation over the weekend. Highs are expected to reach the mid-40s and nighttime lows are not expected to drop below freezing in Bellevue. 

However, the National Weather Service reports that flooding could occur in areas below the snow line where the ground has already frozen.

For up-to-date information, check

Kate Wutz:


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