Snow and cold temperatures are on their way for the Camas Prairie and the region overall, as early as Tuesday evening. Lower elevation communities, such as Riggins, may see the first hard freeze of the season.
According to the National Weather Service Missoula office, breezy conditions today (Monday, Oct. 7) and Tuesday morning will give way to cold, snowy weather mid-week. This is an arctic front type of weather system, and it will bring very cold air to region.
For winter weather, the Camas Prairie will be the hardest hit Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Early Wednesday morning the winds will shift and come from the north setting up up-slope flow around Grangeville and the Camas Prairie. According to NWS, there could be a few hours of moderate to heavy snow during the Wednesday morning commute. The timing means that snow will be able to accumulate, even on roads. However, once the sun comes up the roads should melt off quickly.
Many mid and upper elevations of central Idaho have already had a hard freeze, but this is the first hard freeze of the season forecast to affect lower elevation populated areas such as Orofino and potentially Riggins. The hard freeze will occur Thursday and Friday mornings and may have negative impacts for sensitive plants and irrigation systems.
NWS forecasts morning lows by Thursday, Oct. 10, to be 21 degrees in Grangeville, 19 at the White Bird Summit, 26 in Riggins, 23 in Lowell, 14 at Elk City, 12 at Dixie, and 11 at Lolo Pass.