Winter storm set to hit Friday

The region will receive a taste of the winter to come this season starting this Friday with a forecasted winter storm expected to bring record cold, along with mountain snow and high winds. City crews aren’t likely to be plowing streets in the coming days (such as pictured here in Grangeville last year), but mountain passes may be difficult to traverse due to expected snow fall.

MISSOULA – “Cold and snow are probably the biggest impacts,” said Trent Smith, National Weather Service (NWS) office in Missoula, regarding a strong winter weather event headed into the region starting this Friday, Sept. 27.

According to a Sept. 24 NWS briefing, this system will impact the northern Rockies late Friday and through the weekend, with forecasters expecting record temperatures, substantial mountain snow and damaging winds.

For this Sunday and into Monday, North Central Idaho may expect highs in the 40s and 50s, and lows in the 20s and 30s.

“Temperatures may cause significant impacts to agriculture in the region and to gardeners,” Smith said, “even into the low valleys of Idaho, we’ll definitely see temperatures near the freezing mark by Monday and Tuesday morning.”

The system will have a significant amount of moisture associated with it, causing large amounts of snow, especially along the Continental Divide, anywhere between 2 to 3 feet. Due to this, travel over the passes, predominantly in Montana, are expected to be difficult.

With the leaves still on the trees, Smith said the region could be looking at significant damage from falling limbs onto electrical infrastructure. Strong winds are expected by Friday night into Saturday, which could also impact trees and, again, electrical infrastructure.

“For outdoor recreation, especially hunting,” Smith emphasized, “if you’re not prepared for these conditions, it could become a life-threatening event.”

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