As early as this evening (Sunday, Jan. 2) winds will pick up across the Camas Prairie into a winter storm event that may cause closed roads due to drifting snow and blizzard-like conditions, according to the National Weather Service Missoula office.
For students returning to school following the Christmas break, monitor district social media for possible delays or closures. Updates on road conditions and closures are also available through the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and Idaho Transportation Department 511 website.
“There is a blowing snow, high-wind potential for the Camas Prairie and around Grangeville on Monday,” reports NWS forecaster Travis Booth.
Starting later this Sunday afternoon and into the evening, forecasters are expecting 30- to 40-mph gusts from the White Bird Grade toward Grangeville, and west on U.S. 95, with blowing, drifting snow concerns.
“Around 3 to 4 a.m. local time, winds are expected to pick up,” Booth said, “and there’s a fairly good possibility of 50- to 60-mph winds across the area. The concerns here are with blowing, drifting snow closing roads, and blizzard-like conditions.”
Probability is about 70 percent for wind gusts greater than 55 mph for Grangeville, “and even higher further to the southwest,” said Booth, in the early morning hours Monday, and lasting into that afternoon. Probability is about 60 percent for gusts greater than 64 mph on Monday.
With this, NWS has concern that periods of blizzard conditions with visibility down to a quarter-mile or less are possible in blowing snow.
“Definitely, some major impacts there,” Booth said.
With this, a cold front will pass through the region Monday and early Tuesday, bringing widespread light snow. NWS forecasters look for Monday through Wednesday snow totals of 2- to 5 inches across the lower elevations of North Central Idaho. Grangeville looks to pick up 1 to 2 inches of snow the later part of Monday and Monday night, with further snow events into the week.