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Forecast Discussion for Boise, ID

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FXUS65 KBOI 261632

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Boise ID
932 AM MST Mon Feb 26 2024

.DISCUSSION...Cold front and associated rain and snow now coming
into our CWA, and hi-res models continue to depict formation of
a WSW-ENE-oriented squall-line from noon through this afternoon.
At noon the models show the line extending from near Salmon
through Boise to south of Burns/OR, shifting southward through
the afternoon. By 4 PM MST it extends across the Magic Valley-
Owyhee County-OR/NV border, and this evening across southern
Owyhee and Twin Falls Counties, where a Winter Weather Advisory
remains in effect. The most impactful weather should be with
the squall line, including heavy rain changing to heavy snow
along with strong wind gusts and even a brief thunderstorm, but
all lasting no more than about an hour. Snow accumulation
should be minimal (less than 1/2 inch) in the Snake Basin,
but visibility may be severely reduced for a short time.
Behind the line skies will partially clear, with breezy
northwest winds continuing into this evening. Current forecast
looks good on current Winter Weather Advisories and Wind
Advisories. No updates, but we will continue to monitor
development and progress of the expected squall line.


.AVIATION...Widespread MVFR to LIFR conditions along and ahead
of a strong cold front today. Through 18Z over eastern Oregon,
18-22Z for SW Idaho, and 21-01Z for south central Idaho.
Mountains becoming obscured as showers lower ceilings, with
visibility reductions possible in brief moderate precip and in
snow showers. Snow levels 4000-5000 ft MSL initially, dropping
to valley floors after 18Z. Some LLWS concern exists ahead of
the front, mostly in sheltered/valley areas such as the Treasure
Valley and KBNO. The sharp wind shift from SW to NW associated
with the front will end the LLWS concern.

Surface winds: Generally SW-S 15-25 kt, with gusts to 25-30 kts,
switching to NW after 18z. Winds aloft at 10k ft MSL: WSW 40-60


SHORT TERM...Today through Wednesday night...A fast-moving and
dynamic storm system will roll through the region today. Rain
and snow started across the mountains overnight, and will
increase in coverage and intensity with the passage of a sharp
cold front. The front is on track to reach Baker County around
6AM PST, passing Burns Oregon and McCall around 9AM MST, then
advancing through the lower Snake Plain between 10AM and 1PM
MST, before reaching the western Magic Valley between 2-4PM.
Temperatures and snow levels will quickly fall with the frontal
passage, which means high temperatures for some sites will come
this morning.

Snow in the mountains will lower to mountain valley floors
early this morning. The heaviest snowfall rates will focus along
the front and totals of 3-8 inches in the valleys and 6-12
inches above valley floors is expected. At lower elevations a
changeover from rain to snow is likely with the frontal passage.
The potential for brief heavy snowfall exists along the front
this afternoon as instability increases with daytime heating.
However, given the speed of the front and sharp back edge in
precipitation, the change to snow won`t last long. In the Snake
Plain, the best chance for rain to snow will be from roughly the
Caldwell area and points east. While the changeover to large
wet flakes could look impressive and be heavy for a brief bit,
accumulation will be hard to come by as temperatures will remain
above freezing. Any minor accumulation would be limited to
colder surfaces. The bigger impact for those traveling would be
a quick and drastic reduction in visibility. A lightning strike
or two is also possible along the front this afternoon.

Gusty winds of 45 to 55 mph will precede the front across
higher terrain of SE Oregon and SW Idaho, to include the Snake
Plain east of Mountain Home. The lower Snake Plain  will see
the strongest winds with the frontal passage, which could bring
gusts up to 40 mph.

Showers taper off this evening, leaving most valley sites dry
overnight while mountains keep scattered snow showers. Tuesday
is cold and breezy with shower development focused in the
mountains and isolated showers in the valleys. The cold
temperatures and gusty winds will keep windchill values below
freezing through the day for most sites. Wednesday will bring a
return of westerly flow off the Pacific which will moderate
temperatures and introduce another round of snow to the
mountains. Snow levels will rise to 4500-5500 feet and light to
moderate snow accumulation is expected through Wednesday night.
Temperatures bottom out around 10 degrees below normal Tuesday,
warming back to near normal on Wednesday.

LONG TERM...Thursday through Monday...Strong and warm southwest
flow aloft will result in very strong surface winds for southeast
Oregon and the terrain of southwest Idaho Thursday ahead of a
powerful upper trough. Ensemble guidance predicts mid-level wind
magnitudes will reach above the 99th percentile (high end
compared to climatology). Meanwhile, snow will remain prominent
over central Idaho associated with favorable moist, upslope
flow, with snow levels approaching 5000-6000 feet MSL. A
vigorous cold front is forecast to arrive late Thursday night
into Friday, spreading precipitation (60-90% chance) across
southeast Oregon and southwest Idaho. Snow levels will abruptly
lower to 2500-4500 feet MSL by Friday along and behind the
front. Winds will decrease but continue to be breezy through
Saturday, with showers persisting across the area. Snow totals
over the mountains could become substantial due to the prolonged
duration of moisture with this system. Meanwhile, the best
opportunity for snow levels to reach valley floors will be
Friday night through the weekend. A colder, and somewhat drier,
air mass will dominate late Saturday and into Monday, resulting
in decreasing chances for precipitation (20-50%) across the
area. Temperatures will lower each day by several degrees
through the extended, with the biggest temperature drop
occurring between Thursday and Friday.


ID...Winter Weather Advisory until 5 PM MST this afternoon
     Wind Advisory until 5 PM MST this afternoon IDZ015-016-029-030.
     Winter Weather Advisory from 5 PM this afternoon to 11 PM MST
     this evening IDZ015-030.
OR...Wind Advisory until 5 PM MST /4 PM PST/ this afternoon




Previous Forecast Discussions may be found at
NWS Boise, ID (BOI) Office Forecast Discussions.
(Click 'Previous Version' there to view past versions successively.
Some may differ only in time posted.)

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