Intense snowstorm, record-breaking rainfall hit East Idaho, US

Intense snowstorm, record-breaking rainfall hit East Idaho, US

An intense storm hit East Idaho between October 16 and 17, 2016. Record-breaking rainfall and snowfall lashed the region and downed trees. Power outages were reported across the affected areas.

Over a foot (30 cm) of snow was recorded near Emigrant Summit, northeast of Preston, according to Mike Huston, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office in Pocatello.

At the same time, between 17.8 and 30.5 cm (7 and 12 inches) of snow was observed at the heights above 1 981 m (6 500 feet) across the regions of Logan, Utah to Afton, Wyoming, while 25.4 cm (10 inches) was reported near Montpelier.

Downed trees and power outages were reported in the Bear Lake County. 1 649 customers experienced power loss in Bear Lake West, Fish Haven, Paris, and St. Charles on October 17 while 145 customers reported power outages near Soda Springs, 51 in Lewisville, and 83 in Lava Hot Springs, according to the Rocky Mountain Power officials.

The storm also brought heavy rainfall to lower elevations. About 12.9 mm (0.51 inches) of rain was recorded in Pocatello on October 16, a value which set a new daily record, breaking the previous one of 11.9 mm (0.47 inches) from 1971.

A new record was also set in Burley, where 19.5 mm (0.77 inches) of precipitation was observed, breaking an old 2012 record of 7.8 mm (0.31 inches).

According to meteorologists, another Pacific storm was expected to move across the area during October 17, and continue lashing the Central Idaho Mountains with between 10 and 20 cm (4 and 8 inches) of snow into October 18. Strong winds and rainstorms were also expected in the Snake River Plain.

Weather forecast for October 18, 2016. Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/WPC

Weather forecast for October 18, 2016. Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/WPC

Weather forecast for October 19, 2016. Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/WPC

Weather forecast for October 19, 2016. Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/WPC

Weather forecast for October 20, 2016. Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/WPC

Weather forecast for October 20, 2016. Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/WPC

The weather will likely improve later in the week, and temperatures will pick up, reaching from 15.5 °C (60 °F) above in the regions of Blackfoot, Pocatello, Preston, Malad, American Falls and Idaho Falls. The temperatures from 10°C (50°F) are expected in Montpelier and Soda Springs.

Featured image: Garden Valley, Idaho - October 17, 2016. Credit: Jillian Sandford / Weather Nation

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