Saturday, December 7, 2013

Winter Wonderland? Not So Much. Below-Zero Temps in the Forecast

Posted By on Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Following a series of sub-freezing punches to the gut, the Treasure Valley was hit with an uppercut of snow overnight, coating the region's thoroughfares and triggering a frantic search for shovels, ice scrapers and snow tires.

A winter weather advisory remained in effect through the morning as the National Weather Service office in Boise reported an upper level low pressure system pushed snow across Eastern Idaho and Southern Idaho. Westerly winds were clocked as high as 25 mph and a wind chill warning, meaning dangerous wind chill readings were likely, remains in effect through tonight and into Sunday.

Ada County Highway District maintenance crews worked throughout the overnight hours Friday and Saturday, applying de-icing treatments to major arterial roads, intersections and bridges.

"It's always better to get out in front of the weather than to try and play catch up," said Paul Daigle, ACHD's deputy director of maintenance. He added that if the snow was unusually heavy, ACHD would use sand and salt to maintain traction.

ACHD has a 50-vehicle fleet dedicated to winter maintenance, including trucks outfitted for de-icing, sanding, salting and plowing. ACHD services more than 2,260 miles of local streets in Ada County. State highways are managed by the Idaho Transportation Department.

But the worst may be yet to come. The National Weather Service is predicting that tonight's low temperatures will hover around 2 degrees below zero in the Treasure Valley. The forecast for the next several days is sunny and cold, with highs in the 20s, lows in the teens and wind chills dropping to as low as 10 degrees below zero.

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