WEATHER & ROADS: Spring storm coming with HIGH WIND advisory issued
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The Idaho Transportation Department is urging caution on Interstate 15 near Pocatello due to high winds and blowing dust, which is reducing visibility.
The wind advisory also has been upgraded in southeast Idaho. West winds of 40 to 55 mph are occurring with peak gusts of 60 mph.
IDAHO FALLS — The National Weather Service has issued a high-wind advisory for the majority of eastern and central Idaho for Friday, May 12.
Southwest winds of 30 to 40 mph are expected to develop this afternoon and will peak at 7 p.m. with gusts up to 50 mph. Winds will be strong enough to bring down branches and weakened trees, taking out powerlines or doing damage to structures, according to NWS.
Additionally, driving tall vehicles will be difficult. Blowing dust near agricultural fields can reduce visibility suddenly to zero with no warning, making driving at normal highway speeds dangerous.
Burley, Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Pocatello are under the wind advisory.
The wind storm will also bring snow to the higher elevations near Malad.
Flood conditions are still present along many of the major rivers in eastern Idaho.
A flood watch continues on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River affecting Madison, Fremont and Jefferson counties. Surges of run-off from snowmelt are draining into the Henry`s Fork and the Teton River, producing rising river stages below the confluence of the two rivers in the Rexburg area.
The Henry’s Fork is measuring at 9.2 feet and is expected to reach flood stage of 9.5 feet by Saturday. A flood watch means flooding is possible, but not imminent in the watch area, according to NWS.
The Portneuf River is is measuring at 10 feet, way above its flood stage. Minor flooding is occurring along its banks, and moderate flooding is forecast. Significant flooding of agricultural land is expected to occur in the Inkom and Blackrock area.
Lowland flooding will occur along sections of the river in Pocatello from the Portnuef Gap to the Cheyenne Avenue Bridge and downstream of the concrete channel beginning at Sacajawea Park.
The Bear River in Bear Lake County is also rising. The river is measuring above flood stage at 8.3 feet. Minor flooding is occurring and water may exceed 8.7 feet by Saturday. Minor flooding is occurring on rural roads and in fields and pasture land in the Pegram and Dingle area.
The Big Wood River near Hailey is expected to peak this weekend. On Thursday, the river was already above flood stage at 6.8 feet. Moderate flooding is already occurring. If the river continues to rise there is potential for dangerous bank erosion and damage to levees.
Valley Creek in Custer County is flooding and has reached the levee area, but has not reached the top of the sandbags.
Idaho Falls, Rigby and Rexburg
The Upper Snake River Plain will be mostly sunny with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some thunderstorms may produce gusty winds and small hail in the afternoon. Highs of 67 to 77 degrees are expected. South winds of 10 to 15 mph will increase to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon.
It’ll be cloudy at night with a 50 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms. Some storms may produce gusty winds and small hail. Winds will increase to between 20 to 30 mph in the evening, before dropping off after midnight. Lows of 36 to 43 degrees are expected.
Pocatello, Fort Hall and Blackfoot
The Lower Snake River Plain will be sunny in the morning, but there is a chance of thunderstorms and rain in the afternoon. The storms may produce gusty winds and small hail. Highs of 69 to 78 degrees are expected. Southwest winds of 10 to 15 mph will increase to 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon.
It’ll be cloudy at night with a continued chance of rain and thunderstorms. Those storms may produce gusty winds and small hail. Southwest winds will increase to between 25 to 35 degrees during the early evening, but wind will decrease after midnight.
St. Anthony, Ashton, Island Park, Driggs and Victor
The Upper Snake Highlands will be mostly sunny with a slight chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some storms may produce gusty winds and small hail. Highs of 67 to 75 degrees are expected.
During the night there is a continued chance of rain and thunderstorms, which may bring gusty winds and small hail in the evening. Up to 2 inches of snow could fall in the region with lows of 33 to 40 degrees.
Arco, Challis and Mackay
The Lost Rivers area will be partly sunny with a slight chance of rain showers in the morning, and a good chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon. It’ll be breezy with a chance for gusty winds and hail with the storms. Highs of 59 to 69 degrees are expected.
Rain is likely during the night, with a chance of snow and thunderstorms after midnight. Gusty winds and hail also ar possible. Up to 2 inches of snow could fall with lows of 31 to 39 degrees.
Henry, Soda Springs, Downey and Lava Hot Springs
The Caribou Highlands will be mostly sunny with a slight chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon. It’ll be breezy and storms could produce gusty winds and small hail in the afternoon. Highs of 70 to 77 degrees are expected.
At night it will be cloudy with a continued chance of rain and thunderstorms. Those storms may produce gusty winds and small hail. Lows of 34 to 41 degrees are expected.
The 339 exit ramp on U.S. Highway 20 near Sugar City is closed until 5 p.m. Friday due to construction work.
ITD is working on a resurfacing project on Interstate 15. Eight miles between the Lava Beds near Blackfoot and the Bonneville County Line are reduced to one lane in both directions until mid-summer. Bridge construction work also is in progress, which has closed sections of the road. A detour is in operation.
Two miles of Idaho Highway 34 have been reduced to one lane for a repaving project between Henry Cutoff Road near Soda Springs and Wayon Loop Road. Construction will last through Friday.
Construction on northbound Interstate 15 between exit 72 (Chubbuck) and exit 80 (Fort Hall) has been reduced to one lane due to bridge maintenance. Expect delays and reduced speed of 65 mph through Friday.
A portion of Interstate 84 has been reduced to one lane due to bridge construction. Approximately 10 miles between Exit 211 to U.S. Highway 30 near Burley to Exit 222 to Interstate 86 are affected. Speed reductions are in force.
A section of Idaho Highway 39 is closed between Butte Road and Anderson Road for bridge construction. A detour is in effect. Signs have been placed detailing the detour.
A traffic signal upgrade is underway at the State Street and Main Street intersection in Rigby. A temporary four-way stop condition is in effect until June 23.
Shoulder work is being done on Idaho Highway 48 near Menan between East Front Street and Green Road. Construction should be completed by 5 p.m.
Shoulder work is underway on Interstate 15 near Spencer between Sheep Station Road and Spencer Road. The right lane is closed and speed reductions are in effect. Construction should be complete by June 1.