Idaho, also known as the Gem State, is a state in the north-western region of the U.S. near the Pacific. The state has approximately 1.9 million people living in its expansive area, covering about 83,569 square miles (216,443 Km2). The highest point in Idaho is the Borah Peak, at an elevation of 12,662 feet (3,859 meters), while the lowest point is the confluence of Snake and Clearwater River at 713 feet (217 meters). But does it snow in Idaho?
Idaho has a continental climate that varies greatly from the western to the eastern parts of the state. The west part of the state experiences maritime influence thanks to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. As such, this region of the state witnesses dry summers and wet, snowy winters. The eastern part of the state, on the other hand, experiences a semi-arid continental climate characterized by wet summers and dry, snowy winters.
When does it snow in Idaho?
Winter in Idaho runs from November through to February and is marked by heavy snowfall in most parts of the state. However, some parts start receiving snow flurries as early as October, while the snow can last up to March or April in some regions.
Snowfall in November
November marks the onset of winter and snowfall in most parts of Idaho. The average temperatures in the state vary between highs of 48 degrees Fahrenheit (8.9 degrees Celsius) and lows of 31 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.55 degrees Celsius). Idaho receives about 2.6 inches (66.04 millimetres) of snow throughout the month after 2.7 snowfall days.
Snowfall in December
December is a chilly month in Idaho, with temperatures frequently dipping below the freezing mark. The average temperatures in the state vary between highs of 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3.3 degrees Celsius) and lows of 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius). The frigid conditions bring more snowfall, averaging 7 inches (177.8 mm) of snow after six snowfall days.
Snowfall in January
The cold onslaught experienced in December carries on to January. The daily average temperatures in the state range from highs of 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3.3 degrees Celsius) to lows of 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-4.4 degrees Celsius). In January, Idaho records about 5.1 inches (129.5 mm) of snow after witnessing snowfall for an average of 5.3 days.
Snowfall in February
February is usually the last month of significant snowfall in Idaho. And as the state prepares to usher in the spring season, an increase in average temperatures is recorded. The average temperatures vary between highs of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees Celsius) and lows of 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.8 degrees Celsius). Idaho records an average snow accumulation of 2.8 inches (71.12 inches) after 3.2 snowfall days throughout the month.
Where does it snow in Idaho?
Snow falls in almost the whole state during the winter months, with higher distributions on high elevations and mountainous regions.
Snow in Boise
Boise is the capital and most populous city in Idaho. The city is at an elevation of 2730 feet (830 m) and experiences a semi-arid continental climate. During the winter months, temperatures fluctuate between highs of 41.9 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 degrees Celsius) and lows of 27.5 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.5 degrees Celsius). Boise witnesses snowfall for 19.4 days throughout the year, and the snow can accumulate up to a depth of 19.2 inches (487.68 millimetres).
Snow in Lewiston
Lewiston is a city in the northcentral region of Idaho with a population of about 33,000 people. The city sits at an elevation of 745 feet (227m) and experiences a semi-arid climate characterized by cold, short winters. During the winter season, daily temperatures in the city vary from highs of 43.7 degrees Fahrenheit (6.5 degrees Celsius) to lows of 30.65 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.75 degrees Celsius). The city averages 10.5 inches (266.7 mm) of snow throughout the year after 10.6 snowfall days.
Snow in Pocatello
Pocatello is a city in the southeastern part of the state of Idaho. It has high elevations of about 4,462 feet (1360 m) and experiences a humid continental climate. During winter, temperatures in the city range between highs of 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) and lows of 22.2 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius). The city records an annual snowfall of 66.4 inches (1686.56 mm) after 51.6 snowfall days.
Ski resorts in Idaho
Skiing in Idaho predominantly takes place in the western part of the state.
Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley is a renowned resort in Idaho that experience a lot of pleasant sunny days during winter. The resort has Bald Mountain for intermediate and expert skiers and the Dollar Mountain reserved for beginners and families. Skiers visiting Sunny Valley Resort get to enjoy 3,400 feet of vertical drop and 65 runs.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Schweitzer Mountain Resort, the largest ski resort in Idaho, is located in the northern parts of the state and attracts crowds from the region and the neighbouring Washington State. The resorts receive about 25 inches (655 millimetres) of snow during the winter season and has 2,900 acres of skiable terrain.