A Flood Watch has been issued for the Eastern Highlands beginning Friday Afternoon thru Friday Night due to incoming rains. This watch is in effect for communities below 6,000 ft including St. Anthony, Ashton, Driggs, Victor, Soda Springs, Marsh Valley, Lava Hot Springs, McCammon, Swan Valley, Dubois and Montpelier.
With the arrival of a very powerful storm system moving in across the West, a lot of moisture will be moving into Eastern Idaho and Western Wyoming beginning on Friday. This storm will also be bringing in much warmer temperatures meaning rain will be likely for the lower elevations below 6000 feet. As of now, the forecast is calling for up to an inch of rainfall possible in some of the valleys, East of the Snake River Plain. Because it is winter, most of our soil is still frozen which will make it hard for the rain water to be absorbed into the ground. This will likely lead to ponding and localized flooding in some locations. In addition to the falling rains, snowmelt will also be an issue only making matters worse.
Keep in mind, that for the higher elevations, especially above 7000 feet including most of the mountain passes, this storm will produce some very heavy snowfall, creating dangerous driving conditions. Flooding will only be a concern for the lower elevations below 6000 feet. And for the Snake River Plain, rain can be expected but totals will likely be less than a half inch meaning the flooding threat will be minimal if any at all.
So at this time if you live in or are going to be traveling through East Idaho, please stay up to date with the latest weather updates and road conditions leading up to the weekend. If you typically live in a flood prone area and are in the Eastern Highlands now would be the time to prepare as weather conditions remain relatively quiet through Thursday night. Remember a flood watch means flooding is possible but not yet occurring.