A little over two years ago, Christmas Eve in Boise was interrupted by an emergency alert delivering a “Snow Squall Warning” alert. It’s very possible that you may see one of those again this weekend. 

There’s a series of winter storms lining up and they’re headed toward our area over the next week. The first one is bringing a strong cold front which means there’s a possibility that the rain shoes we see this afternoon will turn into snow. While it’s possible that snow accumulations could reach up to an inch in the Treasure Valley, the most dangerous part of this snow storm is the possibility of “snow squalls” impacting the evening hours. 


What Is a Snow Squall?

You probably googled it the last time that you received the unusual alert on your phone, but we’ll give you a refresher course. According to the National Weather Service snow squall is an intense, but relatively short burst of heavy snowfall. During a snow squall, the flakes are normally accompanied by high gusty winds.

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The combination of the two can lead to a sudden drop in visibility, slick roadways and sometimes freeway closures. Whiteouts can happen within seconds, so there’s a possibility of wrecks, pileups, injuries and death as a result. 

When Could the Snow Squalls Impact Boise?

Snow falls on road and cars traveling in a Michigan snow storm.

Kody at Treasure Valley Weather HQ posted an update about the potential snow squalls just after 8 a.m. on Saturday, the graphic shows the strongest chance of snow squalls in our area between 5-9 p.m. He’s frequently posting updates on the storm on his Facebook page, so if you haven’t given it a follow yet make sure you do for the latest predictions.

What Should I Do if I Get Caught Driving in a Snow Squall?

The National Weather Service offers these tips:

  • Consider avoiding or delaying travel until the snow squall is over
  • If you must travel during a snow squall, leave extra time
  • Reduce your speed
  • Turn on your headlights since visibility can reach nearly zero within seconds
  • Don’t slam on your breaks

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