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Johnstown area ski resorts take advantage of cold weather to prepare for skiing

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Every year as we move from summer to fall, snow sports enthusiasts begin to mark those events that lead up to the beginning of the ski season. Falling leaves, the end of October, and the first snow fall are a few of these. One other event is the firing of the snow guns at each resort. And it appears that this time has finally come for a prolonged period of good conditions for making snow.

Most of the resorts around the Johnstown area are reporting that they should be able to start making snow this weekend in preparation for the upcoming ski season. While Seven Springs and Hidden Valley both had the guns on for testing and snow making earlier this week, it appears that with this weekend they should be able to make some great progress on preparing the slopes. In addition, Blue Knob and Whitetail are expecting to begin snow making this weekend as well.

This comes with the approach of what may be a good snow event in the Laurel Highlands Saturday night through Sunday with up to 6 inches with some higher accumulations in the higher elevations. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Laurel Highlands in Somerset, Fayette and Westmoreland Counties. This should provide a good base at both Seven Springs and Hidden Valley. Snow showers will be in the forecast through the early part of next week across the Laurel Highlands with the exception of Monday. However, the system should bring some assistance to other ski areas with consistently colder temperatures.

Temperatures in the higher elevations should remain below or near freezing throughout the first part of next week with the exception of a climb to the mid-thirties on Tuesday. The overnight low temperatures should be in the teens to mid-twenties through the period also.

Snowmaking is affected greatly by the weather. According to information from Seven Springs Resort, snowmaking can begin when the temperature is at 28 degrees. However, at this temperature, the output is minimal using more resources to produce less snow. When the temperature drops to 26 degrees, the output increases tremendously. Therefore, they look for temperatures in the lower twenties to start. Another factor is the humidity. At higher temperatures, you need lower humidity. When the temperature drops, snowmaking can be successful with higher humidity also.

While the resorts are expecting to be able to make some good progress this weekend, they are still not ready to announce opening dates at this time. Check back here for opening dates as they become available or check out each resort’s website.

So keep checking back and it won’t be long now.

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