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Snowless streak comes to an end, just barely

It wasn’t much, but it counted.

Buffalo notched its first measurable snowfall of the season Friday, weather experts at the National Weather Service said.

“We just measured a 10th of an inch,” Steve Welch, meteorologist, said Friday night.

That makes it official. Welch said the minimum amount of snow that needs to fall to be considered measurable is a 10th of an inch, which is what was measured Friday night at the National Weather Service office at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga.

But Barbara Awarski, who works in the Southgate Plaza, didn’t need any official measurements.

She knew by the old Buffalo standby – of not wanting to wreck your shoes.

“I came in at 4 o’clock ... and I had to go and get my shorty boots because I didn’t know how much was going to come down,” said Awarski, of the snow that was falling lightly in the Southtowns. “I didn’t want to ruin my good shoes.”

At Holiday Valley, the snow was welcomed by folks who are trying to get snow on the ground so people can ski and have fun.

Jane Eshbaugh, director of marketing at Holiday Valley, said late Friday that the ski resort got back to making snow Thursday night.

The late-week snowfall “definitely helps,” said Eshbaugh, adding that the resort is hoping to open on Sunday. The latest opening date for Holiday Valley was Dec. 22, she added.

“We’re hoping not to break that record,” Eshbaugh said.

The Weather Service reported an inch of snow at Athol Springs about 5 p.m. Friday. Later in the night, Elma had 4.8 inches on the ground and East Aurora, 3 inches.

Welch added that the old record for the latest measurable snowfall was set on Dec. 3 in 1899.

And if not for the wintry interlude, the region would have gone a lot longer without snow, he said.

Saturday will be colder, with temperatures near the freezing point, he said, but Sunday will be slightly warmer, with temperatures in the 40s next week.

The high temperature on Thursday, Christmas Eve, is projected to be in the upper 50s, with the mid 40s expected on Christmas Day, Welch said.

Holiday Valley’s Eshbaugh said, “In the ski business, we’re very optimistic.”

She added: “Enough’s enough – it’s time to get going.”

Awarski, working in the Southgate Plaza, said she was prepared for the light snow.

“I had my gloves,” she said.

“And I had my brush in the car – about a month ago.”