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Cold, snow forecast for Buffalo’s ski areas

The tail end of a winter storm that left a wide path of snow and ice across the country is expected to bring snow to the southern part of Western New York tonight.

That puts the snow in ski areas south of Buffalo, as more lifts and slopes are opening.

“There’s a low-pressure system riding along the boundary,” Aaron Reynolds, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, said this morning. “We’ll just have to see where the snow falls.”

Only an inch or so is expected in the metro area as the storm moves to the northeast, Reynolds said. But higher elevations to the south and southeast – particularly along the Pennsylvania border – could see between two and six inches.

With the added possibility of sleet, a winter weather advisory is in effect through 4 a.m. Saturday for southern Erie County, the Southern Tier and western Finger Lakes region.

Today’s forecasted high temperature of 35 degrees is a sharp contrast to the 61 reading recorded Thursday at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

“It was not a record,” Reynolds said. The record of 67 degrees was set in 1982.

Temperatures will drop into the 20s tonight, then may struggle to reach 30 on Saturday. “Any snow that does fall will accumulate,” Reynolds said.

It’ll be even colder Saturday night into Sunday, Reynolds said, with nighttime lows Saturday in the teens to the south and low 20s in the metro area. Sunday’s highs will be in the upper 20s.

A return to colder temperatures and snow in the forecast bodes well for the region’s ski areas, several of which opened Thanksgiving week. But warmer temperatures in recent days curtailed snowmaking operations.

This morning, Holiday Valley in Ellicottville reported up to an inch of new snow; five lifts and 15 slopes will be open today and more are anticipated Saturday. Peek’n Peak Resort & Spa in Clymer also reported an inch of new snow, with two lifts and eight trails open.

Kissing Bridge in Glenwood will be open from noon to 8 p.m. today, with two lifts and three trails. Swain Resort, in northern Allegany, reports on its website that it will be open Saturday and Sunday.