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Southern Tier lake effect most welcome at Holiday Valley

courtesy @HolidayValley on Twitter

Lake effect snow has arrived in abundance in the Southern Tier. And as far as some folks see it, especially those preparing for Holiday Valley's formal season opening this weekend, the heavy snow is most welcome.

Some parts of Western New York received up to 20 inches of lake effect snow since Thursday, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

At Holiday Valley Ski Resort in Ellicottville, at least 15 inches of snow were on the ground as of Friday morning. It's just what they need in advance of Saturday's planned opening for the 2016-17 ski season. While the resort was opened last weekend, they're excited about the prospect of being open and staying open for a full season, especially following a winter that mostly wasn't.

"It's a beautiful, snowy scene," said Holiday Valley marketing director Jane Eshbaugh. "We have anywhere from 15 to 20 inches and we're making snow. It's nice and snowy. Actually, the sun kind of pops out every now and then and it'll start snowing again."

The ski resort counts on snow for its business but so too, Eshbaugh notes, do the shops in the heart of the village.

"The shops and restaurants are all looking forward to a good year," she said.

While the metro Buffalo area did not receive any snow accumulation at the onset of the first lake effect storm of the season, a more general snowfall is expected in the region later in the weekend. The National Weather Service is also watching a mass of very cold air that will arrive early next week.

"We're looking for highs in the teens," said meteorologist Dave Zaff. "And most importantly more lake effect snow, particularly as we get toward late next week. The details and terms of where that's going to occur are uncertain, but we are highly confident of significant accumulations once again late next week."

Eshbaugh was looking forward to Holiday Valley hosting a white Christmas. But what are the prospects for the rest of the region?

"It looks pretty good. Above average," said Zaff, though he prefaced his comment by suggesting there's always the chance of a rain event. 

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