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With snow at higher elevations possible this week, Arizona Snowbowl to open Wednesday

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Snow On The Mountain

Under clear predawn skies, snowguns at the Arizona Snowbowl make snow early Wednesday morning.

After previously delaying opening day due to warm weather, officials with the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort announced they would be ready to go this week.

The resort will open at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24 after several days of snowmaking operations, according to a media release.

The news comes as the National Weather Service reports that northern Arizona could see some precipitation this week, and as temperatures have fallen slowly but steadily over the last few days.

“Our snowmakers have been working tirelessly to produce the best quality snow for another great opening day and will continue to strive to get more terrain open throughout the week as weather permits. Please note only expert terrain is available at this time and no beginner terrain will be available until further notice,” a statement from the Arizona Snowbowl read. “Our snowmaking team will continue to take advantage of the colder temperatures to get more beginner terrain open throughout the week. Please refer to our Snow Report for the most up-to-date information regarding lift and terrain status.”

Artificial snow can only be produced in ambient air temperatures of 32 degrees or lower, which has largely meant producing snow at night when the temperatures drop.

But this week, parts of the San Francisco Peaks could see some natural snow as well.

NWS meteorologist Emily Thornton said low pressure is bringing moisture from the west -- which may mean some small amounts of rain, likely less than a tenth of an inch, falling across northern Arizona. But that storm could also mean snow at higher elevations, Thornton said.

Areas of the San Francisco Peaks above 7,500 to 8,000 feet could see as much as one to two inches of snow fall between Tuesday and Wednesday, Thornton told the Arizona Daily Sun.

Further east, she said the White Mountains and the Chuska Mountains may also see some snowfall.

After that, however, NWS forecasts weather across northern Arizona will likely be clear on Thanksgiving. The predicted high for Thanksgiving is 44 degrees in Flagstaff, with temperatures back in the mid-50s through the holiday weekend, while overnight lows stay below freezing.

Adrian Skabelund can be reached by phone at (928) 556-2261, by email at askabelund@azdailysun.com or on Twitter at @AdrianSkabelund. 

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