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Seven Springs starts making snow as cold snap threatens century-old record

Matthew Santoni
| Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, 12:12 p.m.
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower  bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower  bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower  bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower  bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, the mountain crew at Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower  bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
With cold temperatures arriving, and forecasted for the weekend, the mountain crew at Seven Springs, in Champion, has started making snow on Wagner, Fawn Lane, and the lower bowl, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.

The Pittsburgh region overnight into Saturday could break a low-temperature record that has stood for more than a century.

National Weather Service in Moon expect a low temperature of 17 degrees on Saturday. That would shatter the 104-year-old record low for Nov. 11 of 21 degrees — set in 1913 and tied in 1973, said meteorologist John Darnley.

Strong northwest winds, pushing down from Canada and butting up against a high pressure system to the west, will cause a sudden temperature drop, Darnley said. Since the Great Lakes are not yet frozen, the wind could carry lake-effect snow southward, he said.

Seven Springs Resort welcomed the cold, which allowed the earliest snow-making on the slopes in five years, said spokeswoman Katie Buchan.

The resort's snow makers started working early Friday. The machines work best when the temperature is 28 degrees or colder and will stay consistently cold enough to keep the snow around, Buchan said.

Though early- to mid-November is typically the time to begin making snow, Friday's start was nine days earlier than last year and 12 days earlier than 2015. Seven Springs started "snowing" on Nov. 13 in 2014 and Nov. 19 in 2013, Buchan said.

The outdoor ice rink at Allegheny County's North Park opened Thursday , and Pittsburgh's rink in Schenley Park is scheduled to open Nov. 18.

But the cold snap brings warnings: The new Pennsylvania animal-cruelty law prohibits leaving dogs outside without shelter for more than 30 minutes in below-freezing temperatures. Dogs kept in an outdoor doghouse should have insulation — as simple as straw — and a flap or door to keep out wind and moisture.

The Red Cross issued warnings and guidance for people who use space heaters , fireplaces or stoves for warmth in order to prevent fires. In Pittsburgh, the overnight shelter for the homeless opens Tuesday and will remain open until March.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, msantoni@tribweb.com or on Twitter @msantoni.

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