Time to hit the slopes: Many Minnesota ski areas will be opening this weekend

The cold weather helped ski areas make enough snow to open this weekend.

The snow-making machines are purring and the lifts are up and running.

Just last weekend, people were water skiing in Minnesota. But now the weather is finally cold enough for snow skiing.

According to the Minnesota Ski Areas Association, many ski areas have opened or will be opening this weekend – and hopefully will stay open for the season. (See a list at the bottom of the page.)

That's thanks to the colder weather we've had this week, which allowed ski areas across Minnesota to make snow instead of waiting for Mother Nature to handle it. Most of central and southern Minnesota hasn't seen a major snowfall this winter, and the DNR's website shows there's no snow on the ground there, while northern Minnesota has seen a few storms, giving it 4-8 inches of snowpack as of Thursday.

Several ski areas opened for Thanksgiving weekend, but had to close because temperatures warmed and rain destroyed the snow they had made, Pam Hove, of Afton Alps, told the Star Tribune.

But there's good news coming. Snow is on the way Saturday, which could bring a few inches to southern Minnesota and help ski areas open additional runs.

What's open

Here's a look at the ski areas that are expected to open this weekend, the Minnesota Ski Area Association told GoMN. For a complete list click here or check your ski hill's website for more information.

Several ski areas are already open: 

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Operators at Wild Mountain in Chisago County said Oct. 7 is the earliest start on record. But a cold start to October created the right conditions for the hill in Taylors Falls for snow-making.