BIG BEAR ( — The Southern California ski season was officially underway Wednesday despite unseasonably warm weather and and an ongoing statewide drought.

KNX 1070  NEWSRADIO’S Bob Brill reports conditions may not be ideal for local ski operators, but that won’t keep them from being optimistic despite more manmade snow than the natural stuff.

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Operators are hoping the dry Santa Ana winds will provide good snow-making conditions as Snow Summit opens Wednesday followed by the opening of Bear Mountain on Friday.

Hope for a strong El Nino forecast, which would bring much-needed precipitation to the region, may be a fading, but an expected storm early next week could help kick off the season.

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Brent Tregaskis, the general manager of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, said they’ve only missed two Thanksgiving week openings in the past 20 years due to unfavorable weather conditions.

“We’re pretty used to this kind of scenario, where we barely get open for Thanksgiving,” he said. “Certainly it’s dry out there. … I’m a lot more optimistic with this forecast this year compared to last year.”

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Snow Summit will help kick off the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday with opening festivities including raffles, prizes and games.