Weather systems Wednesday and Thursday could dump another 20 inches or more at higher elevations in the Cascades, the National Weather Service forecasts.

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When it was snowing in downtown Seattle over the weekend, you had to wonder: Will ski areas open early?

Operators of Crystal Mountain ski resort have responded with a big maybe, announcing that if enough snow falls this week they could open this Friday, Nov. 10, two weeks earlier than last year’s Nov. 25 opening day.

“It was an active weekend and we’re currently looking at 10-20 inches of snow across the mountain,” the resort’s website reported Monday. “It’s a great start and we just need another 6-12 inches to start spinning lifts.  We’re expecting more snow Wednesday night and Thursday so if Mother Nature delivers we plan to open Friday.”

Crystal is adding 29 snow-making guns for this season, bringing its total to 37 and more than tripling its snow-making capacity, but the new system is still a week away from being operational, so a Friday opening will rely on Mother Nature. The National Weather Service forecasts up to 22 inches of additional snow for the area between Tuesday and Friday.

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Mount Baker Ski Area, the Cascades’ perennial early opener, reported that more than 15 inches of snow fell Friday, making for a total of 25 inches at Heather Meadows. “It’s not quite enough to open but our crews are out on the mountain packing down the snow to make a solid base, and if temperatures stay cold we should be just one or two good storms away from opening!” the ski area’s website reported. Updates: