A snow squall moved through the region today dumping a fluffy layer of what quickly is becoming known as "white gold" on this Adirondack Mountain community preparing for the Winter Olympics.

The National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., forecast an accumulation of two to four inches of snow with more flurries later in the week.

After an unusually warm and dry early January, Lake Placid began receiving snow flurries last weekend. About three inches had accumulated through Monday morning.

"That's white gold out there, that's what it is," said one pleased resident, a postman.

Lake Placid's wintertime drought had caused speculation that there would not be enough snow by February to stage some of the Olympic events.

Some Olympic officials have admitted privately they are happy about the light snowfall. While the state of New York has upped its snowmaking budget to cover the cross-country and biathlon trails with man-made snow, it has saved thousands of dollars more on snow removal.

Approximately five miles of cross-country trails already have been covered by man-made snow. Another 10 need to be covered in order to hold the Games.

Snowmaking covers the entire length of the Alpine skiing courses at Whiteface Mountain, and the bobsled, luge and speedskating facilities are refrigerated.

The weather service also issued a longterm forecast last week that called for sporadic but occasionally heavy snowfall during February with temperatures a little warmer than usual.

Meanwhile, Olympic officials said the mailing of individually purchased tickets for the Winter Games is under way.

A spokesman said some 450,000 tickets should find their way to purchasers worldwide by Feb. 1.

Of the 100,000 tickets left, 70,000 are for sale at a box office in Lake Placid and 30,000 have been sold to tour operators, the spokesman said.