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How to "fast forward" a particle emitter on load


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I'm using a particle emitter to make a snow effect like the example, but I don't want it to look like it just started snowing when my game loads (i.e., all of the flakes are at the top of the screen).  So far I've come up with creating a second particle emitter that's the width and height of my game and set to explode in the first frame.  I'd rather be able to "fast forward" time so that the original emitter thinks it's been running for ~20 seconds before the first frame is rendered.  Is there a way to do that?  Is there a better way to get the look I'm going for?

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