By Mary McGuire

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — Whether it’s on the slopes or rolled into the perfect snowman, Minnesotans like Wylie Phillips love the snow.

“If you live in Minnesota, it’s kind of silly to not like snow – winter is my favorite season,” Phillips said.

But with just a week to go until it’s officially winter, it’s beginning to look a lot like it could be a Christmas without snow in Minnesota.

Businesses like Settergren’s Hardware in Linden Hills depend on flurries.

“Snowblowers, nobody likes to shovel if they don’t have to – shovels, salt, grit, it’s surprising how much stuff moves when we get any kind of snow or ice,” said Joe Young of Settergren’s Hardware.

Right now, stacks of shovels and piles of plows are still sitting at the store and not with customers, and the clear skies and mild temperatures are to blame.

Minnesota is already 2.3 inches below average when it comes to December snow and down more than 7 inches this season.

Afton Alps in Hastings can churn out their own snow for skiers and boarders, but it’s not identical to the real thing.

“The natural snow, the God snow is a little bit fluffier. It’s nicer to create snowballs and throw at your friends,” said Afton Alps General Manager Chris Sorensen.

They’ve been making snow since they opened last month.

Even though it’s from a machine and not the sky, the park is still busy.

“In Minnesota, people embrace winter no matter what the conditions are,” Sorensen said.

The perfect temperature to make snow at Afton Alps is 15 degrees.

Anything above 27 degrees is just too warm for the flakes to fly.

Mary McGuire

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