MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just a week and a half ago, temperatures in the Twin Cities were in the 80s. On Tuesday, a winter storm in October was bringing several inches of snow to parts of Minnesota.

WCCO meteorologist Chris Shaffer says Tuesday’s storm broke the record for the heaviest early season storm ever recorded in Minnesota, and it was the second largest October snow in Minnesota — right behind the Halloween blizzard of 1991.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for areas along and near the US-12 corridor, from Montevideo and Granite Falls east to the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin.

People have mixed reactions to this early October snow, but most agreed that, while kind of pretty, the snow is here just plain too early.

In Excelsior, store owners and people running errands stopped to just stand outside and take in the beauty of the snow coming down on the quaint Water Street. The city already has some lights strung up, making it look more like the holidays.

“It’s a beautiful winter wonderland,” Elizabeth Flom said.

Not everyone, though, was prepared for the early snow.

“No scraper yet,” Kerri Hexum said. “On that when I get home.”

Hexum was left clearing off her car with her hands, and will have to take her boat off the frigid waters of Lake Minnetonka.

“It’s so pretty but it’s too early. Half the boats are still on the water. It’s crazy,” Hexum said.

As the snow flakes started falling in Minneapolis, 8-year-old Mason Yttreness could hardly contain his excitement.

“I think it’s awesome. Winter is my favorite season,” he said.

He took a family walk in the snow during his recess from distance learning. His mother and father are working from home. For many, the first measurable snow of the season had them thankful to be working from home.

Minneapolis South High School students Maggie Plouffe and Jack Carter took a distance learning break in the untimely accumulation. They walked through Loring Park, and marveled at the conditions.

“It’s time to start playing Christmas music, you know,” Plouffe said. “Cancel Halloween, I’m ready.”

Just two weeks ago, the pair was enjoying a warm fall day together.

“The colors were just … going from like greenish to orangish, and all of the sudden now it’s the middle of winter in October,” Carter said.

For some perspective, the average snowfall for the Twin Cities for the whole month of October is just more than a half inch. By 3 p.m. Tuesday, New Hope had 4 inches; Lakeville already had 5 inches; and Delano had 6.5 inches.

The fall snowfall amped up business at Jerry’s Do It Best Hardware in Eden Prairie, where John Madson is store manager.

“Most people were coming in for ice scrapers for the cars, windshield washer fluid,” Madson said.

Charcoal made way for salt, and lawn mowers made way for snow blowers. Madson says they are scrambling to serve customers.

“We always try to have what they need and anticipate, you know, but it’s been a quick change of getting product out,” Madson said.

It’s caused a hustle, but a customer WCCO spoke with says he’s not complaining about this rare collision of nature.

“My birthday’s tomorrow, so I’ve always wanted snow on my birthday, and low and behold I got it,” the customer said. “Maybe I’ll head to Highland Hills [Ski Area]!”

After all, Minnesotans and Wisconsonites know good and well how to adjust to the weather — no matter the season.

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