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Warm start to December sees pre-winter mix of opinions in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's finally December, but it doesn't feel much like winter in Minnesota.

Step outside and it feels more like spring, with temperatures hovering between 15-and-20 degrees across Southeast Minnesota Wednesday and Thursday.

After flipping our newsroom calendar to its final page, KIMT News 3's Anthony Monzon asked folks around Silver Lake Park whether they're welcoming the warmer weather, or giving it the cold shoulder. At the end of the day, opinions were split, with four community members saying they are "Team Warm Winter," and three sharing they're "Team White Christmas."

Like it or not, our area has seen just over half an inch of snow so far this year, nearly five inches less than usual. For businesses that offer winter supplies, the unseasonal conditions have cooled down sales.

"I like the warmer weather, however, the snow does better for my business," said Deb Prudoehl, manager of Arrow Hardware and Paint.

Prudoehl says aside from the occasional early bird stocking up before the snow comes, most people are walking past items like shovels and salt.

"It's just kind of slowed everything down. You know, it's not spring weather, so people aren't doing yard work or any of that kind of stuff. So it's just kind of tapered sales off for the time being until the weather switches."

While the end of this year has been an anomaly weather-wise, Prudoehl believes customers themselves may be wise to pick up winter maintenance goods while they're readily available.

"It's going to come at some point, so you know, now's the time to get it. Supply chains still are a little iffy, so being prepared isn't a bad thing."

Mild temperatures are set to stick around for now, according to KIMT News 3 Chief Meteorologist Aaron White. However, with our area typically seeing over a foot of snow each December, things could change quickly with a single storm.

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