First snowstorm of season

Maggie Hessel-Mial

A flurry of heavily bundled students could be found scurrying to classes along snow-lined University streets Monday as the Twin Cities saw its first winter storm of the season.

Snowfalls of up to seven inches were expected for the area by late Tuesday morning.

“This is just an average winter storm,” said Tony Zaleski, National Weather Service meteorologist. “There may be some problems in outlying areas, but in the metro area it should be just a nuisance.”

As of Monday afternoon, Minneapolis had not called a snow emergency, saving many from the perils of winter parking and towing.

“Sanding and salting operations are in motion,” said Steve Collin, Minneapolis street maintenance engineer.

Collin said snow emergencies are typically not called until later in the season, when snow has accumulated.

“People need to be aware of where snow emergency routes are,” Collin said. “The snow emergency routes are the first ones the plows will go at.”

University-area businesses are already noticing effects on sales as residents prepare for the storm.

Despite the colder temperatures, some students were still in line at Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Shop.

Bill Davis, co-owner of the Washington Avenue store, said the weather affects ice cream sales both positively and negatively.

“As the weather gets colder, sales tend to drop off,” Davis said. “But we have learned that people consume ice cream year-round at the University of Minnesota.”

Nate Peterson, a junior studying computer science, said the cold weather did not deter him from getting ice cream, but it does make his commute to class difficult.

“I don’t like the cold walk from University Village to class,” Peterson said. “But when I leave for class at 7 a.m. the sidewalks are usually plowed, which is nice.”

Espresso Royale co-owner Dan Zielske said the last few weeks of warm weather deterred some coffee drinkers.

“When it’s 70 degrees in November no one is thinking of coffee,” he said.

Although Zielske said winter is typically a good season for sales, when the weather first changes – for example the first day of snow – sales tend to be slower for a few days before picking back up.

“It’s just a little blip on the chart,” he said.

Some said their coffee-buying habits stay the same regardless of the weather.

“I’m a caffeine addict,” University graduate student Ron Anafi said Monday, while sipping on hot chocolate at Espresso Royale. “No matter what the weather is like I will be here.”

While complaints about the weather can be heard on campus, many students look forward to the first snowfall.

“I’m excited for snow,” said College of Liberal Arts sophomore Brandon Eberhard.

Eberhard said he usually spends more time inside during winter and more time watching movies. He said he looks forward to skiing, something he hasn’t been able to do in years.

Davis said though sales at Ben and Jerry’s can be slow in winter, he does not fear the cold weather.

“Winter is our friend,” Davis said. “It’s gives us the chance to see who the true ice cream lovers are.”

Maggie Hessel-Mial covers the environment and transportation and welcomes
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