Frost advisory hits Chicago area after touch of snow

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A frost advisory follows a touch of snow in the Chicago area and while calendar says October it sure feels like November.

It was the earliest snow has fallen in the area in 72 years. And Saturday's frosty fall night has some local people worrying about their plants and some tourists are wishing they brought heavy coats with them.

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"Hanging in there. it's a little bit unexpected ," said tourist Dan Hoicowitz.

It's one of the coldest October 4th's on record in Chicago, and for folks walking down Michigan Avenue, especially those from out of town, the chilly temperatures caught them by surprise.

"I went to the store and had to buy a coat. Lots of business for the coat people (Saturday)," tourist Emma Racila said.

How about a little 5K through a cemetery to warm things up? About 1,200 runners and walkers bundled up for a Halloween mood-setting run through Edgewater's Rosehill Cemetery Saturday evening.

"We've been to a couple of runs where people get over-dressed up and then you just see garments along the way and I'm sure it's going to be no different here, so keeping it moderate," runner Natalie Maher said.

At Naperville's Oktoberfest the locals were also taking the cold in stride. In fact, some even said they preferred it this way.

"The crispness of the air is really what makes this event happen because it's truly Oktoberfest, you can really get that genuine October feeling and the event all around," said Amanda Fehrenbacher.

On a practical level though, Saturday night's cold is also bringing with it a frost advisory, which could damage people's gardens, especially those who still have any remaining tender annuals from the summer.

"You can cover them with fabric or burlap that would be the best recommended way," said Catherine Willis, Pesche's Garden Center and Flower Shop. "Plastic can create moisture and sometimes can give you more damage on your leaves that it would if you use fabric."

But of course, the question on everyone's mind is whether Saturday's cold snap is an indicator of things to come.

"There's not really a strong correlation between the cold we're seeing now in terms of what we will see this winter. It is quite possible that we will again lean a little bit on the colder side this winter, not necessarily the brutal winter we saw last year," said Kevin Birk, National Weather Service.

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