SPARTA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Tuesday’s snow showers are a welcome sight for some Sussex County residents, people who have been waiting patiently for winter to really start.

“I just can’t believe we haven’t had snow yet,” Diane Howe, of Hope, told CBS2’s Elise Finch. “It’s unbelievable.”

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“My family’s really into skiing and snowboarding up at like Mountain Creek and stuff, and the fact that the season hasn’t started yet and it’s January, it’s crazy,” said Marisa Malespina, of Oak Ridge.

“I miss the snow, and also I’m hoping for the lake to freeze so we can get out and do some ice skating and ice boating,” said Scott Heckenberger, of Sparta, where there had been a dusting of snow by late Tuesday afternoon. Another burst of snow showers was expected to pass through later.

Rich Fitzpatrick manages The Hardware Store. He said without significant snow, business is sluggish, especially compared to last year.

“Last year was a phenomenal year for snowblower sales, calcium chloride, rock salt, snow shovels,” he said. “It was almost (as though) we couldn’t keep up last year.”

Fitzpatrick said last winter he sold more than 12,000 bags of rock salt and calcium chloride combined. This year, he’s only sold about 300 bags.

Not everyone, however, was excited to see the white stuff.

“I don’t miss slipping on the ice,” said Jennifer Weekley, of Franklin. “I don’t miss shoveling. I don’t miss not being able to let my dog go and run around outside because of the snow.”

Clearly, this winter has been slow for snow.

Typically, the area averages 4.8 inches of snow in December. Last month, we only saw a trace.

And normally by this point in January, we’d already have 2.4 inches of snow. Before Tuesday, there was none.

This is an El Niño winter, which typically leads to warmer than average temperatures and near-normal precipitation, but often more rain than snow. And that has some people concerned about the snow pack, or lack thereof, come spring.

“We are part of a watershed area, so I think it is important,” said Gary Kitchell, of Sparta.