Wet, heavy snow fell over the western two-thirds of the state on Sunday, marking the first time in more than 30 years that so much fell so early.
The last time a similar amount accumulated so early in the Raleigh area was Nov. 12, 1968, when 1.2 inches fell, according to Gail Hartfield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The earliest snowfall on record came Nov. 6, 1953, when six-tenths of an inch was measured.
The Raleigh-Durham International Airport first reported mixed precipitation at 8 a.m. Sunday, which gradually changed to snow by 10 a.m., accumulating on grassy surfaces and elevated areas.
When junior Adaam Hukins woke up Sunday morning, he said he thought it was raining but that he was delighted to discover fluffy flakes falling from the sky.
"I was happy, and I called people right away to see if they wanted to play, but no one wanted to play," he said.
Disappointed, Hukins said, he went to the library to work instead. "It's a nice surprise, but we're still going to have class."
By Sunday afternoon, the snow had caused few problems in traffic or safety.
Base 3 operator William Smith of the Chapel Hill Police Department said the only accidents had been minor, and that the roads were just slushy.