Snow in Florida

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Ice and snow as seen from an FDOT camera on the Bay Bridge in Pensacola, Florida following a winter storm on 28-29 January 2014. Much of the Panhandle experienced significant ice buildup (from freezing rain & sleet) followed by a light snowfall.

It is rare for snow to fall in the U.S. state of Florida because freezing temperatures in Florida are generally caused by the cold and dry winds of anticyclones. Frost is more common than snow, requiring temperatures of 45 °F (7 °C) or less at 2 m (7 ft) above sea level, a cloudless sky, and a relative humidity of 65% or more.[1] In the general case, for snow to occur, the polar jet stream must move southward through Texas and into the Gulf of Mexico, with a stalled cold front across the southern portion of the state curving northeastward to combine freezing air into the frontal clouds.[2] While light snowfall occurs every few years across the northern panhandle and the north central peninsula, most of the state is in a rare portion of the continental United States that receives a mean maximum monthly snowfall amount of zero, the only other such areas being southern Texas and parts of California.[3]

Much of the known information on snow in Florida prior to 1900 is from weather climatology provided by the Jacksonville National Weather Service; for this reason, information for other locations is sparse.[1] The earliest recorded instance of snow in Florida was a snowstorm that occurred in 1774; being unaccustomed to snow, some Jacksonville residents called it "extraordinary white rain."[1] The first White Christmas in northeastern Florida's history resulted from a snowfall that occurred on December 23, 1989.[4]

Events[edit]

Due to increased populations and advanced communication networks, snow events are witnessed and reported more frequently in recent years. This should not be interpreted as a pattern of actual occurrence.

Pre-1900[edit]

Snowball fight on the steps of the Florida Capitol, February 1899

20th century (20 reported events)[edit]

21st century (14 reported events)[edit]

Satellite image for the January 24, 2003, snowfall
Snowfall forecast for 28-29 January 2014, predicting over 1 in of snow in northwest Florida.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Davis, T. Frederick (1908). "Climatology of Jacksonville, Fla. and vicinity". Monthly Weather Review (United States Weather Bureau) 35 (12): 566–572. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1907)35<566:COJFAV>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Winterling, George (December 4, 2003). "Snow on the First Coast". News4JAX.com. Archived from the original on June 12, 2007. Retrieved January 22, 2007. 
  3. ^ Harrington Jr., John A.; Cerveny, Randall S.; Dewey, Kenneth F. (August 1987). "A Climatology of Mean Monthly Snowfall for the Conterminous United States: Temporal and Spatial Patterns". Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology (American Meteorological Society) 26 (8): 897. doi:10.1175/1520-0450%281987%29026%3C0897%3AACOMMS%3E2.0.CO%3B2. ISSN 0733-3021. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ Collins, Chris (1989). December 23-24, 1989 Christmas Snowstorm (Event Summaries/Case Review). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service Forecast Office Newport/Morehead City North Carolina. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. http://www.erh.noaa.gov/mhx/EventReviews/19891223/19891223.php. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  5. ^ Forbes, James Grant (1821). Sketches, historical and topographical, of the Floridas; more particularly of East Florida. New York: C.S. Van Winkle. p. 60. 
  6. ^ Williams, John Lee (1837). The territory of Florida, or, sketches of the topography, civil and natural history, of the country, the climate, and the Indian tribes: from the first discovery to the present time, with a map, views, etc.. New York: A.T. Goodrich. p. 17. 
  7. ^ Ellicott, Andrew (1803). The journal of Andrew Ellicott,: late commissioner on behalf of the United States during part of the year 1796, the years 1797, 1798, 1799, and part of the year 1800: for determining the boundary between the United States and the possessions of His Catholic Majesty in America, containing occasional remarks on the situation, soil, rivers, natural productions, and diseases of the different countries on the Ohio, Mississippi, and Gulf of Mexico, with six maps, comprehending the Ohio, the Mississippi from the mouth of the Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico, the whole of West Florida, and part of East Florida: To which is added an appendix, containing all the astronomical observations made use of for determining the boundary, with many others, made in different parts of the country, for settling the geographical positions of some important points, with maps of the boundary on a large scale; likewise a great number of thermometrical observations made at different times and places. Philadelphia: Budd and Bartram for Thomas Dobson (printer). pp. 116, 121. 
  8. ^ Blodget, Lorin (1857). Climatology of the United States: and of the temperate latitudes of the North American continent, emberacing a full comparison of these with the climatology of the temperate latitudes of Europe and Asia, and especially in regard to agriculture, sanitary investigations, and engineering with isothermal and rain charts for each season, the extreme months, and the year, including a summary of the statistics of meteorological observations of the United States, condensed from recent scientific and official publications. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. p. 147. 
  9. ^ "?", Monthly Weather Review, 1876 
  10. ^ "--", The Florida Agriculturist, 29 June 1892: 403 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ a b c ""Today in Florida History" for January". Flahistory.net. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Sleet". Monthly Weather Review: 15. January 1887. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Snow", Monthly Weather Review, January 1892: 14, retrieved June 14, 2013 
  15. ^ Starr, Gregory T. (January 1892). "1892-01 COOP Publication for Madison, Florida". National Climatic Data Center. Archived from the original on March 29, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c d e ""Today in Florida History" for February". Flahistory.net. Archived from the original on December 27, 2003. Retrieved January 22, 2007. 
  17. ^ "Report of the Florida Weather Service for the month of December, 1892" (PDF). National Climatic Data Center. December 1892. Archived from the original on March 29, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  18. ^ Climatological Data, Florida, 1894 
  19. ^ Garriott, Edward B. (1906). Cold waves and frost in the United States. Bulletin P (WB No 355 ed.). United States Weather Bureau. p. 17. Retrieved February 25, 2013 
  20. ^ Keith C. Heidorn (2006). "Significant Weather Events in November in the United States". Retrieved January 22, 2007. 
  21. ^ a b Joe Disco (2003). "December 12 Time Capsule". Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  22. ^ Liz Osborn. "Record US Snowfalls For One Day". Current Reults Nexus. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  23. ^ Flahistory.net. ""Today in Florida History" for March". Archived from the original on August 27, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2007. 
  24. ^ a b Keith C. Heidorn (2002). "Miami's First Snowfall". Retrieved January 22, 2007. 
  25. ^ "Life: The great Tampa Bay snow of '89". Sptimes.com. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ Reuters News Service (December 26, 1989). "4 die as Florida citrus, vegetables freeze". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  27. ^ National Climatic Data Center (1993). "Event Report for the '93 Superstorm". Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2008. 
  28. ^ Krueger, Curtis; Kameel Stanley (January 9, 2010). "Sleet falls for first time since 1996 in northern Tampa Bay area". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, FL. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  29. ^ Jeffrey M. Medlin (2005). "Evolution of a Central Gulf Coast Heavy Snowband — December 18, 1996". Mobile, Alabama National Weather Service. Archived from the original on January 13, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  30. ^ Melbourne, Florida National Weather Service (2003). "Cold Temperatures and Snow Flurries in East-Central Florida". Archived from the original on January 21, 2007. Retrieved January 22, 2007. 
  31. ^ a b Associated Press (November 26, 2006). "Snow falls in central Florida as state endures unusual Nov. cold snap". USA Today. Retrieved January 22, 2007. 
  32. ^ "Snow Flurries in Florida". WJHG-TV. February 3, 2007. Archived from the original on February 6, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2007. 
  33. ^ "Snow Flurries in Florida". CNN. 2007. Archived from the original on January 4, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Sleet, Snow Fall In Parts Of Central Florida". WFTV. January 10, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Preliminary Local Storm Report". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Snowfall Accumulations From February 12th". National Weather Service. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Snow Forecast 02-14-10". National Weather Service. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! (With Photo Gallery)". NorthEscambia.com. December 8, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  39. ^ Winkle, Amanda (December 26, 2010). "Many Jacksonville.com users report snow flurries across Northeast Florida". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  40. ^ "History for Tampa Executive, FL". wunderground.com. December 28, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Sleet Reported In Escambia, Santa Rosa (With Photo)". NorthEscambia.com. January 9, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Sleet, snow flurries falling on Gulf Coast". Pensacola News Journal. Pensacola, FL. January 24, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  43. ^ http://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/wx/afos/p.php?pil=LSRJAX&e=201401250555
  44. ^ Twitter https://twitter.com/MyFDOT_NWFL/status/428398067872567296 |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  45. ^ "Escambia, Santa Rosa closures, cancellations". Pensacola News Journal. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  46. ^ "Winter weather updates". NWFnewsonline.com. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  47. ^ Facebook. Gulf Power https://www.facebook.com/GulfPowerCompany/posts/705318379502657 |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  48. ^ "Pensacola Weather". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  49. ^ "Winter Storm Leon Leaves Icy Mess in Pensacola, Parts of Florida Panhandle; Drivers Urged to Stay Off Roads". The Weather Channel. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  50. ^ Facebook. Pensacola International Airport https://www.facebook.com/FlyPensacola/posts/10151910457967584 |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 29 January 2014.