The history of snow in the Sunshine State

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”Willy Wofson, left, is surprised and delighted with the light dusting of snow that fell in Lakeland, Florida in January 1982. Snow was a rare occurrence in Lakeland, having previously snowed in 1977.” | Photo via the Lakeland Public Library

Raise your hand if you remember FL’s “great snowfall” of 1977. ✋

In case you missed it, or don’t remember, here’s what happened: On Jan. 19, 1977, Floridians (Lakelanders included) awoke to snowfall, bringing in two inches in some spots.

While the snow day did cause a few mishaps for Florida residents (like car accidents + a few frozen crops), it seemed as though most celebrated the once-in-a-lifetime snowfall with activities like catching flakes on their tongues + making hot chocolate.

Check out a few more snowtable facts about Florida’s relationship with snow days:

❄️ The earliest recorded snowfall in Florida was in 1774. It was such a phenomenon that some Jacksonville, FL residents called the snow “extraordinary white rain.”

❄️ The first “White Christmas” in Florida’s history was in 1989, with several inches in some areas, making it the first White Christmas in Jacksonville’s history. The snow even reached as far south as Pinellas County.

❄️ In January of 2020, there were reports of graupel (soft hail or snow pellets) in South Florida, spanning across coastal Palm Beach + Broward Counties. We should have known 2020 was going to be weird, based on this alone.

Don’t get your hopes up for a white winter this year, this season’s weather unsurprisingly doesn’t call for snowand meteorologists predict the weather to range between 36º-84ºF, for the first week of January — talk about odd weather patterns.

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