Comparing notes on what each other's weathers are like over lunch, I remembered the day it snowed in South Florida. Coincidentally, tonight I run across this link to the Miami Herald, "Jan. 19. 1977: The day it snowed in Miami".
Thirty years ago today, snowflakes briefly dusted palm trees, windshields and people from Miami to West Palm Beach -- a freak but brief winter wonderland and the only South Florida snowfall on record in the 20th century.Like all Floridians here at the time, I remember it very clearly. I was working as tester/technician for a company that made transformers, and was waiting to go into work at 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning. The place was outside Deerfield Beach, about 40 miles north of downtown Miami, and 10 or so from my home in Ft. Lauderdale. My car: a '72 Ford Pinto with minimal creature comforts. It was cold and I was waiting in the car rather than standing outside by the door. All of a sudden motion caught my eye and I noticed something white blowing around (it was windy as well as unusually cold). It didn't take long to realize it was snow flurries. I was wearing a lightweight, navy blue, nylon jacket, and I vividly recall the snow bouncing off the dark jacket.
Mrs. Graybeard, whom I wouldn't meet for another two years, tells me that she called the day care center where her son was and asked if they would take them out to see the snow. The person on the phone, undoubtedly fielding the same call 40 or 50 times, said, "do you think we could have kept them in?"
Miami's snow fall during the Blizzard of 1977 was caused by a combination of two artic cold fronts -- one passed the region on Jan. 16 followed by a second faster-moving one in the middle of the night the day it snowed.This picture from Tampa, midway up the state on the west coast, where they had measurable accumulation.
That second front chilled the region and moved so quickly that moisture -- usually ahead of such fronts -- instead lagged behind, setting the stage for the snow.
"Basically, what happened is that the precipitation formed in the clouds did not have enough time to melt before it reached the ground, " Molleda said.