Can Florida get snow?

Florida is the state where snowbirds go for sunshine. The state boasts of pleasant sunshine for most of the year. So, you may wonder, can Florida get snow?

Snow is very rare in Florida. But it sometimes falls in the northern and central parts of the state. What’s more common here is frost and fog. The rarity of snow is due to its low latitude and subtropical climate. The best time to visit this state is between March and April or September and October.

However, the state has pleasant weather throughout the year, so you can come here anytime. But there are weather disasters to be wary of when visiting the state. Here, we discuss whether Florida experiences snowfall.

Florida Climate

Florida is one of the most populous states in the US. With over 21 million people. It’s one of the biggest states by population. It’s in the southeastern part of the US, sharing borders with the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Alabama, and Georgia. The state has a humid subtropical climate in the north and central parts, while the south enjoys a tropical climate. But residents do get cold spells here between November and March.

The state is long, with different variations in its climate depending on the part you are in. The variation is evident in winter, which lasts three months between December and January. It’s possible to get snow in any of these months.

Snow is Florida

Snow is rare in the state, but the northern and central parts of the state see occasional snowfalls. Fog and frost are more common in the state. Snow happens when water vapor goes into the atmosphere and condenses to become ice crystals. If the temperature is at a certain low level, the ice crystals will fall as snow. The state’s low latitude and subtropical climate mean that the temperature necessary to support snowfall doesn’t occur often. When they do, they disappear quickly.

Frost is more common in Florida than snowfall. It only requires any temperature equal to or below 32 °F (0 °C) at 2 meters (7 feet) above sea level, relative humidity equal to or above 65%, and a cloudless sky for frost to form. Most parts of the state are too far for the cold continental air masses causing snow to reach there.

However, the state has experienced several severe bouts of cold, many times in the past. This usually happens when a strong high-pressure system accompanies an intense low-pressure system. Cold air invasion happens here occasionally, and the results are cold air outbreaks below the freezing temperature.

The first record of snow in the state was in 1774. One of the biggest snow events in the state was the Great Arctic outbreak in 1889. This forced Canadian Arctic air into Florida, leading to temperature dropping as low as -2°F.

South Florida usually has pleasant weather all year round. Even in December, when most of the country is cold, the temperature here can be as high as 80°F. Usually, the temperature rarely goes below 40°F. The few times the temperature enters negative, it’s mostly at night. North Florida gets the bulk of the snow when it snows during the winter. The snow usually comes as snow flurries rather than melting as soon as they hit the ground.

Most places have a record of snowfall in Florida except Key West and the Florida Keys. They have never recorded any snow flurries for over 300 years. But places like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach have not seen snow since 1977.

The further north you travel in Florida, the higher the chance of snow. So, the northernmost parts of the panhandle are where snow is most likely. Most of the snow activities in the state happen in the Jacksonville and North Florida area. In 1899, Jacksonville saw a record snow of 1.9 inches. Major cities that are likely to experience snow in Florida are Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Crestview, and Niceville. These cities have similar weather conditions with a subtropical climate and stand the best chance of seeing snow. 

When should you visit Florida?

The best time to visit Florida is March to April or September to October. But this doesn’t mean other periods are great too. Like other parts of us, the state experiences 4 seasons. The spring season is usually fantastic. Running from March to May, this period boasts temperatures in the mid-70s and 80s, depending on which part of the state you are in.

March and April are very dry. But by late May, the rainfall is already coming in heavy. Spring isn’t the peak season for traveling here. So, there’s a chance of getting more affordable rates for everything in the state.

Summer is from May to September and is generally the sunniest part of the year. It’s the peak season. You’ll immediately notice the crowds and the high cost of everything. Temperatures during this period ranged from the 80s to the 90s. But the rainfall too can be quite high, and the storm season starts in June.

The Fall season, which lasts from September to November, is also one of the best times to come here. The temperature is back to spring levels, and the weather is great and conducive. The crowd has also started thinning by this time. But tropical storms and hurricanes are common during this period.

Winter could also be a great time to visit, and some snowbirds come here during the period. It’s highly unlikely that it’ll snow. However, you must avoid the roads when it snows in Florida. The state doesn’t have snow equipment. So, accidents are common during this period.

If you’re planning to visit Florida, you’re likely going there for the sunshine. But weather disasters such as tropical cyclones. Flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes, and thunderstorms happen here during different seasons. So, you should note that before going.

In Conclusion

Florida is an amazing place. It didn’t get the sunshine state name for no reason. Snow is very rare here, but it happens once in a while. Any sign of snow here will most likely be in the north. Watch out for that.