Looking Back: Blizzard of 1977 in Florida

Blast of cold air in mid-January delivered snow, below-freezing temperatures

By Jonathan Stacey - Meteorologist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville's low temperature today was 25° making it one of the coldest days in the recent memory, but despite the major mercury drop no record was matched or broken. In fact, the record for January 18th was set back in 1977.

North Florida was impacted by the storm, but the most memorable impact were seen and felt in South Florida. It was also known as the "Cold Wave of January 1977," and this event brought the first and only known trace of snow in the Miami-area. Flurries fell in Homestead and two inches of snow were calculated in Winter Haven. 

The cold wave occurred following the passage of a very strong cold front, in combination with a high-pressure situated over the Mississippi River. As a result, cold air spewed across Florida, causing both snow flurries and record low temperatures. 

Damage was most significant to agriculture, as major losses occurred to citrus fruits and tender vegetables. Some 35% of citrus crops in were damaged. Statewide, agricultural damage from the cold wave totaled to $350 million, and losses overall totaled to $2 billion.

One fatality occurred due to an automobile accident in Central Florida, which was related to the cold wave.

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