Jesse Ferrell

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White Butts and Florida Snow Record

November 22, 2006; 1:17 PM ET

UPDATE: WeatherMatrix Member Thomas Giella from Lakeland, Florida has published (in his weather blog) another NWS statement talking about snowfall in at least three Florida counties.

SOUTHERN SNOW SUMMARY:

Additional information has come in today regarding yesterday's record snowfall in the South. I thought this was extreme enough to deserve a new headline. Here's what happened.


- Record early snow was sighted in Florida
- Record early snow fell at Charleston SC and Savannah, GA
- Thundersnow was recorded for the first time ever at Charleston, SC
- "Unusually early snow" fell at at least 9 official stations in NC, SC, GA
- Snow accumulated on the ground up to 2 inches


In addition to the NWS & AccuWeather statements here, there are many news stories on the event (NC, SC | GA | FL). For example, this article in the T&D in South Carolina mentions that, sadly, "Emergency workers rushed to the aid of one of their own when an ambulance overturned on U.S. Highway 301 Tuesday afternoon. The ambulance was not transporting a patient at the time of the accident and the passengers were not seriously injured."


Our meteorologists have noted this morning in our our Weather Headlines (PREMIUM | PRO that snow was even observed in Florida (!):

A rare weather event occurred on Tuesday as snow and sleet mixed with rainfall across parts of the Southeast. Normally, you would expect to hear about November snowfall in Augusta, Maine; however, this was not the case on Tuesday, as areas near Augusta, Ga.., had the white wintry weather. In Georgia, Millen recorded up to 2 inches of snow, while an inch whitened Lawton, Sylvania and Butts. Snow even appeared in Florida, as light snow mixed with light rain and drizzle as far south as the county that houses Orlando.


An internal memo here further noted: Although there were no official ASOS (automated) sites that have reported snow, there was a statement issued by the NWS (permalink) in Melbourne last night stating snow was sighted just north of Orlando in some spots mixed with rain. This would make this the earliest snow ever observed in the state of Florida on record. There is only one known instance of snow ever on record here in November. On November 27-28, 1912, traces of snow were reported in Blounstown, Tallahassee, Marianna and Mt. Pleasant measured 0.5".

That area of Florida hasn't seen snow AT ALL since 2003 (USAToday). The NWS in Columbia SC also issued this statement (future permalink) overnight:

STRONG LOW PRESSURE OFF THE COAST SPREAD MOISTURE INTO THE REGION. IT WAS COLD ENOUGH FOR SOME OF THE PRECIPITATION TO BE IN THE FORM OF SNOW AND SLEET. THE SNOW AND SLEET MAINLY OCCURRED IN A BAND THAT EXTENDED FROM LAKE MARION THROUGH EASTERN ORANGEBURG COUNTY... BAMBERG COUNTY AND BARNWELL COUNTY. NORTHWEST OF THIS AREA THE PRECIPITATION WAS MAINLY RAIN WITH SLEET AND SNOW MIXED IN AT TIMES. SNOWFALL AMOUNTS WERE LESS THAN ONE INCH IN THE BAND EXTENDING FROM LAKE MARION TO BARNWELL. THE ACCUMULATION WAS MAINLY ON GRASSY AND ELEVATED AREAS...BUT SOME SLUSH DID ACCUMULATE ON ROADS. SEVERAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS OCCURRED IN THE AREA. NO ACCUMULATION OCCURRED NORTHWEST OF THE BAND. THIS EVENT WAS UNUSUAL FOR SO EARLY IN THE SEASON. THE LAST TIME
SNOW AND OR SLEET OCCURRED IN COLUMBIA WAS NOVEMBER THE ELEVENTH 1968. ALSO...THE EARLIEST DATE OF SNOW AND OR SLEET IN AUGUSTA WAS NOVEMBER THE ELEVENTH 1968 WHEN A TRACE OCCURRED. THIS WAS ALSO THE LAST TIME SNOW OR SLEET OCCURRED IN AUGUSTA DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.