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Cold Temperatures and
Snow Flurries in East-Central Florida
January 24, 2003


An arctic air mass roared into central Florida early Friday morning (Jan. 24, 2003) and resulted in widespread readings in the 20s (except for locations near the coast where low/mid 30s occurred).  The strong northerly winds that ushered in the frigid air produced wind chill readings in the teens across much of the area.  These winds also brought moisture off of the Atlantic late Friday morning and into the early afternoon, resulting in snow flurries along the coastline of Brevard and Volusia counties.  The last time there have been reports of snow flurries across east central Florida was during the devastating Christmas freeze event in 1989
.
 

low temperature plot
Morning low temperatures for January 24, 2003
Sources include official and non-official observations.

 

adas temp depiction
Graphic showing temperatures across Florida at 7AM on 01/24/03
Sources include official and non-official observations.

 

flurry of flurries activity
The brief flurries cause quite a flurry of media activity and phone calls to the weather office!
 

satellite picture with snow depicted
 

 

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
1048 AM EST FRI JAN 24 2003

...FLURRIES OCCURRING ALONG THE COAST OF EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA...

THE COMBINATION OF VERY COLD TEMPERATURES AND STRONG NORTH TO
NORTHEAST WINDS ARE PRODUCING OCEAN EFFECT SNOW FLURRIES OFFSHORE
AND ALONG THE COAST OF EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA...ESPECIALLY NEAR CAPE
CANAVERAL. THESE FLURRIES WILL CONTINUE INTO THE EARLY AFTERNOON
HOURS BEFORE TEMPERATURES MODIFY CAUSING THE LIGHT SNOW AND
FLURRIES TO CHANGE OVER TO VERY LIGHT RAIN OR DRIZZLE. NO
ACCUMULATION OF SNOW IS EXPECTED. THE LAST TIME FLURRIES WERE
RECEIVED ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA WAS IN DECEMBER OF 1989.

$$

MJG

 

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
630 PM FRI JAN 24 2003
 
...A SUMMARY OF THIS MORNING'S FREEZE AND COASTAL SNOW SHOWERS...

RESIDENTS OF EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA AWOKE TO THE COLDEST MORNING OF
THE WINTER SEASON AS MINIMUM TEMPERATURES PLUNGED TO RECORD LEVELS
...RANGING FROM THE LOWER 20S NEAR THE OCALA FOREST TO THE UPPER 20S
AROUND LAKE OKEECHOBEE AND LOWER 30S ACROSS MARTIN COUNTY. EVEN
NEIGHBORING WEST PALM BEACH...SOUTH OF THE MELBOURNE FORECAST AREA...
DROPPED TO A FRIGID 33 DEGREES THIS MORNING. STRONG GUSTY NORTHWEST
WINDS OF AROUND 20 MPH...GUSTING ABOVE 30 MPH AT TIMES...RESULTED IN
WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES IN THE TEENS AREAWIDE.

THE ARCTIC AIR ALSO KEPT MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES ONLY IN THE 40S...WITH
UPPER 30S RECORDED ACROSS VOLUSIA COUNTY. THESE MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES
ALSO SET RECORDS FOR BEING THE COLDEST EVER RECORDED ON THIS DATE.

HOWEVER... A VERY UNUSUAL EVENT RESULTED FROM THE RIGHT COMBINATION
OF LOW AIR TEMPERATURE AND WIND TRAJECTORY FOR SOME EAST CENTRAL
FLORIDIANS: SNOW SHOWERS.

THIS TYPE OF SNOW...KNOWN AS "OCEAN EFFECT" IS IDENTICAL IN NATURE
TO IT'S GREAT LAKES COUNTERPART "LAKE EFFECT" SNOW. IT RESULTS WHEN
VERY COLD AIR PASSES OVER COMPARATIVELY WARM WATER...RESULTING IN THE
AIR BEING WARMED AND MOISTENED FROM BELOW. THE AIR THEN RISES...WITH
THE MOISTURE CONDENSING OUT IN THE FORM OF CLOUDS AND SNOW CRYSTALS.
THE WIND TRAJECTORY AT CLOUD LEVEL...IN THIS CASE OUT OF THE NORTH
TO NORTHEAST...CARRIED THESE CLOUDS ALONG WITH SOME FLURRIES AND
SPRINKLES OF VERY LIGHT RAIN...ONTO THE EAST CENTRAL COAST.

FROM THE EARLY MORNING THROUGH EARLY AFTERNOON...REPORTS OF
INTERMITTENT SNOW SHOWERS CAME INTO THE OFFICE FROM UP AND DOWN THE
EAST COAST...RANGING AS FAR NORTH AS FLAGLER BEACH...TO AS FAR SOUTH
AS FORT PIERCE...AND AS FAR INLAND AS THE NORTH END OF NOVA ROAD IN
EXTREME EASTERN ORANGE COUNTY.

REPORTS OF SNOW IN THE AIR WERE RECEIVED FROM THE FOLLOWING CITIES
AND TOWNS: FLAGLER BEACH...DAYTONA BEACH...PORT ORANGE...NEW SMYRNA
BEACH...MIMS...TITUSVILLE...MERRITT ISLAND...CAPE CANAVERAL...
SEBASTIAN...VERO BEACH...AND EVEN AS FAR SOUTH AS FORT PIERCE.

THE LAST TIME SNOW WAS OFFICIALLY RECORDED IN EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA
WAS IN DECEMBER 1989. BEFORE THAT...IT WAS RECORDED IN 1985...AND
AGAIN IN 1977. THERE HAVE...HOWEVER...BEEN INSTANCES IN BETWEEN
WHERE THERE HAVE BEEN UNOFFICIAL PUBLIC REPORTS OF A FEW SNOWFLAKES
IN THE AIR.

A SUMMARY OF THE RECORD LOW MINIMUM TEMPERATURES SET TODAY:

DAYTONA BEACH..25...OLD RECORD 28 SET IN 1985
ORLANDO INT'L..27...OLD RECORD 32 SET IN 1987
MELBOURNE..29.......OLD RECORD 33 SET IN 1960
VERO BEACH..30......OLD RECORD 33 SET IN 1987

A SUMMARY OF THE RECORD LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES SET TODAY:

DAYTONA BEACH..37...OLD RECORD 54 SET IN 1970***
ORLANDO INT'L..43...OLD RECORD 54 SET IN 1955
MELBOURNE......47...OLD RECORD 58 SET IN 1970
VERO BEACH.....47...OLD RECORD 58 SET IN 1960

***THIS TIES THE LOWEST MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED IN THE
MONTH OF JANUARY IN DAYTONA BEACH...FIRST SET ON JANUARY 21 1985.
THE ALL TIME LOWEST MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED IN DAYTONA
BEACH IS 33 DEGREES...SET DECEMBER 25 1983.***

A SUMMARY OF EARLY MORNING LOW TEMPERATURES:

20 PLYMOUTH (COOP)

22 UMATILLA (FAWN)
22 APOPKA (FAWN)

23 PIERSON (FAWN)
23 THE VILLAGES (ASOS)

24 OKAHUMPKA (FAWN)
24 LEESBURG (ASOS)

25 DAYTONA BEACH (ASOS)
25 DAYTONA BEACH (APRS)
25 TAVARES (FAWN)
25 LISBON (COOP)
25 AVALON (FAWN)
25 FORT PIERCE (AG CENTER)(COOP)

26 FORT DRUM (COOP)
26 CLERMONT (COOP)
26 ORLANDO (NEAR NAVAL TRAINING CENTER)(APRS)
26 ORLANDO (COOP)
26 SCOTTSMOOR (COOP)
26 KENANSVILLE (COOP)

27 DELAND (COOP)
27 ORLANDO INTL (ASOS)
27 ORLANDO EXECUTIVE (ASOS)
27 ORLANDO PINE HILLS (APRS)
27 SANFORD (COOP)
27 SANFORD (ASOS)
27 KISSIMMEE (COOP)
27 ORLANDO (COOP)

28 PONCE INLET (COOP)
28 ORLANDO (APRS)
28 TITUSVILLE (COOP)
28 ST CLOUD (APRS)
28 KISSIMMEE (APRS)
28 PALM BAY (COOP)
28 PALM BAY (APRS)

29 MELBOURNE (ASOS)
29 MELBOURNE (NWS COOP)
29 OKEECHOBEE (WATER PLANT)(COOP)
29 SE ORANGE COUNTY (CCAFS TOWER)
29 ORLANDO (AZALEA PARK) (APRS)
29 SHUTTLE LANDING SITE

30 ROCKLEDGE (APRS)
30 NORTH MERRITT ISLAND (APRS)
30 TITUSVILLE (SPACE COAST REGIONAL AIRPORT)
30 VERO BEACH (ASOS)
30 FORT PIERCE (ASOS)
30 FT PIERCE (FAWN)
30 PORT ST LUCIE (APRS)

31 PORT SALERNO (COOP)
31 PORT ST JOHN (APRS)
31 VERO BEACH (COOP)

32 FORT PIERCE (COOP)
32 VERO BEACH (APRS)

34 PATRICK AFB
34 NETTLES ISLAND (COOP)
34 STUART (COOP)

35 CANAL POINT (COOP)
35 JUPITER INLET (BEACH CAM)
35 JENSEN BEACH (BEACH CAM)

TEMPERATURES WILL SLOWLY MODERATE OVER THE WEEKEND...THEN COLD AIR
WILL BE REINFORCED BY ANOTHER COLD FRONT MOVING THROUGH THE STATE ON
MONDAY. TEMPERATURES MAY APPROACH FREEZING OVER THE NORTHERN
SECTIONS TUESDAY MORNING.

AC/RL/JRC

Posted January 24, 2003  DJ


 

 
 

National Weather Service
Melbourne Weather Forecast Office
421 Croton Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
321-255-0212
Web Master's E-mail: SR-MLB.Webmaster@noaa.gov
Date modified: January 17, 2007

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