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Here’s why some Floridians thought they saw snow Wednesday

This type of precipitation is still out of the ordinary for the Sunshine State.
Twitter user Mark Kelly (@MarkKellyWPBF) posted a video of what looked like snow flurries in South Florida. [Twitter screenshot]
Twitter user Mark Kelly (@MarkKellyWPBF) posted a video of what looked like snow flurries in South Florida. [Twitter screenshot]
Published Jan. 23

SOUTH FLORIDA — It wasn’t just petrified iguanas that fell from above this week. Some Floridians swore they saw snow flurries, too.

Meteorologists were quick to correct the record. There was no snow in Florida — but it sure did look like it in some places, especially north Palm Beach County.

The phenomenon is known as graupel.

“It’s ice pellets that end up getting mixed in with the rain," said Harry Weinman, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Miami. “It’s actually not snow. It doesn’t form in the same process.”

This type of precipitation is still out of the ordinary for south Florida, Weinman said. The graupel occurred when wind from yesterday’s cold front pushed the pellets down from the upper atmosphere.

Though temperatures dipped to as low as 40 degrees at Miami International Airport, the surface temperature was too warm for snow, Weinman said.

While it may not have snowed in Florida this week, it did back in 1977. See photos of the historic day here.

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  9. Twitter user Mark Kelly (@MarkKellyWPBF) posted a video of what looked like snow flurries in South Florida.
  10. Michael Stevens, 28, left, works to stay warm with friend Cash Holland, 21, right, outside the Boys and Girls Club of Tarpon Springs' cold night shelter on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, where the homeless men were among 28 people who took refuge from cooler weather which dipped to 36 degrees in north Pinellas County overnight. The shelter is funded through Pinellas County's Health and Human Services department and provided shelter and a hot breakfast for those who came.
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