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Today in Weather History

| January 19, 2007 @ 4:02 pm | 4 Replies

On January 19, 1977 the virtually unthinkable happened. It snowed in Miami.

Actual snowflakes flying in the air at Miami Beach and as far south as the northern Florida Keys for the first time in recorded history. Homestead, Florida recorded a trace of snow.

It would be one of the worst freezes of the twentieth century in the Sunshine State. Temperatures were at or below freezing over the entire Florida Peninsula, on the the night of January 19-20 with a reading of 27F at Homestead. Unofficial readings in the area were as low as 20F and the mercury was below freezing for 10-14 hours and below the critical value of 28F for foiur to eight hours. A heavy frost occurred all the way to the coast. It was 27F in West Palm Beach and 32F in Miami Beach, both all-time records. Pensacola and Orland had an all-time record lows with 10F and 20F respectively.

35% of the citrus crop was lost and 95-100% of the vegetable crop. Florida economic damage totaled $2 billion.

The winters of 1976-77 and 1977-78 were especially brutal across much of the eastern United States. Temperatures over a wide area from Texas north to the Dakotas, east to New Jersey and south to Florida averaged 10 degrees below normal for the month. Across the Ohio Valley temperatures averaged as much as 12-19 degrees below normal. Across much of the eastern half of the nation, it was the coldest January in history. The mercury began plunging in early January as cold front after cold front swept down from Canada The waters of Long Island Sound froze solid enough for cars near New Haven, Connecticut.

There were no notable snowstorms across the country, like there would be a year later, but it did snow every single day during the month in Buffalo. Now there’s a place for snow lovers, huh?

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About the Author ()

Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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