New York is the host of many of the country’s snowiest cities. However, over the weekend of December 9, many states in the South saw their own fair share of snow showers, including the Sunshine State of Florida.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Northern parts of Florida such as Destin and Miramar Beach saw temperatures as low as 30 degrees between the hours of Saturday night and Sunday morning. Escambia County, Pensacola, Crestview, and parts of Tampa Bay saw up to two inches of snow.
According to National Weather Service forecaster Marc Austin, Florida’s abnormally cold temperatures were caused by a high-pressure system caused by an arctic air mass. When the winds died down in the area, Austin said, it caused the area to cool.
“It does look like it’s going to get a little colder tonight,” said Austin prior to Sunday’s 20-degree chill. “Tonight will be the coldest night in Florida this week. Probably the coldest night it’s been since last winter.”
The winter flurries were sure to be a surprise for vacationers, 53% of whom prefer to sunbathe when they take to the beach. And, considering approximately 86% of Floridians use central air conditioning rather than heating and cooling, the drop in temperature was sure to be a shivering shocker.
Florida isn’t the only state in the South to see snowfall. According to Syracuse.com, Georgia businesses and schools were closed, North Carolina has warnings for ice, Mississippi saw its highest snowfall in Jackson since 1982, and parts of Texas had up to 2.5 inches of snow.
However, South Florida isn’t expected to see snow like its northern counterparts. Although temperatures are expected to drop down into the 40s with daylight temperatures as low as the 60s, the tropical climate of South Florida is expected to pull through.
In other parts of the state, many Americans took the opportunity to build some of their first snowmen. Others took photos of the light dusting of snow on the Welcome to Florida sign.
However, what the National Weather Service is calling Winter Storm Benji is not all snow-angels and gingerbread houses. Many people in the South are unaccustomed to snow, which can cause dangerous roadways.
Up to 80% of American drivers experience bumper scratches when parking their own vehicle. Add slick and unsalted roads into the mix and driving becomes that much more dangerous.
Many car accidents as a result of the storm occurred in Virginia, one of which caused the deaths of a 27-year-old woman and a five-year-old boy. For this reason, Americans are reminded to drive with caution during snowy weather.
On the heels of Winter Storm Benji, snowfall is expected to blanket across the Northeast. Parts of New York are expected to see as high as 14 inches.
However, according to Patch, New York City dwellers won’t have to worry too much. Less than 4.5 inches are expected to fall over the next few days.