While the weather might be frightful in many parts of the country this time of the year, it is truly delightful here in Sarasota, Florida! If you are looking to leave the snow and the cold behind, you can’t beat the weather here. Usually the words “snow” and “Florida” don’t go together. As you may know, it’s quite rare for it to snow in Florida, especially in South Florida and Sarasota…until it really did! It’s so rare that it’s one of those memories that you know exactly where you were and what you were doing on that day. The news that dominated The Tampa Tribune on Jan. 19, 1977, was the snowfall in Tampa — that rare occurrence when a blast of Arctic air and our high humidity came together to make for an unforgettable experience. Real snow fell across almost all of Florida — even as far south as Miami.
It was the only time in South Florida history that snow fell from the skies, swirling over palm trees, dazzling school children and surprising the region’s normally sun-baked residents. That was 40 years ago. Officially, the National Weather Service recorded it as only a trace of snow. The moment it hit the ground, it quickly dissipated. Yet many people vividly remember that day. To them, it was akin to a raging blizzard. Some motorists pulled to the side of the road in wonderment. Teachers allowed school children to break out of classes to let flakes fall on their faces.
But for most, it was as awesome as watching a space shuttle launch up close and personal. The bold headlines in the Sarasota Herald Tribune the next day: "RECORDS TUMBLE, CITRUS IN PERIL AS SNOW, ICY WEATHER HIT FLORIDA"! My wife remembers that she was at 7-11 buying milk, walked out and there was snow falling! It was so exciting! But by the time it hit her hand it melted. She said she put her face to the sky, held out her arms, and whirled around in something completely foreign to her, a light snow. Other people got out of their cars in amazement, and looked at one another as if they were experiencing some kind of miracle.
Today's forecast, which calls for highs in the high 70s and low 80s across South Florida, doesn't include snow. Come on in, the water is fine! (It really is a matter of perspective but many of our Northern visitors repeatedly tell us the water here is warmer in the winter than it is back home in the summer). Our visitors find it hard to believe that our average water temperature from December to March is 65 degrees. Sure, there are days of “sweater weather” and there are days with a slight breeze coming off the Gulf. Either way, it is almost always sunnier here than it is back at home. However, when we drive by that 7-11, we still remember day it snowed in South Florida!
Liz and I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season and that you stay warm and cozy! And...If you are looking to buy a home in sunny Sarasota, Florida, call me and we will enjoy the warm winter weather and find your dream home in paradise...and we will tell you about the day it snowed in Home Town Sarasota!