A punch of arctic air will plunge much of the Panhandle into below freezing temperatures Friday night, bringing a slight chance of snow for the Sunshine State’s northern boundary.
National Weather Service forecasters in Tallahassee were hesitant about putting the white stuff in the forecast, saying the possibility is so slim they left it out of the official prediction because of low confidence.
But forecast maps do show a hint of snow in the far western Panhandle.
And forecasters out of the NWS Mobile, Ala., office were more bold in their snow forecast for the Pensacola region. They said there is a potential for some snow mixed with rain for south central Alabama and some portions of the interior of western Florida.
Bad news for snowmen though.
“No accumulation is expected,” forecasters said.
For South Florida, a cold snap that could last through the middle of next week is possible.
Following well above normal temperatures and bouts of rain today and Friday, the mercury plunges Saturday and Sunday with high temperatures in the low to mid-60s and overnight lows in the 40s and 50s.
There could be heavier rain into early Saturday with localized flooding “certainly possible with the heaviest downpours.”
“By Saturday afternoon, skies will begin to gradually clear out and shower coverage become scattered as the front clears the peninsula to our south,” forecasters in Miami said. “Temperatures will not begin to cool down until Saturday afternoon.”
That’s when north winds will rush in with the drier, cooler air, dropping morning temperatures on Sunday into the low to mid-40s inland and struggling to reach 50 at the coast.
While there is no chance of snow for South Florida, it has happened before.
On the morning of Jan. 19, 1977, snow fell in Palm Beach County.
Previous to Jan. 19, 1977, the farthest south snow had been seen was along a line from Fort Myers to Fort Pierce in February 1899, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.