Tampa Bay saw rare snow flurries on this day 32 years ago

Hillsborough County

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa nearly saw a white Christmas. It happened on December 23, 1989.

The snow was a part of the largest snowstorm in history for the Southeast U.S. coast and broke all-time snowfall records in Wilmington (15.3 inches), Cape Hatteras (13.3 inches), Charleston (8 inches), and Savannah (3.6 inches). 

Measurable snow fell as far south as Jacksonville and Tallahassee with snow flurries reported in Tampa and near Sarasota. 

According to the National Weather Service, many traffic accidents and several fatalities occurred on ice-covered roads in North Florida with extensive crop damage including a loss of about 30% of the $1.4 billion citrus crop occurred leaving tens of thousands of migrant farmworkers unemployed. 

On January 19, 1977, Tampa officially recorded .2 inches, but some areas got 1-2 inches of snow, Max Defender 8 meteorologists said there were hard freezes in the 1980s and some snow in inland areas years later, but no accumulation.

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