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46 years ago, it snowed in the Tampa Bay area

Jan. 19, 1977, was the last measurable snow recorded in the Tampa Bay region.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay
Snow in Tampa on Jan. 19, 1977

TAMPA, Fla. — Raise your hand if you've ever heard this: it snowed in the Tampa Bay area before.

Yeah, you probably kept your hand down, but it's true! 

Forty-six years ago, people in the Tampa Bay area were lucky enough to see snow. This kind of extreme weather might be common in parts of the Florida Panhandle, but if you head south, people were able to enjoy the recorded 2 inches of snow in the local region. 

The date was Jan. 19, 1977. It was the last time measurable snow was recorded in the Bay area.

Although some may have enjoyed throwing snowballs or making snow angels, the weather actually caused a state of emergency, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

About 200 accidents were reported in the area, and 79 people were hospitalized across seven Hillsborough County hospitals, the newspaper says. 

Eight people were reportedly in critical condition and two crashes included school buses with children in them. There were no signs of serious injuries to the bus drivers or students, the Tampa Bay Times says.

Crops were also harmed, and power lines were knocked over by strong winds that took trees out of the ground, the Tampa Bay Times reports.  

According to CBS Miami, a cold front moved down Florida the day before the snow arrived and that combined with a strong arctic high set up to the state's west over the Mississippi Valley helped move the cold air. All of this eventually created snow in southern Florida. 

It's been a long time since the Tampa Bay area saw snow, and people can dream on as Thursday night is forecast to be partly cloudy with temps as high as 79 F.


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