The cold weather brought out more than just the layers of clothing for some local residents Wednesday. It also brought hopes of snow in South Florida
However, the National Weather Service clarifies that Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast did not get snow flurries on Wednesday, as those residents originally thought.
According to the NWS, what fell during the morning and afternoon hours could be graupel, a soft ice pellet-looking precipitation. It might also simply have been small hail.
A statement from the weather service reads: “Graupel forms in the same way as hail except the diameter is less than 5 millimeters. It usually grows by soft hail processes.”
Jan 22 @ 520 pm – Light rain showers mixed with graupel are occurring across the east coast of south Florida this evening. This is NOT snow. It's too warm for snow to occur. #flwx pic.twitter.com/ljpqHCQkvP
— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) January 22, 2020
In addition, meteorologists with our TV news partner, WPTV NewsChannel 5, say it is also possible that gusty winds pushed cold air and graupel down from the clouds, and it simply did not have a chance to melt before hitting the ground.
The one and only time our region has actually seen snow was on January 19, 1977. Most of the flakes melted on impact.