Sandy Christmas Snowman on the Beach — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Image by: Artiom Photo
The Sunshine State might not end 2022 with a white Christmas, however, it got close to having one according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
Northern and Central Florida experienced overnight lows in the 20s, while the Big Bend and Panhandle region was put under a severe freeze warning that lasted through Monday morning.
Even while wind chills might have made it feel colder than usual in many places, it still did not break the record for Florida’s coldest Christmas. It is certainly within the top five, trailing close behind the Christmas cold wave of 1983, as well as the Christmas of 1989. These two events would continue to hold the record for the majority of the nation.
However, the weather service confirmed that sleet, also known as partially melted snowflakes, was observed early Sunday morning near Viera, Rockledge, and Merritt Island areas throughout Brevard County. According to them, sleet can heavily accumulate on the ground and appear like snow.
Videos posted throughout social media show heavy ice pellets dropping in residential areas while several parts of Brevard County were put under a freeze watch. At 6 a.m. on Christmas, temperatures fell to 30 in Leesburg, 28 in Daytona Beach, 30 in Orlando, 28 in Sanford, 34 in Melbourne, 37 in Fort Pierce, and 36 in Vero Beach.
“Best Christmas ever,” Twitter user @kahristah wrote from Rockledge and shared videos of the sleet.
User @SteveOStereo posted a video showing ice pellets coming down on top of a car. “SLEET on Christmas Morning in Rockledge!” he said.
The last time wintry weather was observed in Central Florida was in January 2010, when Ocala received a light dusting while Orlando and certain areas of the Space Coast had a wintry mix (including light snow and sleet).
In Central Florida, this Christmas is one of the coldest ever. Most communities’ high temperatures only reached the 40s, with a few locations along the Space Coast reaching nearly 50 degrees.
A slow yet steady warming trend will return during the last week of the year with highs reaching the 60s on Tuesday and 70s by Wednesday.
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Chris began his writing as a hobby while attending Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Today he and his wife live in the Orlando area with their three children and dog.