Yesterday, area meteorologists were calling for a slim chance for snow and sleet in Southwest Florida, which could have brought glimpses of snow to Longboat Key for the first time since 1985.
But today, meteorologists changed their minds for Longboat Key and the entire area in general.
“No way is there going to be snow on Longboat Key or in Southwest Florida,” said Rick Davis, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office, in Ruskin. “But there is the slimmest of slim chances for a frozen precipitation mix (sleet) in the area.”
Davis said Longboat Key and the surrounding area would be just slightly too warm Saturday morning for snow sightings.
“But, you will see a very cold day, with a very cold rain Saturday on the island,” Davis said.
A second cold spell, which is stronger than the cold front the island experienced this week, will bring temperatures to freezing levels again this weekend.
Longboat Key’s forecast calls for a high of 45 degrees and a low of 36 degrees Saturday, with a 60% chance of rain early in the day. Sunday’s forecast calls for a high of 49 degrees and a low of 31 degrees with clear skies. Temperatures on Longboat Key are expected to rebound into the 60s by Tuesday.
There is a stronger chance for snow flurry sightings north of Tampa Bay and in Central Florida Saturday, Davis said.
The last report of snow for Southwest Florida was documented in 1977, when close to a half an inch of snow was reported to have fallen in the Tampa Bay area.
And in Longboat Key, snow was last reported in the air for a few minutes Jan. 21, 1985. Before that, snowflakes were not seen on the island since 1977.
Strong cold fronts will continue to come from the North Pole all winter long, though, which Davis said increases the chance that flurries could be seen in the area in the coming months.
“If there was a year that snow flurries would be more likely to be spotted on Longboat Key, this would be the year,” Davis said.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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