Florida Panhandle Goes From 75 Degrees to Snow Flurries in 12 Hours in Wild Weather Shift

The Florida Panhandle is experiencing a weather phenomenon not usually affiliated with the Sunshine State: snow.

Snow dusting has been reported throughout the Panhandle, including the city of Fort Walton Beach. The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Department posted a video on Monday showing light snow dust falling from the sky when the temperature low was 34 degrees. Just hours earlier, a high of 75 degrees was recorded.

"Well how's this for a temperature change?" the office wrote on Monday. "From 75 degrees at 3 in the afternoon to snow at 3 am captured during patrol in the Lowe's parking lot on Beal by B-Shift Central! Bundle up out there!"

Fort Walton Beach is not the only place experiencing such unlikely weather. The city of Freeport also saw snowflakes on Monday morning, according to the Walton County Sheriff's Office.

"During a traffic stop early this morning in Freeport, Florida, a [Walton County Sheriff's Office] deputy noticed snow flurries falling around him," the sheriff's department said on Twitter. "Needless to say, the driver got a warning. Enjoy, and wherever the driver is - you have Mother Nature to thank."

The snow flurries in the Florida Panhandle are just one result of a massive cold front sweeping the nation. The Appalachian and mid-Atlantic regions are experiencing major snow dumps, prompting winter storm warnings. The highest snow totals have been in parts of southern Maryland and Virginia, with around 10 inches recorded.

Thundersnow, a rare weather phenomenon in which a thunderstorm occurs at the same time as a snowstorm, has been reported in several states since Sunday. These states include Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Tennessee, according to Fox Weather.

Snow Flurry Snowman
Parts of the Florida Panhandle got a dusting of snow early Monday after temperatures dropped dramatically from the previous day. Above, a snowman with a face mask on Washington, D.C.'s National Mall on January 31, 2021. Photo by Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Michele Nicholson, a spokeswoman for the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, said in an email that the snow didn't stick so it didn't cause any problems.

Don Shepherd, a senior forecaster for the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, said in a phone interview that the dusting was "just a few little flurries."

The last time the Florida Panhandle had any significant winter weather was in January 2018 when a storm dumped snow in Tallahassee for the first time in three decades and forced the closure of schools, offices and a stretch of Interstate 10.

The National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, whose territory includes the Florida Panhandle, warned Monday that it was going to be unusually cold for the area and would feel colder than the actual temperature because of breezy conditions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.