A brutal winter storm dumped snow in Tallahassee on Wednesday for the first time in almost three decades before slogging up the Atlantic coast and smacking Southern cities such as Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina, with a rare blast of snow and ice.
Much of the state is under a weather alert, from freeze warnings and wind chill advisory to a winter storm warning.
As the storm moves north from Florida, it will drop as many as 30 cm of snow in Boston and similar amounts in eastern Canada.
About.1 inch of snow/sleet was accumulated on the roof of the National Weather Service's Tallahassee office, the agency said. Parts of Florida were covered in snow on January 3, with Tallahassee seeing flakes fall for the first time in decades! But Florida, especially its northern reaches, can certainly see temperatures drop when cold air invades from the north, as it has over the last few days.
Forecasters said the night-time temperature would fall below freezing in Tallahassee this week.
In central Florida, the states largest theme parks announced that water attractions such as Disneys Typhoon Lagoon, Universal Orlandos Volcano Bay and SeaWorlds Aquatica were closed Wednesday because of the cold snap.
The temperature early Wednesday in Orlando was 50 degrees Fahrenheit and it was raining.
In Jacksonville, the mayor told non-essential city employees to stay home on Wednesday.
Tallahassee police tweeted a video of snow falling in the area, but cautioned drivers who were about to hit the icy roads. African elephants, lions and gorillas were sheltered out of public view.
Local news outlets report the zoo in Asheboro is offering the special discount rates through Saturday.
Brutal winter weather that's brought subzero temperatures to parts of the U.S.is threatening to dump snow and ice across areas of the South that rarely see flurries, much less accumulation.
But with this low-pressure system developing off the Atlantic coast of Florida, moisture was pulled far enough westward to provide the fuel for snow and the area - like the rest of the eastern half of the country - has "had an unusually long stretch of cold weather", he said. It warned that icy roads and low visibility could make driving treacherous across the region.
It marks the first snowfall in 28 years in Tallahassee.