Winter Storm Liam was the eleventh named storm of the 2017-18 North American Winter and the fourth time snow had fallen and the largest snowstorm in the state's history.
Preceding Conditions Edit
Cold temperatures returned to the much of the Central and Southern United States on January 28. Notably in Florida, the temperature dropped to 24 Degrees Fahrenheit in Tampa on January 29, and on the same day 26 Degrees Fahrenheit in Orlando. Governor Rick Scott advised residents living in Northern and Central areas of the state to stock up of heating and rock salt in case of pipe freezes or black ice.
Meteorological History Edit
On January 27, forecasters had been tracking a shortwave trough that formed over Manitoba, Canada. As through moved southward through the Plains, it took the colder Canadian air with it. By 0:00 UTC, January 29, a surface low had developed over the Eastern Plains of New Mexico, and dammed cold air from the Southern Rockies. The system tracked southward while producing rain and sleet in New Mexico, Far Western Texas, and Far Northern Mexico. In the pre-dawn hours of January 30, another blast of cold Canadian air was absorbed in the system and was enough to change the rain and sleet to snow, while still producing heavy rainfall to the south. At the time forecasters in Florida regarded the storm as ''potentially historic''. Later that day, the system moved into the Gulf of Mexico and began to intensify still picking up colder air as it tracked eastward. On January 31, the system hit the Florida Peninsula brining heavy rain to South Florida, Western Cuba, and the Bahamas, and heavy snow to Central and Northern Florida. The system moved into the Atlantic Ocean on February 1 and was warmed on powered by a subtropical jet stream. On February 3, the system was named ''Cyclone Jira'' by the Free University of Berlin. On February 4, ''Jira'' hit Azores with heavy rain and high winds. On February 5, the ''Jira'' crossed the Iberian Peninsula bringing rain and mountain snow to Spain and Portugal. Later that day, ''Jira'' was absorbed into the circulation of ''Cyclone Kari'' over the Mediterranean Sea.
- Winter Storm Liam brought blizzard conditions to Florida and the Mississippi Delta. A Blizzard Warning was issued for extreme Southeastern Louisiana and the West Coast of Florida from Fort Myers to Cedar Key, the first time such a warning had been issued in both states history.
- The highest wind gusts from the storm reached 81 mph on Sanibel Island, Florida
- Public schools were closed as far south as Lee County for January 31
- Even the University of Central Florida canceled classes for January 31 due to Liam
- Liam also brought rip currents to parts of the Gulf, Georgia, Carolina, East Mexican, and Cuban coasts
- Snow from Liam in Florida fell at up to 2 inches per hour with final totals up to almost 2 feet with drifts totaling 7 feet
Snowfall Totals by StateEdit
- 6.5 inches in Brownsville (All Time Snow Record)
- 5 inches in McAllen (All Time Snow Record)
- 3.5 inches in Laredo
- 2 inches in Del Rio
- 1.4 inches in Port Sulphur
- 1.5 inches in Fort Pierce
- 6.5 inches in Melbourne
- 11 inches in St. Petersburg
- 12.5 inches in Tampa
- 18.5 inches in Clearwater
- 23 inches in Oldsmar
- 11.5 inches in Lakeland
- 13 inches in Orlando
- 6 inches in Daytona Beach
- 3 inches in Ocala
Rainfall Totals Edit
- 5.99 inches in Miami, Florida
- 3.83 inches in Naples, Florida
- 2.02 inches in West Palm Beach, Florida
- 4.00 inches in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- 4.34 inches in Hollywood, Florida