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January 3, 2018: It snowed in Florida

Posted at 5:18 PM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 19:24:42-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — For the first time in 28 years, it snowed in north Florida.

The National Weather Service said snow fell across Interstate 10 and toward Jacksonville on Florida's Atlantic coast.

WEATHER ALERT | Freeze Warnings issued for Tampa Bay

In a tweet, the National Weather Service in Tallahassee said points to the east got "steady freezing rain, sleet and snow." Officials also warned drivers about dangerous driving conditions.
Officials said about 0.1 inch (0.25 centimeter) of snow was reported on the roof of weather service office in Tallahassee.

Schools were already closed in several northern Florida districts due to winter break.

In Jacksonville, the mayor told non-essential city employees to stay home on Wednesday.

The cold snap has farmers across the state on alert.

Citrus trees survive until temperatures fall to 28 degrees or less for at least three hours. 

Both citrus and strawberry growers protect their crops by running irrigation systems once the temperature dips toward 32 degrees. The freezing water creates ice, which releases heat that protects the fruit.

Strawberry growers typically run irrigation systems to "ice" the fruit at least once per season. There are about 8,000 acres of strawberry farms in the state, which is the second largest strawberry producing region in the U.S., according to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. Most of the berries are grown just east of downtown Tampa.