Many vividly remember the day it snowed in South Florida, 35 years ago Thursday.

Many vividly remember the day it snowed in South Florida, 35 years ago Thursday.

It was the only time in South Florida history that snow fell from the skies, swirling over palm trees, dazzling school children and surprising the region’s normally sun-baked residents.

That was on Jan. 19, 1977 - 35 years ago Thursday.

Officially, the National Weather Service recorded it as only a trace of snow. The moment it hit the ground, it quickly dissipated. Yet many people vividly remember that day. To them, it was akin to a raging blizzard.

Allen Greenspan, a criminalist with the Broward Sheriff's Office, was a senior at the University of Miami, on his way to an 8 a.m. class at the time.

"I left the dorm to go for breakfast before going to class, and remember walking out the door and seeing the snow flurries and thinking to myself, I left New Jersey to get away from this stuff, what the heck is going onhere!" he said.

Sonya Sedler Moste of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea was in fourth grade at Cooper City Elementary on that day.

"Our teacher wouldn't let us go outside to fully experience it," she said. "I remember being mad at missing such a historic moment. But I could see it through the windows and thought it  was amazing, since I had never seen snow before."

Jim Lushine, a retired meteorologist, who lived in Perrineat the time, likes to joke that he initially thought the flakes were a “cocaine drop had gone bad. But it turned out to be real snow.”

“There was dusting on cars and people saw flakes coming down. But it wasn’t measurable, so it wasn’t recorded as a snow event,” said weather service specialist Bob Ebaugh.

Soon after the snow started to fall that morning, as far south as Homestead, thousands of residents ran outside to see and feel it.

Some motorists pulled to the side of the road in wonderment. Teachers allowed school children to break out of classes to let flakes fall on their faces.

Southern Sanitation Inc., of Pompano Beach, which jokingly put "Free Snow Removal" on its garbage trucks, started receiving phone calls from people poking fun.

But it wasn’t fun for everyone. Because temperatures were in the low 30s, paramedics responded to dozens of cold-related calls.

Many people later discovered that near freezing temperatures had killed plants around their homes. And the area's crops were ravaged.

But for most, it was as awesome as watching a space shuttle launch up close and personal. The bold headline in that day's Fort Lauderdale News: Snow!

What caused it to snow that day? Extremely cold air at higher levels combined with a low-pressure disturbance that created moisture in the atmosphere, the weather service says.

Interestingly, the next day, Jan. 20, 1977, it was even colder, as the mercury plunged to 27 degrees in West Palm Beach and 28 degrees in Fort Lauderdale, both still records.

Although it could snow again in South Florida someday, that’s probably not going to happen this winter, which is predicted to be warmer and drier than normal.

Indeed, for this Thursday, exactly 35 years later, the forecast calls for a weak cold front to drop temperatures into the mid 70s. No snow is expected, said meteorologist Andrew Kennedy.

“It’s going to be a little drier but still warm,” he said. “By the weekend, we’ll be back to the 80s.”

Others who remember that day: