CRESTVIEW — In addition to being the Hub City, locals have called Crestview "the icebox of Florida” due to its cold winters.
On the Weather Underground website, wunderground.com, Crestview often appears among the top 10 Florida cities with the lowest temperatures.
Crestview should have one of the coldest climates due to its location, but the cities with the lowest temperatures are neighboring Milton and the New Hope community east of DeFuniak Springs, Florida State University climatologist David Zierden said.
"Crestview is one of the coldest, but it is not the coldest in the state," he said. On average, Milton and New Hope have beaten Crestview by a couple degrees."
With a 30-year average of low temperatures for January in Florida, Milton and New Hope have an average of 36 degrees, beating Crestview by just one degree, Zierden said.
"Typically, if we are not the coldest, then we are close to it," said Chayne Sparagowski, who collects data for the National Weather Service with a weather monitoring system at his Crestview residence. The Citizens Weather Observation Program shares data from his monitoring system and other weather stations throughout the country.
"A lot of times, we are the coldest by just a few degrees," Sparagowski said, adding the city is north enough inland that ocean temperatures coming from the Gulf of Mexico don't affect the city. Such temperatures typically help warm coastal cities like Fort Walton Beach, Panama City and Destin.
As of this writing, Crestview’s all-time lowest temperature was 8 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded Jan. 13 1981, Zierden said.
Florida's all-time lowest temperature belongs to the state's capital. On Feb. 13 1899, Tallahassee recorded a low temperature of -2 degrees Fahrenheit.
"There were actually kids playing in the snow near the capital building steps," Zierden said, referring to photographs that document that day.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.