Gulf Islands National Seashore

Get ahead of this weather phenomenon before it’s debunked on Snopes.

A minivan in Florida sits door-handle deep in white powder, while a bulldozer clears the road in the distance. Did the Great Southern Snowstorm of 1977 just repeat itself?

Although imminent chain emails from your relatives will undoubtedly claim so, the answer is “nope.” These car-engulfing drifts are something native and well-known, just relocated to an unusual place—Florida’s sparkling, ivory sand.

Turbulent weather and powerful waves have moved massive amounts of sand onto the roads at Gulf Islands National Seashore, southeast of Pensacola on the Florida Panhandle. Tyler Eliasen, a meteorologist with Panama City’s WMBB News, tweets this gritty invasion was caused by days of “strong onshore flow, high surf, and coastal flooding.” The park reports that several areas are closed due to mounds as deep as five feet.

Although the identity of the poor soul whose car is doomed in sand is uncertain, one person, whose Facebook page says he works at nearby beaches, is stepping up with a story:

This is my friends van, went surfing at 8am at the point, came back and it started stalling, from the high water. Park rangers picked them up, 30+ mph winds. No, it's not photoshopped people.

A different man has another guess. “Im laughing at the people who think this van was placed there on accident,” he writes. “Insurance folks, insurance.”

So what’re the actual odds Florida will see snow this month? Probably way below 5 percent.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a man surveying a home garage.
    Transportation

    How Single-Family Garages Can Ease California's Housing Crisis

    Given the affordable housing crisis, California cities should encourage single-family homeowners to convert garages into apartments and accessory dwelling units.

  2. The facade of a casino in Atlantic City.
    Photos

    Photographing the Trumpian Urbanism of Atlantic City

    Brian Rose’s new book uses the deeply troubled New Jersey city as a window into how a developer-turned-president operates.

  3. People eat and drink coffee inside a small coffeehouse.
    Life

    Gentrification Is Hurting Kuala Lumpur's Iconic Coffee Shops

    Traditional kopitiams, which serve sweetened coffee in no-frills surroundings, are a part of Malaysian national identity, but their survival is precarious.

  4. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  5. Equity

    The Dirty Truth About San Francisco's Sidewalks

    Is the city really drowning in filth?