Florida Forecast: Cold, With A Chance Of Falling Iguanas

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

As the coldest air of the season spreads across the Eastern U.S., even southern states are feeling the chill.

From Louisiana to the Carolinas, even down into the “Sunshine State” of Florida, temperatures are averaging 10 to 15 degrees (Fahrenheit) below normal. 

Freeze warnings and hard freeze warnings were in effect across Florida and Georgia through yesterday morning. 

Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Miami issued a rare forecast regarding cold temperatures – titled: “Falling Iguanas Possible Tonight.” Yes, you read that correctly. 

"Don't be surprised if you see iguanas falling from the trees tonight," tweeted the Miami National Weather Service office.

The concern for Floridians is that these iguanas often sleep in trees, so when their bodies go dormant, they appear to fall from the sky onto streets, cars, pools, or even people walking around. And since iguanas are large -- adult males reach up to 5 feet in length and 20 pounds – you really don’t want one landing on you.

The invasive species can't handle cold temperatures because they are cold-blooded. In general, iguanas begin to get sluggish or lethargic once the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 Celsius. 

Once the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7 Celsius) the iguanas go into a dormant or cold-stunned state. They appear to be dead, but they remain breathing with critical body functions still operating. 

If temperatures remain in the 40s for periods over eight hours, a significant number of iguanas will die, especially the smaller ones.

"The temperature threshold for when iguanas begin to go into a dormant state depends greatly on the size of the iguana," Ron Magill, communications director for Zoo Miami, told CNN. "Generally speaking, the larger the iguana, the more cold it can tolerate for longer periods."

Not everyone is concerned about the well-being of these iguanas, though. They are considered an invasive species, so some people are looking forward to an opportunity to rid their yards of the reptiles.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.


debbie - January 23, 2020 @ 10:46
Everything works in unison in the world , when 1 falls a domino effect takes place One should care...

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