Look out! Florida forecasters warn of falling iguanas Christmas morning

Once temperatures reach a certain level, iguanas stiffen up and can fall out of trees

As the coldest temperatures in two years moved into South Florida, cold-stunned iguanas like this one are a sight to be seen, Jan. 22, 2020, in Dania Beach, Florida. (WPLG)

MIAMI, Fl – High temperatures in our area will be in the 20s and 30s on Christmas Day, and a sliver of that cold air will make its way into Florida. That has forecasters at the National Weather Service in Miami warning of possible falling iguanas.

Once temperatures reach a certain level, iguanas stiffen up and fall out of trees. This is due to their cold-blooded nature, so it isn’t new. It’s also something that has been observed over the years in south Florida. At about 50°, iguanas can become lethargic. It’s when the temperature drops to about 40 or lower that their blood doesn’t move around as quickly. As a result, they can stiffen up and fall out of the trees in which they frequent.

Falling iguanas will be possible Christmas morning in parts of Florida

While this kind of behavior has been documented before, it is far from normal. Part of that could have to do with how infrequent temperatures drop to this level in South Florida. For areas like Fort Myers or West Palm Beach, temperatures only dip into the 30s about 3-4 times each year (on average).

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.