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Florida Braces for Iguana Showers as Arctic Air Sweeps Through

This weekend, Canada's Arctic air is set to visit Florida, bringing plummeting temperatures that may result in iguanas falling from trees at an alarming speed.

As temperatures drop rapidly, some unfortunate individuals in the Sunshine State might witness firsthand the impact of the impending cold weather on these tropical reptiles. The cold snap, affecting much of North America, has already brought light snow and freezing rain to the Pensacola Airport on January 16, marking the intrusion of Arctic air into the region.

Another wave of frigid temperatures is expected to reach the southeastern U.S. this weekend, pushing the freezing line deep into northern Florida.

Falling iguanas, though not lifeless, become 'stunned' by the cold. Unlike humans who can adapt with jackets and heating, cold-blooded creatures like iguanas depend on their environment to regulate body temperature. When temperatures drop significantly, their metabolism slows down to preserve vital functions, resembling a state of suspended animation. This condition may cause iguanas sleeping in trees to lose their grip and succumb to gravity.

Given that some invasive iguanas can weigh over 7 kg, the temporarily stunned creatures pose a potential safety hazard for those beneath trees on chilly Florida mornings.

However, it's crucial to note that these effects are temporary, and the iguanas are rarely harmed during this ordeal. Once temperatures rise and the morning sun warms them up, the iguanas will resume their usual activities.

This weekend, Florida faces a notable risk of falling iguanas as temperatures dip well below the seasonal average. Theme parks around Orlando may experience freezing temperatures by Sunday morning, with morning lows in the lower single digits likely through Tampa Bay, Fort Myers, and Naples.

Residents of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach will also feel the chill, needing a light jacket by Sunday. Morning temperatures away from the ocean may drop into the single digits, with highs struggling to reach 20°C.

Encouraging news for both snowbirds and iguanas is that this cooldown is temporary. A large ridge bringing warmer temperatures to most of the continent next week will restore Florida's readings to their usual highs. By the second half of next week, daytime highs across the state are expected to climb back to the mid- to upper-20s.

Until the warmer conditions arrive, Floridians are advised to stay vigilant for the possibility of falling reptiles.

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