It got so cold in South Florida on Wednesday morning that iguanas rained out of the trees.
The official morning low of 40 degrees in Miami was nowhere near a record, and it is not all that uncommon for the atmosphere to ruin an iguana’s night, said Chuck Caracozzo, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Miami.
But it hadn’t been this cold down that way in 10 years.
Appearances aside, the iguanas were not dead. Not necessarily happy, but not dead.
Being cold-blooded, when temperatures fall into the 40s, they tend to become immobile — and prone to fall out of their resting places.
Lows overnight were a good 20 degrees below normal, with the cold getting a jolt from a storm near the Bahamas, said Caracozzo. Winds circulate counterclockwise around storm centers, and areas to the west of the centers get chilly winds from the northwest.
Working in tandem with cold high pressure that has affected our region, it produced a miserable night for some frozen lizards.
As Caracozzo said, this has happened before. Since iguanas can live as long as 60 years, chances are they’ve been through this drill.
Other nights of the falling iguanas were reported in 2018, 2010, and 2008.
Frozen or not, iguanas evidently startled some residents, and that tends to happen when one finds a 5- to 7-foot frozen lizard on the patio. Even if a lot of it is tail.