Frozen iguanas are falling from Florida's trees due to cold weather

It's raining reptiles in sunny Florida thanks to a cold snap

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The weather forecast for parts of the US state of Florida at the weekend included abnormally chilly temperatures, a bit of wind and falling iguanas.

On Sunday, parts of southern Florida experienced a severe cold snap, with temperatures dropping as low as minus 4°C, the coldest in more than a decade.

And while those frigid conditions did not cause snow, they did lead to a light dusting of lizards.

Southern Florida is home to three species of iguana, a lizard that can measure up to 1.5 metres and weigh as much as nine kilograms.

The cold-blooded herbivores can usually be found high in the treetops of Miami, South Beach and other areas — and therein lies the problem.

“Much of the state will remain mostly clear and frigid tonight with the chance for scattered to isolated falling iguanas from trees due to subfreezing temperatures that may temporarily paralyse them,” the Weather Prediction Centre reported on Saturday.

The iguanas were not in much danger from the cold, however, though falling out of a tree isn't exactly a day at the beach.

“Iguanas are cold-blooded. They slow down or become immobile when temps drop into the 40s [4-9°C]. They may fall from trees, but they are not dead,” the National Weather Service Miami said on Twitter.

As temperatures warm, the iguanas shake off the cold and return to their trees, sometimes to the displeasure of local residents, many of whom view the invasive species as pests that can deliver a nasty bite.

Florida's low temperatures were due in part to the nor'easter that hammered parts of the US at the weekend, with many states declaring emergencies as some areas were hit by gale-force winds and more than 60 centimetres of snow.

Updated: February 01, 2022, 5:35 AM