Florida residents warned to watch out for iguanas falling from the sky

The National Weather Service warns that the lizards that could fall out of trees aren't dead, just slowed down by the chill.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

If you're in southern Florida this week, watch out for falling iguanas.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Weather forecast: it could rain iguanas. The National Weather Service branch covering Miami-South Florida warned on Twitter Tuesday that the Sunshine State will turn so cold the lizards might take tumbles out of the trees where they hang out.

"This isn't something we usually forecast, but don't be surprised if you see Iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s," the NWS Miami warned.

"Iguanas are cold-blooded," the NWS Miami went on to say. "They slow down or become immobile when temps drop into the 40s (Fahrenheit, aka 4 Celsius)." (Solidarity, iguana friends!)

But don't start playing Taps for our tropical-native pals just yet. 

"They may fall from trees, but they are not dead," the NWS Miami said.

The mittens that decorated a graphic sent with the tweet confused one person. "Why are there oven mitts?" tweeted Eric Zerkel, managing editor of The Weather Channel. "Are you supposed to catch the iguana with oven mitts? Please advise."

While temperatures in the 30s and 40s Fahrenheit (-1 to 4 Celsius) aren't unusual for much of the US in January, freezing temperatures aren't normal for Florida. The NWS Miami had to tweet out a wind-chill advisory that's in effect for all south Florida counties through Wednesday morning.

The NWS isn't kidding about the iguana falls, either. The same thing happened in 2018, and The New York Times ran a photo snapped by Palm Beach Post columnist  Frank Cerabino of a stunned iguana sprawled feet-up next to his swimming pool. (That particular iguana survived its tumble.)