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Br! It was so cold in Florida that iguanas fell from trees – Action News Jax

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — (AP) — A cold snap in Florida is different than other places. We put on heavy coats when it’s 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

No blizzard conditions here in the Sunshine State, but we also have our issues when the thermometer drops.

The National Weather Service said Sunday that all was well to warm up after the weekend. Low temperatures near freezing are quite rare in Florida, but on the face of it winter crops of citrus fruits, strawberries and tomatoes suffered no major damage. Farmers spray crops with water to protect them from the cold.

As for the iguanas, well, that’s another matter. It is an invasive species, well accustomed to South Florida trees. When it’s cold, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit about 4 degrees Celsius), they go into a kind of suspended animation mode. And they fall to the ground.

But they usually wake up with the heat of the sun.

It was cold in Florida this weekend. The National Weather Service reported that West Palm Beach reached 37 degrees Fahrenheit (about 3 degrees Celsius), the coldest morning in 12 years. On the east coast at Vero Beach, the lowest record was 30 degrees Fahrenheit (about minus 1 degree Celsius), set in 1978.

Still, it’s not like a white-out. The Gasparilla Pirate Parade in Tampa, which did not take place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, went off without a hitch on Saturday in sunny but cool weather. Thousands of people did pirate things, hung beads on the parade route, and generally ate, drank, and rejoiced.

Still, the unusually cold weather in Florida prompted a church on the Gulf of Mexico side to rethink how it would welcome parishioners and visitors.

St. Michael Archangel, on Siesta Key, canceled its two masses scheduled for Sunday because it was too cold. The church is being renovated and held mass outdoors, as it did on Saturday afternoon in temperatures of 49 degrees Fahrenheit and with high winds making it even colder.

Masses were held under a tent, but Saturday’s wind dislodged one of the support poles and made the temporary structure unsafe. The Reverend Michael Cannon was offering the Sacrament of Communion on Sunday – drive-thru style – but Mass would not take place, in anticipation of temperatures dropping to the mid-20s shortly after sunrise in the Sarasota area.

“It wouldn’t be wise to have masses with those kinds of temperatures,” Cannon said.

The church is expected to be fully functional again with renovations completed by Easter.

And it will soon be beach time in Florida. It’s always like that.


AP sportswriter Tim Reynolds contributed to this story.