It’s unclear what impact the approaching cold will have on either species, both of which evolved in warm, tropical climates. When temperatures reach about 40 degrees, iguanas become immobile from lack of blood flow, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Wind chill temperatures will reach the 20s and 30s, frost may appear inland and cold-stunned iguanas will drop from the trees, as South Florida this week experiences a wave of Arctic air.
The die-off of 2010 happened during a cold snap that lasted nearly two weeks, much longer than the forecast for the current period of cold.
The only ones who may hate the cold more than the rest of us are the iguanas and Burmese pythons that have multiplied in South Florida over the past 20 years. In 2010, the last prolonged cold snap, South Florida neighborhoods resounded with the thump of cold-dazed iguanas dropping from trees. Meanwhile, in the Everglades, dead pythons were seen floating in the marshes.
The wind chill — the colder temperature perceived because of wind— could reach 36 degrees Thursday morning in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and other coastal Palm Beach County cities and 40 degrees in coastal Broward County. Inland in Palm Beach County, the wind-chill could reach the mid-to-upper 20s.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.