Christmas in Florida: Chilly forecast, falling iguanas
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) - With unexpectedly cold weather forecast and pandemic-related curfews in some locations, Florida is facing a Christmas holiday that has been unparalleled recently and falling iguanas may occur.
The National Weather Service warned earlier this week that South Florida could experience the coldest Christmas day in 21 years. The lows on Saturday could fall in the low 30s and 40s Fahrenheit, the weather service said.
"Brrr! Much colder temperatures are expected for Christmas, "the National Weather Service in Miami tweeted earlier this week." Falling iguanas are possible. "
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Because they are cold-blooded reptiles, iguanas that live in trees in South Florida often become immobile in cold weather and fall to the ground when the thermometer drops, even though they are still alive.
Jacksonville's temperature should drop 50 degrees, from about 80 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, making it one of the five coldest days of Christmas in Jacksonville, according to the National Weather Service.
A line of gusts with heavy storms and fast-moving winds also drove to North Florida on Christmas Eve.
Overnight shelters were opened around the state to accommodate people who would otherwise be exposed to the cold, including several churches that wanted to hold Christmas services. Many of the shelters promised social distancing and protective gear to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The pandemic also had an impact on a Space Coast tradition - Surfing Santa Day, which happens the day before Christmas. Typically this year's event drew hundreds of surfers in Santa costume to the Cocoa Beach surf and thousands of their cheering supporters on the beach. Participants were encouraged to surf or paddle individually at their favorite spot and post photos or videos on social media.
But Santa Claus got help from a Florida state officer.
Florida Commissioner for Agriculture, Nikki Fried, this week with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, issued “an Animal Movement Certificate,” enabling Santa, his wife and their reindeer to “access all homes, homes, warehouses and premises enter and exit the state of Florida between 12:00 PM on December 24th and 7:00 AM on December 25th through or via a U.S. border port. "
"As we face the challenges of this year, we want to make sure Santa can travel safely across the state and bring Christmas joy to all of Florida's children," Fried said in a press release.
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