ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Floridians on Friday braced for unusually chilly weather as rare freeze warnings were issued for large parts of the state ahead of the holiday weekend.
The National Weather Service said an Arctic blast was heading for Florida on Friday, followed by a holiday weekend with some of the coldest temperatures of the season.
“We’re dreaming of a cold Christmas… said no Floridian ever,” the National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida tweeted Friday.
In the Florida Panhandle, temperatures were expected to drop to the teens and 20s degrees Fahrenheit. Wind gusts also were expected to reach up to 45 miles per hour (72.4 km per hour), and there were some reports of downed trees Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee.
“Secure those holiday decorations!” the weather service tweeted.
In central Florida, temperatures were expected to drop to near or below freezing. The last time there was a freeze in Orlando was almost five years ago, though nearby communities reached freezing last January, according to the weather service.
South Floridians were on watch for falling iguanas over the weekend. The cold-blooded reptiles that reside in Miami suburbs typically become immobilized when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius degrees). The temperature in Miami on Friday morning, though, was above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 Celsius degrees), allowing vacationers one last gasp of beach weather before having to don their winter coats.
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