It gets cold in Florida. I know...that's not what they tell you, but you can die of hypothermia in Florida especially if you're wet, and we have lots of water.
In 1981 it snowed in St. Augustine, Florida. It lasted for a couple of days and my surfing buddy Paul took the skeg off his board and went "snow surfing" down the slopes of the old fort downtown. He probably invented snow boarding and didn't realize it.
In December of 1989, it was 3 degrees here and an ice storm knocked out power in Gainesville for about a week. Roads were covered with ice and Floridians were crashing left and right.
During the "storm of the century" in 1993, I drove home from Fort Walton Beach through a snow covered countryside. When I pulled in the yard my wife and little girls were out catching snowflakes on their tongues.
It's not just humans who get into trouble when we have a cold snap. Lots of Florida plants and critters wind up dead when the "mercury" dips below freezing.
These freezes are very hard on tropical plants that are at the northern extreme of their cold tolerance. You could have an orange tree here that you nurtured for years and lose it in one night of 15 degree weather.
When we get freezing temps below 25 degrees or so, we call this a "hard freeze". The teens are especially tough on Florida plants and wildlife. The duration of the freeze is another factor. A few hours may not cause much damage, but the sustained freeze can be devastating.
Seaturtles, Manatees, and some of our fish often die or become incapacitated by hard freezes that last for a day or so. Our manatees are really at the northern extreme of their range and can suffer badly during a freeze. Generally as soon as the water temps begin to drop, they congregate in spring runs to stay warm. A spring run is the outflow from one of our beautiful springs. The ground water that issues from these springs is crystal clear and averages 72 degrees...year round.
The manatees in the picture were spending the winter in Blue Springs near DeLand, Florida. Manatees have also adapted to the warm outflow from coastal power plants.
They are delightful creatures. I have snorkeled with them in Crystal River as they cruise around munching aquatic plants. Once on an early morning, I watched a pair mating...not quite as gentle then. Lots of swirling and splashing.
They didn't seem cold at all.