Thursday, January 31, 2019

Polar Vortex Brings 'Frost Quakes' To U.S. Midwest

Polar Vortex Brings ‘Frost Quakes', Eerie Weather Phenomena to US Midwest

Dangerously cold weather brought to parts of the US Midwest and Northeast this week by a polar vortex episode has Americans encountering a slew of unusual weather phenomenons.
Everything from snow squalls to steam fog and flash freezes have been causing mayhem in the US, forcing residents in affected areas to either gaze from afar or simply stay put indoors.
Most recently, local news station WGN9 reported that folks living in the Chicago area were beginning to hear loud booms, which were likely the sounds of frost quakes (aka cryoseisms). The sounds occur when the pressure of frozen underground water builds, ultimately cracking both soil and rock.
After the station did a segment on the quakes, their social media pages exploded, with viewers trickling in to share their experiences.
"I thought I was crazy!" wrote one user on Facebook. "I was up all night because I kept hearing it. I was scared and thought it was the furnace. I kept walking through the house. I had everyone's jackets on the table in case we had to run out of here."

"I heard these noises a couple times last night. Very scary. Kept thinking something was breaking," another viewer wrote.

"My son and I were watching a movie, and turned it off because we kept hearing these noises," another wrote. "It sounded like an animal fell on our roof, or someone through [sic] something at the side of the house, or a bird flew into the house."

"There were boom sounds going on for a while. Very odd. Thanks for clarifying this weather related scientific phenomenon. Makes sense," they added.
Earlier this week, folks living in New York, Philadelphia and various other US cities experienced short periods of heavy, near white-out snow conditions known as snow squalls. These weather events can create terrifying driving conditions.

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