Imagine a cold, winter night. There’s little to no snow on the ground, but it remains extremely quiet. Maybe you’re in bed, maybe you’re out walking the dogs one last time before heading to bed, or maybe your walking around outside for whatever other reason when, suddenly, you hear a loud cracking noise and feel the earth shake a little bit. Depending on where you live, that noise and feeling could just be a regular earth quake. With the right weather conditions (like those which occurred in New England throughout the past weekend), though, it could be a Frost Quake.
Frost quakes, or cryoseisms, are pretty darn rare. They occur when the ground becomes saturated with water after rain fall or snow melt, only for temperatures to drop dramatically causing the water to freeze. As water freezes, it expands, meaning it needs somewhere to go, and with the ground packed down tight, it will eventually cause fracturing of the frozen dirt or soil. In some cases, this may result in a loud cracking noise. In others, one could feel the earth shake slightly underneath their feet.
We are getting Reports of hearing/feeling “Quakes” across the area. These are Frostquakes also called Cryoseisms. Just like Earthquakes, generate tremors, thundering sensations. These are caused by sudden cracks in frozen soil or underground water when its very cold. #MEwx #Maine
— NWS Caribou (@NWSCaribou) February 3, 2023
That might sound kind of scary in description, and it would certainly be an eerie experience to hear in person, but they rarely, if ever, result in any actual damage, and you certainly don’t have to worry about a frost quake putting you at risk. The extreme cold itself, accompanied by the high wind speeds, is certainly more of a danger than any cryoseisms, but they remain a pretty darn cool phenomenon!
Image Credit: Environment and Climate Change Canada via YouTube
This article was originally published by Unofficialnetworks.com. Read the original article here.