Friday, January 1, 2016

ICE AGE NOW: "Waves Of Snowballs" - Ice Balls Form On Lake Michigan Along The Shoreline Near Traverse City; And "Snowball Waves" Filmed On Sebago Lake, Maine! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Ice balls on Lake Michigan

January 1, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Ice balls on Lake Michigan are currently forming along the shoreline near Traverse City.  A New England man also captured video of "waves of snowballs" lapping against the shore in Maine's Sebago Lake.

Ice balls form on Lake Michigan along the shoreline near Traverse City

In this video, shot on December 29, 2015, ice boulders are seen clanking against one another along the shores of Lake Michigan.

What are they? Where did they come from?

This curious ice phenomenon doesn't happen often, so when it does, it's something to celebrate and take note of.

Ice balls start out life as a small chunk of ice in the water. The small chunk of ice grows by thin measures as it tumbles in the waves.

Ice boulders can only form when the air is cold enough for the water to instantly freeze and the lake is cold, but not too cold. A stiff breeze helps to churn things up.

WATCH: Lake Michigan ice balls.

When a face of the ice boulder is hit with the water from a wave, it freezes in the cold air, getting just a bit larger in size.

After hours of tumbling, what started out as a small chunk of ice can grow to the big balls you see in the video above. - Strange Sounds.

'Snowball waves' filmed on Sebago Lake, Maine

"Snowballs" cover Sebago Lake in Maine. © Weather Channel

A New England man captured video of "waves of snowballs" lapping against the shore in Maine's Sebago Lake.

David Allen of Stone Point Studio posted a video to Facebook showing the unusual state of the Sebago Lake waves Tuesday, just after the first winter weather hit the area.

"This was one of the most awesome natural events I have ever seen!" Allen wrote in his Facebook post.

He offered some speculation as to how the snowball waves might have formed:
"I cannot say for sure, but here are the conditions leading to this. There was NO ice on the lake, so it isn't lake ice. In fact it has been very warm, right up until we got this snow/sleet/freezing rain storm. It was very cold when I shot this, maybe around 20 degrees. I fished out a couple of the balls, and sure enough, they broke apart and were very slushy, definitely not ice. The area where this was shot had a small stone jetty that acted as a catch and prevented the balls from continuing on down the shoreline. It seems to me, that this had a lot to do with the snow from the storm somehow accumulating in this way, in this very particular spot. My best guess, was that it was SO cold and windy, that when the snow hit the water, it didn't melt, but instead, remained as slush on the surface. This slush then got stuck in this area, and through wave and wind action, turned into these very uniform

WATCH: 'Snowball waves' filmed on Sebago Lake, Maine

- UPI.

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