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This has been an extremely rough winter for people on the East Coast. Storm after storm has blanketed multiple states with massive snow and extremely cold temperatures that have created some serious challenges.
Everywhere people look, things have become frozen solid but one national landmark that no one expected to freeze is Niagara Falls. Typically, people visit this site to enjoy the massive cascades of water but now, it is nothing more than sheets of solid ice.
Virtually everything around the falls has frozen, the water, railings, signs, you name it. However, while it appears as if Niagara Falls is completely frozen, in truth there are sheets of thick ice that have built up on the surface of the United States and Canada’s border.
According to officials, the waterfall began freezing last Monday when temperatures in the area reached minus 13. As a result, rather than water flowing at the iconic site, tourists and locals alike were treated to a rare but remarkable occurrence.
When temperatures drop that low, the mass amount of mist produced from the falling water begins to transform into ice. Because temperatures remained low, the powerful waterfall started to become ice, with layer after layer building.
The site is so incredible that photographs of the frozen Niagara Falls began circulating on the internet quickly. Within a short period of time, those images were seen by people around the world.
Although temperatures in the area are still horribly cold, a significant number of tourists braved the weather to see something that rarely happens. With word of Niagara Falls being hit by a polar vortex that caused the water to freeze, the number of visitors increased dramatically.
Although the falls have frozen in the past, this is not something that typically happens. However, in March of last year, the six million cubic feet of water that flows per minute froze when temperatures dropped to just nine degrees. Usually, the falls can withstand icy temperatures but when they fall so low and stay low, nothing can prevent the water from freezing.
Unfortunately, this winter has been one of the worst on record, affecting some 240 million people not only in the United States but also up into Canada. The problem is that experts do not expect a thaw anytime soon. In fact, colder temperatures and more snow are being predicted.