If you haven’t heard, Chicago has been hit very hard with a polar vortex, resulting in extremely low historical temperatures. It’s so cold, people on social media have dubbed the city #Chiberia, and there are reports that the weather could even create “frost quakes” that cause large booming noises. Forecasters predict the temperature could drop as low as -26 in Chicago this week. Yes, thats -26.
Besides causing schools and businesses to close and flights to be cancelled, the weather has also had a fascinating effect on Lake Michigan, the body of water bordering the city’s shore.
Because the air above the lake is colder than the frozen ice, steam is rising from the water, creating a meteorological phenomenon referred to as “diamond dust,” an occurrence which is most typical in arctic regions.
Check out this video someone took of Lake Michigan looking like a “boiling cauldron”:
Amazing cold weather video by Tom Skilling: "Lake Michigan, as viewed from Chicago’s North Side Edgewater neighborhood, has taken on the appearance of a boiling cauldron as -20 degree air makes contact with water which sits just above the freezing level."
Posted by WGN TV on Wednesday, January 30, 2019
This amazing occurrence is not just limited to lakes either. One Twitter user demonstrated a similar effect when he threw a mug of boiling water into the bitter freezing cold air. Instead of simply splashing back down, the water froze into crystals that swirled in the air like snowy smoke before blowing away. See for yourself in the video below:
— Adam Roberts (@ARobertsjourno) January 30, 2019