The 2013-2014 winter season has been one of the coldest winters to hit the Northeast and Great Lakes region in two decades. With record-breaking low temperatures gripping much of the region for a lengthy amount of time, the deep freeze has created some picturesque, natural sights that are rarely seen.
“It’s probably the coldest the Northeast has seen since ’1993-1994,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Dombek said.
Across many rivers, large ice floes formed across the surface of the waters this winter season. While some ice is normal during the average winter, the duration of the floes and record-breaking cold have allowed large amounts of ice to form that should remain longer than usual, Dombek said.
“I would say that’s the most river ice you’ve probably seen in years,” he said.
In addition, the long-standing cold has frozen 92.2 percent of the Great Lakes as of Thursday, March 6, 2014. Coupled with blowing and drifting snow, large ice caves have formed, which have become tourist attractions to many visitors.
Record-breaking low temperatures have struck much of the Northeast multiple times from December to February, he said.
“You can go the entire winter without seeing any-record breaking lows,” Dombek said. “I’d say that’s pretty impressive.”
Perhaps the most captivating sight has been the spectacle of a partially frozen Niagara Falls along the U.S.-Canadian border. This year between December and February, the area had an average temperature 5.5 degrees lower than normal.
Throughout that time, five all-time, record-breaking lows have been recorded.
While the water of the Niagara River is still flowing beneath the ice cover, ice floes and chunks are slowing the water’s descent, a rare display of this winter’s fury.
“To freeze like that, it had to be extremely cold for a very long period of time,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Dombek said.
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