While America collectively freaks out over their impending ‘polar vortex’, Canada is changing the game when it comes to cold weather phenomenon as reports of ‘frost quakes’ emerge from around Toronto and across Ontario.
Indeed, as temperatures drop overnight to around -4f around the city hundreds of people are being startled by hearing large booms – causing them to think their homes are being broken into or gunshots are being fired.
In fact, they are merely hearing the after-effects of the frost quakes – or cryoseism – which are more commonly found on a glacier in the polar regions.
The phenomenon is caused when rain and ice seep down into the soil and then freeze when the temperature drops.
‘Water expands when it freezes and when it expands in frozen soil it literally puts a lot of stress on that dirt and will release that energy all of a sudden, very much like an earthquake releases that energy and shifts the ground,’ said meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai to City News.