Polar Blast Creates Ice Balls And Volcanoes On Michigan's Shores

Polar Blast Creates Ice Balls And Volcanoes On Michigan's Shores
Snow balls at the South Haven pier in Michigan, 2017, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Brrrrrr! The Midwest is so cold that thousands of ice balls have washed up along the coast of Michigan. And now ice volcanoes are also erupting.

OT Staff
February 20 , 2020
02 Min Read

It was as cold as ice in Michigan this week. Literally. Weather elements aligned over the past several days to create not one, but two, rare phenomena on the shores of Lake Michigan. People woke up to reports that thousands of ice balls had washed up at Holland State Park in Michigan. The Park shared images of the shoreline covered in “ice balls” due to a polar blast which sent temperatures plummeting. These boulder-sized balls are an annual phenomenon. They form when chunks break off from sheets of ice covering the lake, and the churning waves form the pieces into balls. The size of these vary from smaller softball-proportioned ones, to some that are as big as yoga balls.

Local Insta feeds were taken up by pictures of the phenomenon.  

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cheri Ottenbaker (@cotten.baker) on Jan 20, 2020 at 4:00am PST

The National Weather Service Grand Rapids also tweeted images of another freak weather event, ice volcanoes, which erupted along the lakefront at Oval Beach in Michigan. According to the experts at, these occur when waves cause an increase in pressure on the lake's ice sheet, and water punches a hole in the ice.

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