Mysterious booms shake Chicago – Frostquakes?


Chicago will be colder than Antarctica this week. This is why they are putting the train tracks on FIRE. Meanwhile Chicago residents have started hearing loud boom-like noises, but there were no earthquakes reported. However, freezing temperatures may have triggered frost quakes… Yes, cryoseisms!

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Amid the so-called “polar vortex” that’s affecting the Midwest, some have noted that Chicago will be colder than Antarctica this week. Map via NWS

A cryoseism, or frost quake, is a natural phenomenon that produces ground shaking and noises similar to an earthquake, but is caused by sudden deep freezing of the ground.

They typically occur in the first cold snap of the year when temperatures drop from above freezing to below zero, particularly if there is no snow cover to insulate the ground. The primary way that they are recognized is that, in contrast to an earthquake, the effects of a cryoseism are very localized.

What people say

I thought I was crazy! I was up all night because I kept hearing it. I was scared and thought it was the furnace. I kept walking through the house. I had everyone’s jackets on the table in case we had to run out of here.

Yes! I heard one last night. Checked my whole house with a huge knife in my hand!

Thank you for reporting this because I was freaking out all night.

Government explanation

The government website says that the vibrations of a cryoseism don’t travel very far. They don’t “release much energy compared with a true earthquake caused by dislocation of rock within the earth.

Since cryoseisms occur at the ground surface they can cause significant effects right at the site, enough to jar people awake. Cryoseisms typically occur between midnight and dawn, during the coldest part of the night. If conditions are right, they may occur in a series of booms and shakes over a few hours or even on successive nights.

Polar Vortex

Temperatures in Chicago got to minus 20 at night. One of the coldest arctic air mass intrusions in recent memory is surging south into the Upper Midwest before spreading across much of the eastern two-thirds of the country.

Wind chill warnings were in effect for much of the Midwest. Through late week, expect frigid temperatures, bitterly cold and life-threatening wind chills, likely leading to widespread record lows and low maximum temperatures from the Upper Midwest to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.

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[Weather, WGN TV, Epoch Times]

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