Frost quakes possible due to arctic blast

Frost quakes possible due to arctic blast

Extremely cold air like we have this week can cause lots of creaking and snapping sounds, but on rare occasions, it can cause a boom or bang.

Residents in Cleveland, as well as cities across the midwest, are reporting that they heard these quakes Tuesday night and Wednesday.

"I was scared and thought it was the furnace", one Facebook user wrote.

The occurrence was likely caused by frost quakes - or "cryoseisms", as they're formally called - which occur "when water trapped underground freezes suddenly as the temperature drops, causing it to expand", Live Science explained.

The outlet says that after posting about the possible quakes on social media, it received "tons" of responses from people who had heard odd booming noises during the night.

The expansion and pressure build up causes stress on the frozen soil and rocks around it, and creates a boom noise, according to the station.

With the plummet in temperature that has occurred, frost quakes are possible in the area.

"You'd have to have a seismologer right next to where it occurs", Bellini adds.

Frost quakes were reported in Pennsylvania this week, according to WHP in Harrisburg, and in the Indianapolis area last week, according to WISH-TV. Whatever the case may be, it's best for those affected by the polar vortex to heed officials' warning and stay indoors until the bitter cold subside.

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