If you are hearing loud booming sounds recently, it may be something linked to the frigid temperatures around the country this week. These booming sounds may be a cryoseism, or what is commonly called a “frost quake.”
This kind of event is taking place this week in places like the midwest because of the brutal drop in temperature.
FOX 8 Meteorologist Andre Bernier says frost quakes are caused when the ground is saturated with water and that water freezes due to a sudden drop in temperature. Then, the water expands.
The expansion and pressure building-up causes stress on the frozen soil and rocks around it which can create a boom noise.
Frost quakes, however, are hyper-local. This means that a quake experienced at your home may not be felt by your neighbor, Bernier says.
Residents in Cleveland, as well as cities across the Midwest, are reporting that they heard these quakes Tuesday night and Wednesday.
“I thought I was crazy! I was up all night because I kept hearing it,” Chicago-area resident Chastity Clark Baker said. “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.”
Frost quakes are fairly common in subzero temperatures and, though they can be startling, do not pose a threat to your home.
People around the country are using #frostquake to share on Twitter about their experiences with frost quakes.
“#frostquake hitting #Chicago as temperature drops to record-breaking lows. A frost quake or cryoseism, occurs when the water underground freezes and expands causing the soil and rock to crack. A booming or banging sound usually begins when there is a sudden drop in temperatures.”
#frostquake hitting #Chicago as temperature drops to record-breaking lows. A frost quake or cryoseism, occurs when the water underground freezes and expands causing the soil and rock to crack. A booming or banging sound usually begins when there is a sudden drop in temperatures.— Ellie Crystal (@EllieCrystal) January 31, 2019
You can watch the video below to find out even more about this frigid phenom. Have you ever experienced a frost quake? Let us know about your experiences in the comment section below this article.