A frozen Niagara Falls sight is garnering thousands of tourists this week, as Niagara Falls has seemingly had its waterfalls solidified in certain areas of the national landmark amid a chilly polar vortex that has left major regions in the Midwest U.S. hit by major snow and ice storms. While the weather is fortunately only temporary, many people are trekking out through the low temperatures to see this sight that has been called nothing less than stunning. The Inquisitr provides the details on the breathtaking view this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2013.
With a frozen Niagara Falls putting a stop to the rushing water’s usual flow, visitors can see the icy waterfalls in all their halted glory. A polar vortex, a primary source of all these frosty conditions, is often caused by an overall slowing of the jet stream. Normally, the stream works to bar the arctic air from making its way south into the U.S., but since the jet stream has diminished this 2014, its overall path has been changed. Thus, within the last week alone this January, the frigid arctic air has moved into the Midwest regions — much to the chagrin of many citizens from Michigan to Illinois — bringing with them subzero temperatures and frightening wind chill factors.
Due to these weather changes, many areas remain blanketed in a sheet of ice, and Niagara Falls has also been struck by the arctic wave. While water continues to flow through certain parts of the national landmark, considerable sections of the neighboring landscape is completely frozen over. At parts where the slower waters in the waterfalls have stopped, visitors can see tremendous icicles and an expanse of ice acting as a frame of sorts around them.
“Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls, which are located between the United States and Canada along the Niagara River. The falls include the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Canadian Falls. Although subzero temperatures have frozen portions of the falls, they have never been completely stopped in recorded history.”
While this frozen Niagara Falls spectacle might be a result of such frigid temperatures welcoming us this 2014 year, this isn’t the first time that a very cold winter has led to a partial icing over at the national landmark. At certain points in the late 19th century and early 20th century, in fact, tourists actually walked across an “ice bridge” that had formed. Yet due to three tourists dying in 1912 when the ice bridge cracked and caved in, it has since been official policy that visitors are only allowed to look on the stunning sight of the waterfalls from a distance, not walk across them, frozen over or not.