5 Weird Phenomena That Only Happen in Winter

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Ice Volcano



Despite their name, cryovolcanoes, i.e. ice volcanoes do not erupt lava, ashes, and hot gases or anything similar. Ice volcanoes got their name due to the fact that ice sometimes tends to act just like a volcano. Namely, in case the ice that is found on shorelines is not strong enough, a slightly stronger wave may lead to an eruption. Unlike regular volcanoes, cryovolcanoes erupt iced gases found in water, methane or ammonia.

Light Pillar Phenomenon



Light pillars appear during extremely still and chilly nights when small ice crystals that are usually found in the sky can be formed slightly above the ground and thus pile onto one another. The crystals mirror the light coming from lamp posts or cars and give away the impression that a strange and beautiful pillar is formed, which can seem like something extraterrestrial.

Rare Thundersnow Phenomenon



We all know that thunder happens in summer; however, if you've ever experienced it in winter while it was snowing, you probably wondered what on earth was going on. What you heard was not regular thunder but thundersnow. Thundersnow takes place on occasions when clouds from a snow storm start forming vertically very fast. In such cases, a strong electrical charge is created which, combined with turrets formed at the highest point of a vertical cloud can cause the thundersnow phenomenon.

Sun Dogs and Sun Halos



Even though sun halos may appear during any season, the greatest chance to see them is in winter when the sunlight breaks through the ice crystals formed in the high clouds. The rays get refracted twice, and the final result of such an occurrence is literally a halo or circle around the sun or even the moon sometimes. The strange halo can be either white, or it can contain the colors that are present in the rainbow. In the case of a sun dog, the sunlight only appears on both sides of the sun instead of forming a full circle.

Bizarre Ice Balls



Ice balls usually appear on the coasts of lakes when tiny ice orbs created in the water are moved toward the coast. As they are being pushed and rolled along the shore, additional layers of snow and ice are attached, making the balls grow bigger. Their size and weight may vary – some of them found on Lake Michigan this winter amounted to over 50 pounds. In 2016, even 11 miles of the Siberian coast in Russia were covered in ice balls.

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