Something Else to Worry About


It isn’t enough that we have to suffer the cold of the Polar Vortex.  Sub-zero temperatures mean, for me at least, staying in the house and not venturing outside for any reason.  It seems Mr. Vortex has brought a friend along with him to cause more problems and sleepless nights.  Say hello to the  “Cryo-Seism”.

Cryo-Seisms may have been around for years, but this is the first year I have heard of them.  What exactly are they?  Well, you might know them better by their more common name frost quakes.  It’s not bad enough that we have earthquakes but now we have frost quakes as well.

What is a frost quake?  Have you heard loud popping noises?  Have you felt tremors? It could be a frost quake.

What causes them?  According to experts water trickles into the ground and freezes.  We all know that water expands as it freezes.  The expanding water pushes on things causing them to break.  As they break energy is released as noise, seismic energy.

I have not heard or experienced any frost quakes nor do I want to. So Mr. Polar Vortex, kindly leave and take your friend with you.




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18 responses to “Something Else to Worry About

  1. I’ve never heard of a cryo-seism. It sounds terrifying. Stay safe.

  2. I have never heard of frost quakes either. Thankfully our polar vortex was short lived and no friend traveled with it. Hopefully the tide will turn and warmer breezes will blow your way.

  3. Last week we had some popping and loud noises in the late night polar attack. It was hard to tell if it was the land or my house. I was watching for wall cracks and frozen pipes but so far so good. We are headed back into on this week – not as cold – thank goodness. Take care be careful.
    We are now in ice land here in Minnesota!

  4. This is a new one for me. I’ve never heard of this term before. So glad that you didn’t experience it and hoping that you are now thawing out.

  5. Frost quakes… totally a new term to me!

    BTW: I hope you’re enjoying the lovely weather today!

  6. Diane Anderson

    I have not heard it, but this year a few people I know said they did actually hear it. But I am with you… Mr. Polar Vortex and all his pals should go away to stay!

  7. When I first moved to Canada, we lived in a rural house with few neighbours and very little night time traffic. It was quiet! I was amazed to learn that on really cold nights the trees pop and crack. The sap inside can get so frozen that the tree literally pops. In the spring, there is often very little evidence this has happened, but on a cold winter night it can be quite loud (and disconcerting!) I miss it now that we are in the city.

    • I would think, at least for me, it would be unsettling to hear those sounds on a quiet night. This is something I never really thought about until I heard about it on the news.

  8. We survived the polar vortex here in Ontario last week – barely. We had frozen pipes for several days – at least only in on bathroom downstairs.
    But haven’t heard of frost quakes – how intriguing!

  9. Wow, I’ve never heard of this either! I can imagine they’d be quite startling! Hope things are warming up in your area.

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