If you happen to be out in Nantucket around Nobadeer beach, then we hope you dressed up warm. The air is currently so cold that the waves have been frozen!
The well-documented cold that has come down on the U.S. East Coast has been freezing everyone, but in Massachusetts, it has been creating some Disney like magic! It is a phenomenon that scientists have nicknamed the Slurpee waves. And apparently, you could even still surf them! Not sure if you could pay me to get in though. Brr Brr!
They are without a doubt pretty beautiful, the waves have frozen just as they were crashing down. And the slush is actually still moving forward, just at a little bit of a slower pace. Which means that technically you could still surf them, but maybe a sled may be a better option?
Scientists have advised that frozen waves are a really rare sight, some go their whole lives without seeing them. Erin Pettit from the University of Alaska mentioned that she had never witnessed them even during freezing temperatures because the power of the ocean tends to break up the ice. Basically, once you hit the below freezing temperatures in the ocean, ice crystals do start to form. It is these ice crystals that can cause giant icebergs and slushy waves to form.
Well in Nantucket has been seeing extremely low temperatures and on January the 2nd, the ocean was reported to be 12 degrees Fahrenheit(which is minus 11 degrees Celsius!). This is freezing, so cold that you would need an extremely thick wetsuit if you wanted to have any chance of fun surfing or swimming around in the Slurpee waves! The magical phenomenon happens because the freezing temperature of salt water is 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit(minus 2 degrees Celsius), so we were quite a bit below it!
Sadly it is a short-lived sprinkle of magic as the temperatures rose quickly and after a couple of hours, the ice waves were melting away.