Frozen Niagara Falls: 1911 Photos Prove Polar Vortex Not To Blame?

Patrick Frye

The frozen Niagara Falls photos are mostly fake like the so-called "frozen Niagara Falls 1911 pictures," or at least old pictures from the last decade. Even blaming the polar vortex is probably wrong, as it turns out.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, global warming has been getting the blame for the polar vortex, and this disagreement has America divided.

As we've come to find out, many media reports have been using frozen Niagara Falls photos from 2011. But some people are looking a hundred years back, all the way to 1911, in order to disprove any connection to the polar vortex.

First of all, despite the meme saying otherwise, the sepia-toned photograph is of unknown date and origin. The only known image that "might" truly depict a frozen Niagara Falls is from February 2, 1936, when the Washington Post reports the famous landmark indeed was "frozen dry" for a time. But the first time occurred in March of 1848, when an ice dam formation on Lake Erie caused Niagara Falls to dry up.

The second point is that we don't have to look to old photos to disprove the connection between the polar vortex splitting up and the purportedly "frozen" Niagara Falls of 2014. It's not actually frozen completely, although ice floes and giant icicles have formed to make a spectacle.

Lastly, despite not being completely frozen, Niagara Falls also doesn't need a polar vortex in order to reach this point. The average temperature for this time period happens to fluctuate between 16 and 32 degrees. So on a rather routine basis, the falls will form an "ice bridge" that allows people to cross from the United States to Canada. Unfortunately, the last time this was allowed was in 1912 when several people were swept away to their deaths.

In short, in order to see a truly frozen Niagara Falls there needs to be a large reduction in water flow combined with the usual cold weather for this time of year. But it's the first part that's apparently rare, not a polar vortex.