A Spectacular Wall Of Ice: Frozen Niagara Falls Won’t Thaw Until May

The Inquisitr recently reported that an apparently frozen Niagara Falls is drawing visitors in droves, and photos of the ice-draped waterfall have been making the rounds on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. Now NBC News has shared incredible footage Canadian videographer Brent Foster captured with a drone.

Foster told Slate about the experience of capturing the footage of Niagara Falls in its mostly frozen state.

“It was a very cold shoot, but we were very careful to keep flight times to a minimum and to keep my hands as warm as possible to maintain full control and stay safe during the flight.”

You may be among the millions who have seen Niagara Falls, but unless you’ve made the pilgrimage during the winter months, it’s not likely that you’ve seen the waterfall in its partially frozen state. The Niagara river keeps flowing beneath masses of ice and snow that cover the falls, and a dense cloud of mist rises up, encasing the trees, railings, and boulders in impressive shells of frozen crystal.

Soaring hundreds of feet above a Niagara Falls festooned in masses of frozen water, Foster’s drone captured some truly breathtaking footage that shows the massive icicles that have formed during the course of the long, cold winter.

Why has Niagara Falls frozen to this extent? According to Climate Central, ice on the falls is normal, and ice bridges suitable for walking across can sometimes form when the falls are frozen. In fact, intrepid adventurers were welcome to venture out onto the ice-covered Niagara River to take in the view until a 1912 ice bridge collapse killed tourists.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that this is the second winter in a row that frozen buildup has developed along the brink of Niagara Falls. This year’s ice has formed as sub-zero temperatures swirl down into the region from the Arctic.

Temperatures dipped to seven degrees below zero on Friday morning, and the National Weather Service has indicated that highs will stay in the low teens to early 20s until Friday, with lake effect snow, high winds, and lows around zero to five above for the Niagara region.

NBC News says that frigid air brought in via the Siberian Express prevented temperatures along the U.S. / Canadian border from going above freezing this month, transforming Niagara Falls into an incredible natural spectacle. Twenty-three million gallons of water flow over the falls every minute during the winter. Despite appearances, Niagara Falls never freezes entirely; the last time the flow of water stopped was 167 years ago, in 1848.

Visitors will be able to enjoy nature’s ice sculptures for at least two more months. Niagara Falls is expected to remain partially frozen until May.

Frozen Niagara Falls footage via the official NBC News YouTube Channel

[Image via Getty]