After bringing record low temperatures to the Midwest, the polar vortex is moving eastwards, and it has turned Niagara Falls into a spectacular snow-covered spectacle.
As the Daily Mail reports, temperatures at the falls in Ontario, Canada, have dropped as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit, and this extreme cold is having a similar effect on Niagara as elsewhere in the U.S.
Visitors to Niagara Falls yesterday reported seeing many sizable chunks of ice being washed over the falls. But the most impressive spectacle is around the edge of the falls. Here the falling water and mist have frozen, creating some stunning ice formations.
In some pictures, it appears as if the falls themselves have frozen over, but officials have confirmed that, so far at least, the water hasn’t stopped flowing. There is lots of steam rising up from the falls, too. This is being caused by the warmer water from the falls coming into contact with the colder air.
A similar scene could also be observed at the nearby American, Horseshoe, and Bridal Veil Falls as well.
It is still possible that the polar vortex could bring temperatures down low enough to freeze the falls. Ontario is still in the eye of the storm and meteorologists have not ruled out temperatures dipping lower before they start to climb.
Certainly, if scenes in the Midwest are anything to go by, there is the potential for frozen falls. Spectacular aerial pictures have shown that in Chicago, temperatures have dropped low enough for large parts of Lake Michigan to freeze over.
But while a frozen Niagara Falls always makes for a spectacular sight, people in the area will be hoping the polar vortex doesn’t bring the same deadly effects that people in the Midwest have endured.
Here, at least 21 people are reported to have died as a result of the cold snap so far with that number expected to rise. A number of those who have lost their lives were homeless people stuck out overnight in the extreme cold weather. With temperatures dropping in the northeast now, too, homeless people are being advised to seek shelter if they can.
There has also been an increase in the number of cold-related injuries being reported, too. Stathis Poulakidas, a trauma specialist at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital in Chicago says they have seen at least 25 victims of frostbite so far this week. Some of those affected might end up losing fingers and toes as a result.