A weather phenomenon has caused Lake Manitoba near Steep Rock to be covered in ice balls.
Peter Hofbauer, a resident of the Stipe Rock area, goes to Lake Manitoba almost every day, but he said when he went out on the lake Saturday, he discovered something he had never seen before.
The lake was covered in ice balls.
“I’ve never seen ice that shape before,” he said.
Julienne Strove, a professor in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of Manitoba, said she was surprised when she saw photos of the strange ice formations.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said.
As for the cause of the ice balls, Strove believes snowflakes could be the culprit.
“Snowflakes could act as a catalyst around which suddenly the top layer could start to freeze and form ice,” she said. “If you have some kind of wave or wind that starts to turn everything over, you can get those kinds of snowball shapes.”
She said a similar phenomenon can happen in the Arctic.
“You get pancake ice, and it really happens when the surface layer first freezes and starts to form a thin sheet of ice, and then under the action of waves these little pieces of ice collide with each other and you get rounded edges and you get these pancake shapes.”
It’s interesting to see a similar weather phenomenon in Manitoba, she said.
“I think there are always amazing weather phenomena that happen in nature that can create very beautiful shapes, and I think this is one of them,” she said.
Hofbauer said that in Manitoba, you never know what’s waiting for you when you go outside.
“Just keep your eyes and ears open and we can learn something every time we go out in nature.”