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NWS: 'Ice volcanoes' form on Lake Michigan shore

"You never know what's you'll find at the lake until you go out there," The NWS Grand Rapids tweeted Sunday evening.
Credit: Courtesy of NWS Grand Rapids / Twitter
Ice volanoes spitting water on Lake Michigan in Saugatuck, Mich. Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

SAUGATUCK, Mich. — A winter phenomena was photographed on Lake Michigan over the weekend: ice volcanoes. 

The National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids tweeted photos of the volcanoes "erupting" at Oval Beach in Saugatuck, Mich. Sunday evening. 

"You never know what you'll find at the lake until you go out there," NWS tweeted with a close-up shot of the ice volcanoes. 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the ice volcanoes can  happen when a shell of ice forms and a weak spot is exploited by wave action -- creating a hole. Then, the volcano-like structure, they dubbed "sno-cano," forms around the hole from the water being sprayed from the top.

A couple years ago, the WIDNR got video of ice volcanoes on their side of Lake Michigan.

Ice volcanoes aren't the only winter phenomena happening along the lakeshore. There are also "ice balls" washing up on shore. 13 ON YOUR SIDE Meteorologist Laura Hartman says the balls are formed when snow slush gets churned by waves, taking the ball shape. 

Ice balls are now on Lake Michigan! These form when snow slush gets churned by waves and formed into a ball shape. Thanks Jeff Genova Photography for sharing this picture!


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