Niagara Falls have frozen in polar vortex and record-breaking low temperatures of 2014.
Hoax or Fact:
Few pictures circulating heavily online claim to show that the Niagara Falls have frozen in 2014, because of the polar vortex and record-breaking low temperatures. The claim is partially fact.
Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls along the international border between Canada and the United States. Spread over around 209 square kilometers, Niagara Falls were formed in the last ice age when glacier activity carved out a path from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. After the extreme cold temperatures and snow brought on by Polar vortex (polar cyclone) in America since 2013 ending, several stunning photos of frozen Niagara Falls have been circulating online.
Do Niagara Falls Freeze Completely?
Experts say that the winter phenomenon is surprisingly common with Niagara Falls and they do freeze 'partially' - but are not completely frozen solid as is claimed many times. According to John Rozbicki, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, Niagara Falls has too much water to completely freeze over; there can be some ice on it, forming Ice Bridge over the lake on several occasions, but the water is going to continue to flow underneath. Rightly so, as you can observe in the first three pictures taken in Jan. 2014, there is certain water flow for sure. You can watch the Niagara Falls from the live webcam.
Misinterpreted Pictures from the Past
In between this latest cold weather buzz and Polar vortex, some pictures of Niagara Falls from the past have resurfaced again, with false claims of showing the Frozen Niagara Falls in 2014. You can view some of them in the Image Gallery, along with the information of their actual origin. Again, water flow can be partially seen in those images.
Despite these photos, many headlines and myths, Niagara Falls did not freeze during the polar vortex, nor have they entirely frozen in recorded history. Having said that, extremely cold temperatures do bring partial freezing and formation of Ice Bridges in many areas of Niagara Falls. If not for the cold, they are certainly a visual treat to watch.