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Ice 'pancakes' form in South Saskatchewan River: See them here

Monday, November 23rd 2020, 2:53 pm - Behold: One of nature's winter party tricks.

They're back.

Check out the incredible ice formations in the video above, seen recently in Saskatchewan. The stunning scene was uploaded to The Weather Network by Shona on Sunday.

"The ice was creaking and grating as it flowed down the South Saskatchewan River past the Beaver Creek Conservation Area on a very foggy day," Shona writes.

WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE?

These disks also referred to as ice pancakes or ice pans, and they form under a specific set of conditions. They're most commonly seen in the late fall or early spring, times when large temperature fluctuations are common.

These 'pancakes' materialize when turbulent water disrupts the formation of ice over a body of water. The melting ice sinks, inducing a circular motion, according to Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.

See more here:

What about the 'softer' edges on the disks? that's a type of ice that forms in rivers known as a frazil, meteorologist Caroline Floyd wrote in 2019..

"Frazil slush is a mixture of these ice crystals and water, and it's the first type of ice you see in a river when it starts to freeze," she says.

"If it weren't for the action of the water, these plates would ultimately join together to coat the river's surface. But even as the surface starts to freeze, the water beneath keeps flowing, and our plates get jostled, repeatedly bumping into one another, so they end up with raised slushy rims along their edges. The generally circular shape also comes from the repeated collisions, grinding off all the sharp edge."


Love weather? Love history? Don't miss The Weather Network's new podcast, This Day in Weather History


If you're lucky enough to catch this natural phenomenon in action and you're armed with a recording device, snap a photo or take a video and send it to The Weather Network. You might see it on TV!

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