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'Sea ice hurricane' spotted off the coast of Newfoundland

Courtesy: NASA Worldview. Taken July 2, 2016.

Courtesy: NASA Worldview. Taken July 2, 2016.

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, July 15, 2016, 6:28 PM - Chunks of sea ice caught up in an eddy created a spectacular visual off the coast of Newfoundland earlier this month.

When viewed from above, the structure looks like a major storm or hurricane.

But a closer inspection reveals something far less threatening.

The swirls in the image above are actually ice that's being shifted by ocean currents -- most likely the Labrador current.

Meteorologist Kyle Roberts of KOKH Fox25 posted additional photos of the phenomenon, taken by pilot Jeff Davis, to Facebook July 3.

"Most of the Atlantic crossings, we cannot see anything due to the overcast below," Davis told Mashable.

"The east bound flights are always at night and west bound flights during the day. About half of the westbound flights we've got visibility below and the view is always amazing during the crossing. But I've never seen anything like this. 

"At first sight I thought it was a hurricane type low pressure system but quickly realized what I was seeing was not clouds but surface ice. I knew based on the surface formation, I had to take some photos. This was a rare sight."

Davis' spectacular shots were taken from a Boeing 777 at an altitude of 36,000 feet.

While ice eddies aren't out of the ordinary, it is rare to capture them in such clear images.

Sources: Facebook | Mashable


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