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Lake Michigan's ice volcanoes make an appearance later than usual

Ice volcanoes
Posted at 8:36 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 15:48:23-05

MILWAUKEE — Ice volcanoes have emerged along Lake Michigan after two winter storms plunged temperatures to below freezing in Wisconsin.

The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, based out of Bayside, spotted the icy volcanoes last week. Usually, the mounds are seen in January, and the Center's director of education, Tom Finley, tells NBC News that some thought they wouldn't appear at all this winter.

“These bubbles of water come up through these holes and the holes are made bigger by the waves,” Finley told the outlet.”So the more cold, and the more strong the waves are, the better these ice formations.”

ice volcanoes
Ice volcanoes on Lake Michigan.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the Great Lakes have not seen nearly as much ice compared to previous years - only 2.4 percent of the Great Lakes' surface area was covered by ice in late January, the lowest reported since nearly 50 years ago.

Finley told NBC News that because of rising water levels and warming temperatures, ice volcanoes have become rare.

“It's interesting because I said that twice as strong waves helped create these formations, if it's super cold,” Finley said. “But strong waves will also break them apart if it’s warm.”

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