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Loud booms you hear outside may be from 'frost quakes'

Posted: 7:31 AM, Feb 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-12 22:43:42Z
frost quake.jpg

MILWAUKEE -- Our roller coaster weather is causing a phenomenon known as 'frost quakes.'

They are loud booms you can hear as the temperatures plummet.

The National Weather Service in Sullivan tells TODAY'S TMJ4 they have had several reports in Madison of homeowners startled by the sound of frost quakes.

A frost quake happens when you have a lot of snow melt that saturates the soil, and then it freezes once more. That ice expands which moves soil and rock, causing cracks. That is when you may hear strange sounds such as booms that were reported just last week to NWS.

Doc Hoffman called the TODAY'S TMJ4 Storm Team4 Weather Center after he heard a frost quake outside of his home near Sherman and Hampton.

"It was very peaceful and then all the sudden I heard this big boom what sounded like a sonic boom when a jet just breaks the sound barrier," said Hoffman.

Unlike earthquakes, frost quakes will not cause any damage.

Here is what a real frost quake is like: