Forest Lake up close

Here’s your moment of Minnesota Zen.

The scene is Forest Lake on Nov. 28.

The Washington Post today explains the phenomenon, as if we didn’t know it.

Ice will melt in areas that get sunlight first. The light heats the ground and melts the ice. Areas in the shade don’t get any sun, so they’re more likely to stay frozen when the air temperature is hovering just above 32 degrees.

When the disparity happens on a lake, the melted side will get choppy in the wind — as lakes do — and eventually the force of the waves (rather than the sun) will break up whatever ice is left over.

A commenter notes the video also is a great illustration of wave energy that we don’t really see with ice-free water. The ice crystals go up and down and forward and back a bit, but don’t actually go anywhere as the wave passes.

Science is, sometimes literally, cool.

  • Barton

    I do so love the sound of the ice breaking like that… as long as I am not on the ice at the time.