TORONTO (UPI) — A Canadian meteorologist said loud booms reported by Toronto residents were likely due to a so-called frost quake, caused by extreme cold.
Many Toronto residents took to Twitter Thursday night to report loud booming sounds.
Canadian Broadcasting Corp. meteorologist Jay Scotland said the sounds were likely from water in the ground expanding due to the temperature falling to 4 degrees below zero, a phenomenon known as a “frost quake” or “ice boom,” the CBC reported.
“All of a sudden that ice starts to expand — it’s like having a lid on top of a bottle, that pressure builds and builds until finally something gives, the ice expands, the pressure is released, the ground cracks and we hear what sounds or even feels like a very localized earthquake,” Scotland said.
“This is not an earthquake. It’s ice expanding under the ground, and it leads to a loud boom and gets folks pretty scared when it happens in the middle of the night. Very rare, very cool but very scary,” he said.