Nature is such an intriguing thing especially when weather is concerned. Whether hot or cold, there are things that happen that leave us in awe and wonder. Frost quakes are one of those things.

What is a frost quake? Well, you might now necessarily feel it but you will hear it. Feeling a frost quake can't be ruled out though, it does happen.

trash can standing in lots of snow
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Yes, frost quakes are in fact real and happen in Illinois. Truth be told, they can happen anywhere temperatures dip extremely and dangerously low.

Snow, Winter, Mountain Climbing, Fur Hat, Snowflake, full beard
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Frost quakes are something that happens in the dark but there isn't a reason to be fearful.

If it were to happen expect it to occur between midnight and 3 in the morning when temperatures are at the coldest.

Is it because of snow?

No, in fact, if there is already snow on the ground this rare activity is even rarer.

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For a frost quake to happen there needs to be no snow on the ground. There needs to be a lot of rain at once and it needs to absorb into the ground quickly.

Shortly after the rain is soaked into the ground it needs to be wicked cold so the water will freeze.

Environment and Climate Change Canada via YouTube
Environment and Climate Change Canada via YouTube
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By "wicked cold" means extreme cold, sub-zero temperatures, -20 to -30 degrees.

Snap, crackle, pop.

What happens when rain in the ground has nowhere to go and it freezes?

Environment and Climate Change Canada via YouTube
Environment and Climate Change Canada via YouTube
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The water expands and needs somewhere to go so it forces pressure on the ground around it. And, boom, snap, crackle, pop.

This act of nature is not dangerous and rarely involves any risks.

If you're curious about the sound of a frost quake watch this.

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