Strange ice formation on Lake Michigan

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West Michigan – Temperatures and wind conditions have been just right for the strange formation of “pancake ice.”

Pancake ice begins as slushy-wet ice crystals in the water. These crystals are known as “frazzle ice.”

The reason the pancakes are so circular is because they turn and swirl in the water, picking up frazzle on all sides. Often, these pancakes will have a raised rim around the edge like a crust on a pizza because the pancakes often bump into each other in the water.

Pancake ice ranges wildly in size. They can be as small as a foot in diameter or as large as 10 feet wide.


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