25 Astonishing Landscapes Caused By Bizarre Ice Storm

Posted by , Updated on December 2, 2014

With winter quickly approaching, we’ve shown you how beautiful winter can be with landscapes covered with fresh white snow. But there is another winter natural phenomenon that can create particularly breathtaking sceneries – an ice storm. Check out these 25 astonishing landscapes caused by bizarre ice storms and see what bizarre transformations this phenomenon can create.


An ice storm is a type of winter storm characterized by freezing rain. They are not violent storms, but instead commonly perceived as gentle rains occurring at temperatures just below freezing.

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Frozen precipitation melts to rain while falling into the warm air layer, and then begins to refreeze in the cold layer below, covering everything with a heavy, smooth glaze ice.

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An ice storm can encase trees in a solid ice wrap that might look spectacular to us but can be hard to deal with for the trees.

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From the weight of the ice, branches or even whole trees can bend or break. Falling branches can block roads, tear down power and telephone lines, and cause other damage.

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But it can also be just the weight of the ice itself that causes the cables to snap. According to most meteorologists, just one quarter of an inch (0.6 cm) of ice accumulation can add about 500 pounds (230 kg) of weight per line span.

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Damage from ice storms is easily capable of shutting down entire metropolitan areas. The ice storm that hit Oklahoma in January 2010 cut power to more than 100.000 households.

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Another major ice storm stroke Central Canada in December 2013. The worst-hit areas back then were around the shores of Lake Ontario where ice accumulation on surfaces reached up to 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) in some locations.

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But it's not just North America where ice storms occur. In 2008, a massive ice storm hit Estonia, creating some magical scenes right in the city centers.

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This is how benches on a sea bridge ended up after a severe ice storm swept through a Baltic Sea village of Scharbeutz, Germany in December 2013.

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In Russia, ice storms are pretty common occurrences. In 2010, one of the most significant ice storms hit Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia in the northwest of Russia.

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Icicles and thick, heavy layers of ice transformed the city into a real winter wonderland.

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However, it was in Switzerland where possibly the most famous ice storms occurred with pictures from the sites going viral all over the world. The first one hit the city of Geneva in January 2005.

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Back then, temperatures were reported to be around 14° F (-10 C) with winds of up to 60 MPH (97 km/h). This combination created bizarrely spectacular scenes.

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Those who left their cars at the lake shores had to find another way to get to work the next day.

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Boat owners were even worse off. Some witnesses reported they saw several boats sank to bottom under the weight of the ice.

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The ice storm also damaged numerous trees that simply couldn't bare the ice load.

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Another, more recent ice storm, hit the same area in February 2012. Then, Versoix, a municipality located on the right bank of the Léman Lake was struck the most severely.

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The wind blowing out of the lake was even stronger than the one in 2005, which is noticeable from the skew icicles.

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Spray from the lake stuck and froze on anything it could find, turning cars into impregnable fortresses.

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Meteorologists can predict when and where most ice storms will occur, but some of them can still occur with little or no warning. Therefore, people sometimes cannot react fast enough to save their valuables.

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Some of the objects were covered in the ice so thickly that it was even hard to recognize what they were.

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In January 2005, an ice storm gripped the Hull community in Massachusetts. The ice storm was accompanied by a blizzard that left as much as 38 inches (almost 1 meter) of snow in eastern part of the state.

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At Lake Michigan, ice storms are quite common. In January 2014, one of them turned a 30-feet lighthouse into a spectacular giant icicle.

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Located within close proximity to water, lighthouses are easy targets for ice storm freezing. This one was covered with ice in Ohio in December 2010.

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In February 2014, severe ice storms were sweeping through several European countries. This picture was taken in the town of Postojna in southwestern Slovenia.

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