Wintertime brings with it lots of different weather conditions such as the freezing of the Niagara River, which makes for a perfect environment for the winter visitor to watch the beautiful Niagara Falls. In the fall of every year, ice and sheets of snow come down from the upper part of the falls. These layers of snow are constantly melting on the water surface making for a very picturesque scene.
When winter comes around, sheets of ice and snow form on the magnificent Niagara Falls as well. Often, they are so heavy and solid that many people believe that the Falls have totally frozen over. But in reality, it’s not the case.
The river has been known to freeze up several times in history. There was even a popular TV show back in the ’80s called “Walk the Line” where celebrities walked along the river in their skates in an attempt to melt off the ice. However, the ice melted too fast and the show was canceled before it got very far. So what causes the Niagara River to freeze up in winter? And why doesn’t it melt right away?
The answer to both questions is simple – the ice and snow are frozen by different factors. For one thing, when the weather is warm and humid the ice will stick to the sides and top of the Falls making it hard for anyone to walk over it. While the ice does stay on top of the Falls, for the most part, the deeper layers can be easily pushed out by high winds and heavy rains. When these layers of ice start falling on top of the Falls, the meltwater from the ice begins to slow down the process and slow the water flow.
On the other hand, if the weather is cold, the water at the bottom of the Falls freezes up quickly and begins to thicken as it freezes. This thick layer of ice will continue to melt for as long as it’s above the water surface. As this thick layer of ice begins to melt, the water begins to move through the river again.
To sum it all up, while the frozen Niagara falls can certainly be enjoyed during the winter season, you’re the best bet is to avoid the Falls in the wintertime unless you’re really into visiting with a big crowd. However, if you do happen to get the chance to be there, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the amazing sights.