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Ice-Tsunami
May 14, 2013 12:51 PM   Subscribe

To complement the rapid political climate change of the past few days, here in Minnesota we have freak ice destruction followed by a gorgeous day of 90 degree temperatures. I've seen the ice out on Mille Lacs Lake many times, but this YouTube video is pretty incredible, and features commentary in authentic Minnesotan.
posted by finnegans (81 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
At first I was like PSHAW THAT'S NOT SO BAD and then the camera zoomed and I saw it CREEPING FORWARD and tl;dr I watched the rest of the video with my mouth hanging open doltishly.

nature: neato but kind of a jerk
posted by elizardbits at 12:58 PM on May 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


This happened in Manitoba too, and destroyed some houses
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:59 PM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's nuts! I couldn't suppress a sardonic chuckle, though, at the sight of her rearranging the deck chairs.
posted by Mister_A at 1:01 PM on May 14, 2013 [21 favorites]


It would be bad to have decided to trip that day.
posted by Mooski at 1:01 PM on May 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


Maybe this means Michelle Bachman's power is waning and soon it will be spring again.
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on May 14, 2013 [33 favorites]


thanks for forever ruining that oglaf plotline
posted by elizardbits at 1:02 PM on May 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


No, winter is coming.
posted by Mister_A at 1:02 PM on May 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


You obviously haven't read Oglaf.
posted by boo_radley at 1:06 PM on May 14, 2013


Wow. That video is how every horror film starts. Never mind the door busting open, I was waiting for the walls to start buckling.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:06 PM on May 14, 2013


One quote from that video perfectly sums up how most humans relate to nature "I wonder how they're gonna stop it?" just seconds before the videographer finally realizes this thing isn't going to stop, and there's not a goddamn thing anyone can do about it.

I fear this is how we're reacting as a species to global warming. We're all sitting around saying "I wonder how they're gonna stop it?"
posted by odinsdream at 1:12 PM on May 14, 2013 [53 favorites]


So, how does that work, exactly? Ice mostly broken up along with strong waves consistently coming in from one direction? I guess there's a very short period when the ice is small enough that it can flow like that but hasn't melted all the way.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:12 PM on May 14, 2013


This is the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. How is that happening??
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:17 PM on May 14, 2013


“The lake started to break up, so we started to see open spots develop, and then we had strong northwesterly winds that blew that ice onshore,” Dean Melde, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Duluth, Minn., told Grist. “You keep bringing more water and waves and whatnot, and it just keeps pushing and piling and it just keeps moving inland.”
posted by echo target at 1:17 PM on May 14, 2013


So, how does that work, exactly?

The high winds are pushing the ice sheet ashore. Given enough surface area horizontal wind can get a surprising grip even on a flat surface of ice or liquid water. The trick is that the ice is solid enough to be pushed this way, but only that solid along a relatively small bit of shoreline so that the whole sheet is relatively free to move and do the pushing.
posted by localroger at 1:19 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love how she kept having to tell the teenager to not fuck with the giant ice tsunami
posted by Blasdelb at 1:21 PM on May 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


Where's that ~4 hz clacking noise coming from? It's clearest around four minutes in.

Is.. is it laughing?
posted by theodolite at 1:23 PM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


All cell phones should have a warning when you start to shoot vertical video.
posted by hyperizer at 1:24 PM on May 14, 2013 [22 favorites]


Is.. is it laughing?
posted by theodolite


Ser Ilyn Payne thinks moving ice sheets are really funny.
posted by COBRA! at 1:25 PM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've watched too many horror movies because my first reaction to the video was "FLEE! FLEE! DON'T YOU PEOPLE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CREEPING MASSES SLOWLY APPROACHING YOUR HOUSE? ITS GOING TO ABSORB YOU AND TURN YOU INTO MORE ICE."

So, yeah, basically horrifying and awesome. Nature is not to be trifled with.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:26 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


And they made fun of Florida because of sinkholes...
posted by Splunge at 1:27 PM on May 14, 2013


Where's that ~4 hz clacking noise coming from? It's clearest around four minutes in.

She comments at some point that it sounds like a train, so my guess was that the ice itself was making that chugging sound as it moved. Which is kind of interesting, since it suggests the stick-slide is somehow getting synchronized across a wide area of ice, like little avalanches chugging along.
posted by chortly at 1:30 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Winter is coming. Seriously, move.
posted by basicchannel at 1:33 PM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Where's that ~4 hz clacking noise coming from?

You cannot hear 4hz. Do you mean 40 Hz? That's about the low E on a bass
posted by thelonius at 1:34 PM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Strikes me as a revenge fantasy: YOU STOLE MY WATER, I TAKE YOUR HOUSE.
posted by heyho at 1:34 PM on May 14, 2013


Makes me think of that Far Side that shows a frozen caveman sitting in an outhouse inside a glacier, with two scientists observing it. One scientist comments something like, "Finally! Conclusive proof that the Ice Age advanced much more rapidly than previously thought!"
posted by entropicamericana at 1:35 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I HAVE BEEN TO IZATYS! The womenfolk were holding down the fort in a condo while the menfolk did some icefishing (including the hole in the bathroom). One of them drunkenly stumbled across the ice to say hello in the middle of the night, only to be rebuffed, so he spelled the word "FUCK" on the front patio using logs and the owners' welcome sign. Except that he spelled it backwards and mirror-imaged. (He now runs a blog on wilderness medicine.)

Also, there was a meat raffle. So, really, this is par for the course.
posted by Madamina at 1:35 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn, this video means that stupid The Day After Tomorrow movie is right and you can run from the cold.

(Winter is Coming, RUN!)
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on May 14, 2013


In addition to Minnesotan, she also suffers from Vertical Video Syndrome.
posted by guiseroom at 1:38 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


You cannot hear 4hz.

Sure you can. It sounds like 4 distinct clicks or pops per second.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:39 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


All cell phones should have a warning when you start to shoot vertical video.

Seriously I wanted her to run and run and she can't escape, but she keeps shooting and she's eventually backed into the corner of one of the patios, screaming and the ice to envelops her and a chilly, sussurant voice says . . . "hold it thisss way, you idiot."
posted by The Bellman at 1:42 PM on May 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Winter is coming all over my lawn.

Get off my lawn, old man winter.

Old man river is all up on my lawn.
posted by Mister_A at 1:45 PM on May 14, 2013


The background noise reminded me of insects.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:56 PM on May 14, 2013


My family has a cabin on the eastern shore of Mille Lacs. The cabin is on a steep hill overlooking the lake, but we've had a number of different years where the ice has pushed up 20' stacks along the shore, moving around huge boulders and generally causing mayhem. As others have said, all it takes is some open water somewhere on the lake and a steady wind. Note that at 207 square miles, the lake is BIG, so the wind has a lot of surface area to work with. When the ice moves, its also pretty loud, as the video demonstrates.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:58 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aw, I totally thought that someone had already made this into a FPP. I've been sending it to my out-of-state friends for a few days.

Okay, I hear the sounds - that's just the ice. Moving, encroaching, cracking, etc.
posted by Elly Vortex at 2:00 PM on May 14, 2013


So the name of this lake is (translated) One Thousand Lakes Lake? Nice.
posted by heyho at 2:08 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If they had turned on a garden hose it should have been enough to melt a bunch of this, right?

Anyway, even having seen it I sort of don't believe it. A moving wave of ice fragments? WTF?
posted by GuyZero at 2:11 PM on May 14, 2013


“You keep bringing more water and waves and whatnot, and it just keeps pushing and piling and it just keeps moving inland.”

BEWARE THE WHATNOT!

crinkle crinkle crinkle
posted by Kabanos at 2:22 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


that is one of the more frightening things i've seen in some time. someone is probably writing a screenplay for this as we speak.
posted by Partario at 2:26 PM on May 14, 2013


Looks like the ice-nine got loose.
posted by ckape at 2:34 PM on May 14, 2013 [13 favorites]


... should have been enough to melt a bunch of this, right?

Assuming you're not joking, here are some numbers about that.

Extracting one BTU (British Thermal Unit) of heat lowers the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Melting one pound of ice requires 144 BTU. So if the tap water is at 50F (might not even be that high at the end of a Minnesota winter), it would take at least 8 pounds of water to melt each pound of ice, in the best case. In reality, it would take a lot more, because much of the water would run off before it had transferred all its heat to the ice.
posted by Bruce H. at 2:42 PM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


ZeusHumms: "The background noise reminded me of insects."

That's the ice centipedes burrowing to the surface.
posted by Splunge at 2:46 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


It reminds me of the far upland videos of the tsunami in Japan. I can understand fast, violent calamities, but these slow-moving, large, and inexorable ones don't mesh well with my "time to get the hell out of here" reflexes. Someone can probably relate this to zombies.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:48 PM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I grew up about thirty minutes away from Ochre Beach; it was a crap place for summer frolicking even without rogue icewall attacks.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:50 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Look at that! It's going right through their fuckin house!".
posted by dougzilla at 3:12 PM on May 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


So does this happen all the time, or is it a global warming thing, or what?
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:14 PM on May 14, 2013


Keeping Michael away from the ice was about as pointless as trying to stop the ice from moving.
posted by Solomon at 3:17 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


At what point do you stop filming and go, "You know what? We should probably fucking leave."
posted by Kitteh at 3:17 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, this needs to end up on Head Like An Orange.
posted by Solomon at 3:18 PM on May 14, 2013


So does this happen all the time, or is it a global warming thing, or what?

It happens whenever a sizable icepack combines with a strong wind out of the same quadrant that stays steady for 24 hours or so. This has been a late winter in MN; usually the ice on Mille Lacs is clear by now, but the phenomenon of the ice pushing up onto shore isn't inherently related to global warming, so far as I can tell.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:18 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


LITERALLY REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS IT ISN'T EVEN A METAPHOR

this would make a great film, entitled: ICE ATTACKS 2: THE FROSTENING
posted by ninjew at 3:18 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


My parents had thirty inches of ice on Lake Vermilion like two weeks ago. The transition from winter to summer in Minnesota can be hard to keep up with.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:23 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


So the name of this lake is (translated) One Thousand Lakes Lake? Nice.

It's also just called Mille Lacs. Of course, it's pronounced "m'lax" (and Montevideo is pronounced "monna-video", Faribault is pronounced "fare-bow", etc).

Now I'm curious how people who live near places like the Bois de Sioux River and the Bois Forte Indian Reservation pronounce those names.
posted by afiler at 3:24 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


You cannot hear 4hz.

Sure you can. It sounds like 4 distinct clicks or pops per second.
Pedantry -- you can't hear 4 hz, no matter what you do. In this case, there are 4 distinct "cicks" per second. The audio signal then resembles an impulse train (or Dirac comb), where each individual click (or, more technically, an "impulse") contains a broad range of frequencies. The frequency content (directly related to the Fourier transform) of a signal like this is another impulse train, which contains energy in a number of frequencies, some of which are audible.

In short, you can't hear a 4 hz signal. But you can hear a 4hz sequence of signals containing audible frequencies.
posted by Bahro at 3:41 PM on May 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


... you can't hear 4 hz, no matter what you do.

Aha, but I'm a Sumatran Rhinoceros!

(Okay, I'm not, and they only produce sound that low, not detect it. But wouldn't it be cool if a rhino was commenting on MeFi?)
posted by benito.strauss at 4:03 PM on May 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Vertical video wouldn't be a problem if youtube didn't insist on showing it boxed in. It shouldn't be that hard for them to just show it in the right size frame. Clearly people are not going to stop shooting vertical video, so maybe our sites should adapt. I don't think this is crazy speak.
posted by stoneweaver at 4:11 PM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


In reality, it would take a lot more, because much of the water would run off before it had transferred all its heat to the ice.

The solution is clearly dragons.
posted by elizardbits at 4:12 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Michael, get away from it."

That's some awesome fucking parenting there.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:15 PM on May 14, 2013


The solution is clearly dragons.

Dragons? That's fantasy crap. Obviously what we really need are fire plasmids.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:20 PM on May 14, 2013


We use Vigors in this household son.
posted by The Whelk at 4:21 PM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


everything changed when the fire nation attacked
posted by elizardbits at 4:31 PM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow. That's some ice.
posted by gingerbeer at 5:04 PM on May 14, 2013


This spring has been so bizarre, weatherwise, that when I saw this video the other day I felt absolutely nothing. No fear, no concern, no amusement, just a total absence of feeling. I have used up all my weather feels.
posted by padraigin at 5:14 PM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mother Nature will make us her bitches.

So is there a square to check on the insurance forms for B&E acts of God? Climate change? How about political ignorance? General hubris?
posted by BlueHorse at 5:18 PM on May 14, 2013


For the last week, Facebbook in the Twin Cities has been used exclusively for (1) sharing this video and (2) displaying pro-gay marriage graphics (example).
posted by Area Man at 5:19 PM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


One of the news articles about this quoted a homeowner who said his insurance didnt cover ice damage. Ugh.
posted by sio42 at 6:07 PM on May 14, 2013


All cell phones should have a warning when you start to shoot vertical video.

All cell phone manufacturers should flip the camera 90 degrees so that horizontal video can be taken while holding the camera vertically.

Holding a cell phone vertically is much easier and more natural than holding it horizontally. Form has not yet followed function.
posted by zardoz at 6:17 PM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pedantry -- you can't hear 4 hz, no matter what you do

You can't hear a 4 hz tone, but you can certainly hear 4 hz. Don't you hear the choo-choo rhythm in the video?
posted by gum at 6:24 PM on May 14, 2013


I remember reading when I was a kid about a mammoth with daisies frozen in her stomach like a massive below zero wind came out of nowhere and froze the place for 50,000 years.

Then later I read something about that being debunked and the mammoth having died in some sort of ice avalanche.

Which seemed was less comforting at the time and now even moreso.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:26 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell: "That's some awesome fucking parenting there."

I register your sarcasm, but don't know which way to interpret it. Are you saying they're a bad parent for not being cautious enough (not evacuating their family), or, conversely, are you saying they're a bad parent for being overcautious (not letting their kid touch something that's just plain old ice)?
posted by Bugbread at 6:57 PM on May 14, 2013


Beware of The Blob, it creeps
And leaps and glides and slides
Across the floor
Right through the door
And all around the wall
A splotch, a blotch
Be careful of The Blob.

By Burt Bacharach!
posted by SPrintF at 6:58 PM on May 14, 2013


It's more of a buffeting noise that you are hearing. It is the pressure of the ice resonating with the springiness of the bush. Right at about 4:00, you can see the bush moving in sync with the noise.
posted by gjc at 7:12 PM on May 14, 2013


Vertical video wouldn't be a problem if youtube didn't insist on showing it boxed in.

Nope, it would still look goofy. It's the aspect ratio. If you take a couple sheets of paper (or I guess a couple of windows and cover up the video so the aspect ratio is closer to 4:3 or 16:9 your brain will relax. Our vision evolved to deal see more horizontally than vertically. Birds don't really attack us from the sky but there might be a tiger in that bush to the left.

Turn your phone when you take video, it isn't that hard.
posted by VTX at 7:14 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was fully expecting the inexorable advance to catch up behind the woman at :30.
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:16 PM on May 14, 2013


This happened in Manitoba too, and destroyed some houses

It's so crazy that the same thing happened up in Manitoba.
posted by beau jackson at 8:28 PM on May 14, 2013


One of the news articles about this quoted a homeowner who said his insurance didnt cover ice damage. Ugh.

In Manitoba, not only doesn't the insurance cover ice (For most if not all the cases), but only permanent residents will qualify for disaster assistance.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:36 PM on May 14, 2013


Minnesota is like the surface of the moon. Breathing in fast through your nostrils is not recommended on some winter days, unless of course you enjoy the sensation of razor blades being shoved up your nose really fast. And then those explosive bursts of heat in the summer, along with humidity drawn up on southerly winds, made much worse by the evapotranspiration of all that corn in Iowa. From Paul Douglas (Twin Cities meteorologist) yesterday:

Mother Nature is off her meds again. I've seen a lot of things in 30 years, but I don't think I've ever witnessed frost to 100F in 58 hours. Like turning on a light switch: instant blast-furnace heat. It was 102F at St. James, but only 44F in Grand Marais. The Twin Cities broke the old record of 95F in 1932. We're taking weather whiplash to a whole new level.

posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:20 AM on May 15, 2013


From Reddit (paraphrased):
"And no one thought to put down some plywood (to distribute the weight), place a throne on top of it, and ride it as their subservient ice wave of destruction?"
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:27 AM on May 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah I was thinking surfboard, but well it's Manitoba/Minnesota.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:34 AM on May 15, 2013


(Okay, I'm not, and they only produce sound that low, not detect it. But wouldn't it be cool if a rhino was commenting on MeFi?)

Yes, because then you could answer this question once and for all.
posted by Kabanos at 6:52 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: " The solution is clearly dragons.

Dragons? That's fantasy crap. Obviously what we really need are fire plasmids.
"

Fire elementals. Did you learn nothing in thaumaturgy class?
posted by Splunge at 9:08 AM on May 15, 2013


frost to 100F in 58 hours

Areas in the leeward side of the rockies (Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado) or the Black Hills (SD) can see temperature changes like this (70 F difference) in 24 hours. Or in extreme cases, 1 hour. Typically it doesn't heat up to 100F, though.

From the wikipedia page for Chinook wind:

In Pincher Creek, Alberta, the temperature rose by 41°C (74°F), from -19 to 22°C (-2 to 72°F), in one hour in 1962.

Loma, Montana boasts as having the most extreme recorded temperature change in a 24-hour period. On January 15, 1972, the temperature rose from -54 to 49°F (-48 to 9°C), a 103°F (58°C) change in temperature

The Black Hills of South Dakota are home to the world's fastest recorded rise in temperature. On January 22, 1943, at about 7:30 am MST, the temperature in Spearfish, South Dakota was -4°F (-20°C). The chinook kicked in, and two minutes later, the temperature was 45°F (7°C). The 49°F (27°C) rise set a world record, yet to be exceeded. By 9:00 am, the temperature had risen to 54°F (12°C). Suddenly, the Chinook died down and the temperature tumbled back to -4°F (-20°C). The 58°F (32°C) drop took only 27 minutes.[11][12]
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:04 AM on May 15, 2013


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