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Watch: Mother Nature takes some ice for a spin in Snoqualmie River

Spinning ice circle in the Snoqualmie River. (Courtesy Kaylyn Messer)

SEATTLE (KOMO) - It never ceases to amaze what nature can do given the right circumstances. In this case, a North Bend, Washington photographer found what happens when a gently flowing river meets freezing temperatures and creates a thin layer of ice: A perfect ice circle.

Kaylyn Messer says she had heard from others about the circle, and took a drive out along the NF-5600 road and found the circle spinning on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River.

"I was elated to see that the circle was still intact and spinning," she wrote on her Facebook page. "I spent the afternoon watching the slow rotations and listening to the murmurs of the ice."

The ice circles are created when the top layer of relatively warm water freezes, but then gets caught in the eddy of a river to morph into a continuous spin. But it's not a solid sheet of ice. A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D. said in a story I featured in my weather blog about a previous ice circle some years ago that it's a collection of ice cubes. "If you were to throw a grapefruit-size rock on it, it would go through," said Allen Schlag.

As the air warms this weekend, the ice circle's days are numbered. But what a sight to see!

(Special thanks to Danna McCall at LivingSnoqualmie.com for first reporting on the ice circle!)


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