Hundreds of Ice Balls Form Along Lake Michigan

Thursday, Feb 28, 2013  |  Updated 11:48 PM CDT
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February Winter Weather Photos

WPBN-TV

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A natural winter phenomenon on the shores of Lake Michigan has been getting a bit of attention.

Hundreds of ice balls, some weighing roughly 50 pounds, are piled along the Michigan shoreline west of Traverse City.

"The water temperature on Lake Michigan is just a little bit below freezing, the actual water temperature, so you get a small little piece of ice that forms out in the water, and as the waves move back and forth it adds additional water onto this, and so it basically freezes in layers and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger," explained Joe Charlevoix, a meteorologist with NBC affiliate WPBN. "Eventually you get these big balls of ice and they get pushed on shore by a lot of the wind."

A deputy superintendent from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore park, Tom Ulrich, said the phenomenon isn't rare, it's just that the boulders this year are larger than normal.

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