Frost Quakes?

I am sitting here at work and the day has been pretty quiet until my partner and I hear what we thought may have been the garbage truck emptying the dumpster at the fast food place across the street. Pretty soon 911 dispatches a neighboring department for multiple calls of people hearing a loud explosion. After a search of a wide area that department and another can find nothing outside of the normal. One would think that an explosion about a mile away from this building that we heard from inside, someone would have seen what had happened. NOPE. Just multiple calls of a loud explosion.

Some time goes by and we are just sitting here doing the normal stuff for the evenings and we hear it again. Maybe not quite so loud this time but the same sound. Over the course of a couple of hours I have now heard that sound close to 10 times. I am a pretty skeptical kind of guy when it comes to things that I cannot explain, but this one had me thinking. Earlier today on the news they talked about a phenomenon called a Frost Quake. The short version of this is when water seeps into the ground and then freezes. As it expands underground it makes aloud sound. This kind of makes a “there goes another one” little bit of sense to me. Last night the temperature was 47 degrees and we got 1/2 inch of rain. As I post this it is -9.2 degrees. I trust this data because our station is a reporting station for the National Weather Service. We have all of their good gear here to keep things accurate. I figure that 1/2 inch of rain would seep pretty well into the ground and then a 56 degree drop in temperature to -9 in less than 24 hours would probably raise some havoc under ground.

I walked out the back door to have a smoke(I know its a bad habit, but if I didn’t like smoke I probably wouldn’t be a fireman) and as I was standing there watching all the steam raise out of the rooftops from the buildings around BOOM it went off again. I literally stood there for a second to make sure that I had not just been shot and started to look around expecting something bad to have happened. Nope. I have seen a lot of cool things during my days hear on this great planet, but even though I could not see this thing it may be one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.

The bottom line in my opinion is this. Unless the military is flying out of the field of view doing stealth ops and breaking the sound barrier over top of my little home town, I am now a believer in the “Frost quake.” Its kind of like Bigfoot, unless you see it or in this case hear it, it is actually pretty hard to believe.


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