Slurpee Waves

Jonathan Nimerfroh, a photographer and surfer in Nantucket, took this amazing photo on February 20, 2015 of an ocean wave, just before it freezes solid. He calls it a slurpee wave.
Jonathan Nimerfroh, a photographer and surfer in Nantucket, took this amazing photo on February 20, 2015 of an ocean wave, just before it freezes solid. He calls it a slurpee wave.

The February 2015 deep freeze of the eastern United States broke hundreds, maybe thousands of record daily low temperatures. A photographer who is also a surfer in Nantucket, photographed some partially frozen waves on February 20, 2015, just before they froze solid.  He calls them slurpee waves.

Nimerfroh said he returned the following day to the same beach. That day it was a few degrees colder still and the water had completely frozen. He said: “Nothing was moving. There were no waves anymore.”

Even experts commented that they had not seen waves like this before.

  • Helen Fricker, a glaciologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, who studies the dynamics of ice flows in Antarctica, told the New York Times that a full scientific explanation was “outside her expertise.”
  • Erin Pettit, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, added that waves in Alaska tend to break up sea ice and said, “I have never seen frozen waves like this.”

EarthSky: Slushy wave off coast of Nantucket

New York Times- Article on the wave

Jonathan Nimerfroh’s collection of Slurpee Waves

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