Awesome images of some rare ice on Lake Michigan taken by Photographer Chris Knight didn’t know he wanted pancakes when he headed out for an early morning photo shoot earlier this week. (From the Weather Channel)
But that’s exactly what he got.
Photographer Chris Knight, an FAA–certificated airman remote pilot, uses drones to capture stunning scenery from his home turf on the Great Lakes, including the sparkling mass that piled up at the Kewaunee Lighthouse.
“I wasn’t expecting to see it at all,” he told weather.com. “But I knew it was special because I’ve been visiting the shores of Lake Michigan all of my life and don’t recall seeing it before.”
Pancake ice isn’t extremely rare, but conditions do have to be just right for it form. If everything goes right, the floating disks of ice can be up to 10 feet in diameter and 4 inches thick.
“When air temperatures are just below freezing, a thin layer of ice or slush on water can eventually form into quasi-circular disks,” said weather.com senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman. “Wind creates minor wave action, the disks bump each other, and slush splashes, then freezes, onto the disk’s edge, giving the raised, ‘lily pad’ appearance of pancake ice.”
[amazon_link asins=’B013U0F6EQ,B011JV9HA2,B00MNG37C2,B01FIMXDGM,B00SAUAP5C,B01CP4I1MW,B01A1XRHEW’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’jobbiecrew-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’672f22d8-dbfd-11e6-b4f9-13425b22741d’]
Knight told weather.com he’s seen the phenomenon only once before, along Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks, just East of Munising Michigan, where it reminded him of something other than breakfast food.
“I didn’t know it was called “pancake ice” until a pro photography friend of mine told me,” he said. “Until this past week, I referred to it as Protozoa ice cells as it reminded me of ice cells swimming in a sea of harmony.”
Things didn’t exactly start out harmonious, however.
“I was actually on location to shoot long-exposure photography of the Kewaunee Lighthouse,” Knight said. “One of the ice boulders in the middle of the pancake ice was getting in my shot and I didn’t like it.”