Mother Nature is quite an artist. From magnificent cloud formations to spectacular double rainbows, nature’s beauty is astounding.  Yesterday, I received photos of interesting discs of ice floating on the water.   After reading about these, Sherri Cormier was thrilled to finally see them in person at the Key Hole on Grand Lake near Minto New Brunswick!

These intriguing circular discs have a name;  they are known as Pancake ice. "Pancake ice" is the name given to free floating and mainly circular pieces of ice that form when surface slush accumulates into floating pads.   While the air temperature must be below zero, moderate wave activity doesn’t allow for a solid sheet of ice to form.  Further freezing solidifies their tops and they take on their roundish shape.  Collisions as they float about lead to the raised rims, either from the edges getting bashed up from hitting each other, or from the slush that gets splashed onto the edges and freezes to gradually form a rim.  These discs can range from 30 cm to 3 m in diameter and up to 10 cm in thickness.   The conditions were obviously just right on Grand Lake when Sherri snapped the cool pics! 

The “official” name is pancake ice, but I’ve heard these icy spheres referred to as“water lilies”; a much prettier name for Mother Nature’s icy masterpieces.


Chief Meteorologist

Cindy Day