A Trip to Niagara Falls During the Polar Vortex

One of the harshest and coldest winters in Canada was the winter of 2013/14 – with a Christmas ice storm that downed trees and hydro lines, cutting power to half million people – and a series of polar vortexes. The polar vortex from the beginning  of January froze the Niagara River and the two smaller waterfalls, creating an unusual winter landscape.

“A polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere, which sits over the polar region during the winter season.” – AccuWeather

The biggest waterfall is the Horseshoe Falls that lies on the border of the United States and Canada and it is the most powerful waterfall in North America. The other two waterfalls are the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls on the US side. The falls are known as “Niagara Falls“.

Niagara Falls – Polar Vortex Photos

“All trembling, I reached the Falls of Niagara, and oh, what a scene! My blood shudders still, although I am not a coward, at the grandeur of the Creator’s power; and I gazed motionless on this new display of the irresistible force of one of His elements.” –  John James Audubon

The Horseshoe Falls (Niagara Falls) and Niagara River during the polar vortex

The Horseshoe Falls (Niagara Falls) and Niagara River during the polar vortex

Niagara Falls view from Canada side

Niagara Falls view from Canada side

Niagara Falls polar vortex

Niagara Falls during the polar vortex

A look towards the American side of the fall

A look towards the American side of the fall

Due to the mist and droplets of water everything is frozen around the falls

Due to the mist and droplets of water everything is frozen around the falls

Tourists taking photos of the Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Canada

Tourists taking photos of the Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Canada

Nature in black and white

Nature in black and white

The Lower Observation Deck, Niagara Falls

The Lower Observation Deck is closed in the winter. It can be accessed in the summer with a Journey Behind the Falls tour.

Mist, water and ice

Mist, water and ice

Niagara Falls with the old power generating station in the background

Niagara Falls with the old power generating station in the background

Niagara Falls

Six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow Wikipedia

Frozen Niagara River.

Frozen Niagara River. View from the Horseshoe Falls towards the American falls on the right and the Rainbow Bridge between Canada and USA in the back..

The American Falls

The American Falls

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

The icy sculptures formed by the polar vortex at the base of the small American Falls

The icy sculptures formed by the polar vortex at the base of the small American Falls

Goodbye Niagara Falls!

Goodbye Niagara Falls!

The photos have been taken with Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP3 Merrill in an overcast, misty day.

Niagara Falls Map

Niagara Falls Map

4 Comments on “A Trip to Niagara Falls During the Polar Vortex

  1. Interesting story ,Ovi, and impressive pictures.
    I was once in wintertime at the falls from the Canadian side but it had not that much ice as I can see here.
    The boat still was running.

    Take care
    Hans

    • Thank you, Hans. Any season is a good time to see Niagara Falls. Come back in the summer!

  2. The Falls are amazing any time of year as you can see. You should see them at night as well when they colourfully lit.

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