In Pics: Frozen lighthouse and sea smoke at Lake Michigan enthralls social media

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Sea smoke (Pic by Chris Walker)
Sea smoke (Pic by Chris Walker)

Los Angeles : If you noticed smoke rising off of Lake Michigan on Thursday then you have witnessed an incredible natural phenomenon.

The smoke above waters was the result of Chicago’s brutal cold on Thursday. Infact it is actually called “steam fog,” or sometimes “sea smoke,” and occurs when temperatures hit low over a warmer lake surface.

The beautiful snaps were captured when the arctic temperatures descended on the Chicago area this week.

According to the National Weather Service, it was colder than the water surface temperature, hence leading to the phenomenon.

The NWS wrote on Facebook, “The bitterly cold air mixes with a shallow layer of saturated milder air just above the lake surface, cooling it beyond its dew point so that it can hold less water vapor, with the excess water vapor rapidly condensing as the steam fog you can see rising from the lake,” the NWS wrote on Facebook.

For those who don’t know steam fog is not the same as “ice fog” as its particles are completely liquid while particles in ice fog or frost smoke usually freeze.

If you didn’t get a chance to snap a pic during this week's steam fog, then don’t worry you might get a chance this weekend, too as temperatures are set to get bitter cold on Christmas i.e. Sunday.

Interestingly, last week an ordinary lighthouse on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore was transformed into a majestic ice palace. Scroll down for beautiful picture.