People in Central PA hearing what could be “frost quakes”

Local News

Over the last two days you might have heard a loud popping sound coming from outside. It may have been a “frost quake”.

“We just heard a large popping noise, from outside, which we thought was the siding cracking, but it was so loud that you could hear it very clearly, so it was like, somebody had a hammer, pounding stuff,” Karen Desante, Huntingdon resident said.

Karen Desante and her husband live on the Huntingdon Borough, Oneida Township border.  The last two nights they heard a distinct popping sound, that they’ve never heard before.  They think it was a frost quake, caused by a rapid drop in temperature and wet ground. 
 
“When water in the ground freezes, it expands and puts some pressure on the ground, and a “frost quake” is when the ground just kind of releases that pressure and there’s just a little quake and a crack and sometimes a rumble from that,” Joe Murgo, Meteorologist, for WTAJ News, said.
 
Dennis Johnson, Environmental Science Professor from Juniata College says, the loud popping sounds from frost quakes is like when a frozen river or lake cracks from temperature change.
Joe says you might be hearing those sounds more because the extreme cold is working it’s way deeper into the ground.
 
The cold often causes other noises are easily mistaken for frost quakes….
On the WTAJ Facebook page Beth Spayd from Milesburg writes:
“Yes, porch was cracking loudly last night.”
 
“We sometimes here at our studio, as our roof expands and contracts with the cold, we get these loud pops, that sometimes you may even hear in our newscast,” Murgo said.
 
The real frost quakes, aren’t dangerous like an earthquake, they’re just noisy.
 

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