It might seem it's been so cold, even gravity is affected!
Check out these photos from Pamela Maring of a column of ice that rose out of a dog dish in Marysville Wednesday morning. A frozen version of the Loch Ness Monster attempting to escape from its icy prison?
Nope, just some neat physics in play.
These towers are caused when the surface of the of water freezes first, sealing in the water below. As freezing temperatures continue, and that not-yet frozen water trapped below begins to freeze, it expands, creating higher pressure under the ice lid.
Eventually, the pressure will either cause a small crack or opening in the ice where water will start to dribble out -- sort of like squeezing a tube of toothpaste.
However, as that water squeezes out to the surface, it freezes too, creating a small bump of ice on the surface. The pattern repeats and the "bump" grows taller and taller until all the water under the main sheet of ice has frozen. And what you have left is called an ice spike.
Those of you who still use ice trays in your freezer will sometimes see little ones form atop the tray.
Here is a video from my backyard a few years ago when several ice spikes broke out on one of my daughter's outdoor toys that had collected quite a bit of rain from previous storms:
While I've got you here and we're talking about ice...
This photo has nothing to do with ice spikes, but was too good not to share. This is a frozen spider web, coated in ice after freezing fog went through Chehalis on Friday morning when it was 25 degrees. (Photo courtesy Ashley Holland)