Snow and Ice on the Potomac

January 11, 2014

With only a few days of low temperatures, we were surprised to see how quickly the Potomac River started to freeze. Nights were as low as minus 15  degrees (Celsius) on Wednesday and Thursday, and temperatures stayed way under zero even during the days. While it was not nearly as cold as in Michigan or Wisconsin, where the Polar Vortex was in full effect, it was still cold enough to get the river icy. 

There was not enough cold to create significant freezing on the Great Falls, which would have been nice. The best place to take pictures was around Key Bridge, where the Potomac makes a large bend and flows slowly, so that snow and ice could build up and create nice formations. I got the best shots from Roosevelt Island, with nice views of Georgetown University, Rosslyn and the Key Bridge. The ice on this part of the river was very thin, like glass panes stacked on top of each other. Pretty fragile stuff, with cracking sounds from every corner.

The results were pretty amazing, especially on Friday, after the third cold night. The early morning sun came out a couple of times, illuminating the bridge and the tall buildings of Rosslyn very nicely. Take a look yourself!

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The remainders of an old bridge in front of Georgetown University and Key Bridge

 

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Whitehurst Freeway and Georgetown Waterfront Park

 

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Skyline of Rosslyn

 

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Georgetown University and Key Bridge in the early morning sun

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