The footage was captured by WGN-TV’s weather cam, and shared on Twitter by meteorologist John Kassell, with a hat tip to WGN-TV’s chief meteorologist Tom Skilling.
“Incredible timelapse of a giant section of ice covering Lake Michigan around the Chicago shoreline breaking off and drifting away. This video timelapse was captured by the WGN Hancock camera,” Kassell wrote in a caption.
It isn’t clear how many hours the footage was recorded over, but the video shows that the breakaway happened in less than a day.
Parts of Lake Michigan froze over earlier this month amid an extended cold spell in and around the Chicago area that brought nine consecutive days of snowfall, just short of a record that has stood for 78 years.
One of the more breathtaking sights has been that of the frozen shores of Lake Michigan, which has been drawing visitors looking to take a rare opportunity to stand on the ice sheet that has been covering the water, and post pictures and footage of the phenomenon to social media.
However, with temperatures now creeping just above freezing, the ice that has gripped the lake has started to break apart and melt away.
The Chicago Police Marine Unit has spent much of the past month urging people to stay off the lake, warning that the ice is not as stable as it might appear to be, and that one wrong move could prove fatal.
“With water temps at 34° loss of dexterity in your limbs begins to set in after approx 3 minutes & exhaustion or unconscious sets in approx 15-30 minutes. Admire from a distance,” it tweeted earlier this month.
In another tweet, it added: “Shelf Ice is extremely dangerous. While the marvels of #icebergs on the shore of #LakeMichigan are wonders of nature they can be deadly. With ice pushed on shore it is nearly impossible to know where land ends and water below ice begins Please STAY OFF.”
At the weekend, the Chicago Fire Department posted a video of a dog that needed to be rescued after falling into Lake Michigan.
The timelapse video shows just how quickly huge sheets of ice can break apart.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has also shared satellite imagery that exhibits the enormous scale of the ice sheet that broke free from the shoreline.
It is warning people in the Chicago area to be aware of falling ice amid the arrival of milder temperatures.
Originally published at https://www.newsweek.com/stunning-video-huge-ice-sheet-breaking-off-lake-michigan-shoreline-1571245 on .