PATERSON, NJ - What do you get when you mix a wobbling polar vortex with the second-largest waterfall in the Northeast? You get a winter wonderland that looks otherworldly.
The recent arctic blast kept many in the New York Metropolitan area inside, sheltering from highs below freezing and lows in the teens. The wind chill felt below zero. But take a look at what the heartier got to see.
Frozen waters are seen at the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. (Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Getty Images)
The scene at New Jersey's Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park looked more like another planet or a polar movie set. Spray from the falls accumulated on every surface, from lamps to railings to benches, forming crazy ice sculptures.
The actual falls looked more like hoodoos seen at Bryce Canyon National Park, but the frosty, "Frozen" variety. Other features looked like drip sand castles or melting wax figurines.
Visitors used to seeing the falls flowing, marveled at the frozen-in-time beauty of the formerly falling water. Take a look at pictures of a mild Jan. 2023 compared to Sunday, Jan. 2024.
What a difference a year makes. January 2024, the falls flowed. Compare those photos to the 2024 frozen scenes. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency and Kena Betancur/VIEWpress / Getty Images)
Last year, there were only a few icicles on railings and rocks; the water flowed. Last week, all movement was suspended.
Everywhere, visitors were taking pictures: selfies, portraits, snapshots. Some had to take turns in front of the larger ice formations.
Visitors crowded around the outrageous formations for pictures. (Kena Betancur/VIEWpress / Getty Images)
The winter wonderland was short-lived, though. This was the live webcam on Tuesday afternoon. The ice is already a melted memory.
It didn't take long for the ice to melt. This is Tuesday afternoon, post cold snap. (NPS Paterson Falls Earth Cam / FOX Weather)
Hillary Andrews, with FOX Weather, helped contribute to this report.