Niagara Falls is quite the tourist attraction when the weather is warm, but the freezing cold of January and February turns it into a winter wonderland.
Stunning images taken from the Canadian side of the border shows the area surrounding the Falls covered in snow and ice.
The water is warmer than the air temperature, so the mist that rises from the falls turns to ice and attaches itself to the surrounding tree branches and guardrails.
A woman takes a photo at the Horsehoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday. Mist is seen rising from the Falls. The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is known as the Horseshoe Falls because of its shape
The mist which rises from the Fall turns into ice which then attaches itself to the tree branches and the rails and handles
The image above shows a seagull flying above the Horseshoe Falls on Wednesday
The icy spectacle, which is brought on by weeks of severe cold, often draws a steady flow of intrepid tourists.
The Western New York – Southern Ontario region is a harsh place during wintertime. The average annual snowfall in Niagara Falls is 78 inches.
The average January temperature in the region gets as high as 30 degrees and as low as 18 degrees.
Though recent forecasts show that the temperatures have been relatively mild.
On Monday, the weather was downright balmy, reaching a high of 36 degrees. Tuesday and Wednesday saw highs in the upper 20s and lower 30s.
But the winter isn’t through with the region just yet. Snowfall is expected on Wednesday night as between 3 and 5 inches of the white stuff are expected in the greater Buffalo region.
A woman walks her dog past the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday
Against a stunning backdrop of snow and ice, a photographer is seen above snapping images at the Horseshoe Falls on Wednesday
Icicles are seen above hanging from the branches of a frozen tree along the Niagara Parkway in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Wednesday
A woman takes a selfie at the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday
Niagara Falls remains one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, even in the freezing cold weather
A man walks in the snow while observing Niagara Falls from the Canadian side of the border in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Wednesday
The next few days will also be much colder. The high for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will not exceed 19 degrees while the low temperatures could dip into the single digits.
The relatively mild weather will return next week with highs in the mid-30s.
While the visuals make it appear as if the Falls freeze, they, in fact, are not frozen.
The volume of water is simply too great – 757,500 gallons flow over the falls every second – for it to freeze in place.
If the weather does get cold enough in western New York state and lower Ontario, then vast sections of the US side of Niagara Falls, known as the American Falls, and the Canadian side, known as the Horseshoe Falls, do at times freeze.
Tourists on the American side of the border take photos of each other against the backdrop of Niagara Falls on Wednesday
A man is seen above taking a selfie photo as he stands in front of Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday
A man has his photo taken at the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday
The image above shows a bush encrusted with ice at the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday
Winter surfing! A seagull lifts off as it floats over the edge at the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday
This brave seagull waits until getting to the edge of the Horseshoe Falls before taking flight in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday
A woman peers out toward Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the border in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday
But the water never actually stops flowing underneath.
That is no accident: the Niagara River is an important source of hydropower, so a long ice boom made of steel catches any icebergs, while ice cutters work around the clock to prevent the Falls from jamming up.
If it’s cold enough for long enough, an ice bridge forms along the river, connecting the US and Canada.
Day-trippers once enjoyed sledding and drinking on the ice bridge until 1912, when it broke up and three people died — a Canadian couple who became stranded on a piece of ice and an American teenager who tried to save them.
Their story is the subject of an online graphic novel, ‘Hecock,’ named for the Cleveland teen who died.
Walking anywhere on the ice has been strictly banned ever since.