My family heard them several times Saturday night at our house in Missouri and maybe you did, too. Did you hear mysterious booms and wonder if we were either having an earthquake or about to? It was actually something completely different.

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It's rare that there's ever an earthquake in Missouri that is strong enough to be felt in the northern part of the state. I can't even remember the last time that happened. However, late Saturday night, my family heard a "boom" that I decided to investigate. It sounded like it came from below ground. I learned that's it certainly did. There was a tiny 1.9 New Madrid quake Saturday night, but it wasn't that.

What was the cause of booms in Missouri Saturday night?

Answer - Frost quakes

Environment and Climate Change Canada via YouTube
Environment and Climate Change Canada via YouTube
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Accuweather explained what happens when the temperature gets so cold, the Earth reacts:

Frost quakes are naturally-occurring phenomena caused by the freezing and expansion of water deep within the earth's crust, which results in the cracking of the ground, rock, etc., in the vicinity of the frozen water.

That's exactly what happened in some places in Missouri Saturday night. Especially with temperatures in our part of the state well below zero that happened only a couple of days after heavy rain, the situation was almost perfect for frost quakes to make an appearance.

The good news is it does not appear to be the result of anyone's frozen water pipes or at least let's hope. If you hear a weird boom over the next couple of days, know that the answer might very well be right under your feet.

Oh, and New Madrid Fault, don't even think about doing something bad right now. Thanks.

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