This story was first published on 11th January 2006
Fabulous photographs that depict an “ice storm” at a Swiss lake have been circulating via email since 2005. They are a popular topic for blog and forum posts. The photographs also circulate as a PowerPoint presentation.
The photographs are genuine. At Lake Léman (Lake Geneva) in January 2005, very cold conditions combined with strong winds resulted in the ice-encrusted landscape shown in the photographs. Temperatures were so cold that wind-generated spray from the lake froze on the surface of anything it touched. Another series of photographs showing alternate views of the same event can be viewed in an online photo gallery by Jean-Pierre Scherrer of Geneva, Switzerland. Scherrer notes:
After a conjunction of intense cold (-8 to -12 degrees Centigrade), plus very strong winds, blowing at over 100 kmh (70 mph), the waves got so harsh that they passed over the dikes and the droplets immediatly froze everything they touched !
Although the photographs are authentic, some versions of the accompanying text misidentify the geographic location where they were taken.
Various false locations have been listed including another Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, and other waterways in the United States, Canada and Europe. The above version of the message correctly identifies the location as Versoix at Switzerland’s Lake Léman.
A photograph on Photosite.pl shows the Versoix jetty featured in one of the ice-storm images in warmer weather.
Now this is an ice storm.
This incredible spectacle you are about to see, takes place in Versoix, a town close to Geneva City, Switzerland.
The water in the background is the Léman Lake.