Did You Hear a Boom in NH on Saturday Night?
Did you feel a boom on the Seacoast on Saturday night? There may be a reasonable explanation.
Dozens of people reported hearing something loud around 7:20 p.m. to the Rockingham Alert Facebook page. Comments came from Barrington, Danville, Deerfield, Derry, Epping, Fremont, Newton, Northwood, Nottingham, Manchester, Plaistow, Portsmouth, Raymond, Rochester, Salem, Seabrook, and Somersworth.
Reports also came in from Haverhill, Lowell, Merrimac, and North Andover in Massachusetts.
Durham police chief Rene Kelley told Seacoast Current he heard the boom at his home and felt the shaking.
"It knocked over some things in our bathroom. We thought it might have been a large tree coming down, but didn’t find anything when we went out to check," Kelley said.
Townsquare Media's Jolana Miller said she heard several loud noises all within a 5 minute period at her Strafford County home.
"They were freaky! I thought it was chunks of ice falling off my building," Miller said.
The Rockingham Alert page was full of comments from people who all heard something.
"Heard it in Barrington NH and it shook the house," Robin Laroche wrote.
"We heard it in Salem last night. It was so loud that I thought it was the street behind us! Shook the house," Jo-Ann Kingsbury DelMastro wrote. "At one point I thought it was fireworks, but after it persisted for a good 5-10 minutes, I knew it wasn't!"
"Heard it in Deerfield, all 3 of my dogs started barking," Sammie Raymond wrote.
"My wife and I heard one in Rochester a couple hours ago. It was loud enough so it startled our dog, made her get up and walk around looking scared," Randy Marcotte wrote.
Some also felt the ground shake at the same time.
"Felt the shaking and also heard loud booms in Epping," Sarah Preston wrote.
One possible explanation could be a cryoseism also known as a frost quake. Forecaster Sarah Jamison at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine said they are not uncommon in New England.
"They're more often to occur when we get a cold snap at the beginning of the year," Jamison told Seacoast Current. "Most years we hear reports of 'frost quakes' in the region."
Townsquare Media New Jersey Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, who has experienced a cryoseism, said it could be a reasonable explanation for Saturday night's booms.
"Given the rapid temperature changes this week, it seems like a sensible explanation to me," Zarrow said.
Cold air swept into northern New England following Saturday's rain and snow, dropping temperatures fairly rapidly.
The Maine Geological Survey said that it is a natural phenomenon that produces ground shaking and noises similar to an earthquake, but is caused by sudden deep freezing of the ground.
"The primary way that they are recognized is that, in contrast to an earthquake, the effects of a cryoseism are very localized. In some cases, people in houses a few hundred yards away do not notice anything," according to the Maine Geological Society.
The US Geological Survey website has no report of significant seismic activity in New Hampshire or the eastern United States on Saturday.
Kira Lew, Jolana Miller, and Dan Zarrow contributed to this report
Did you hear a boom? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH