Prior to today, I never knew the difference between 'border ice' and 'frazil' ice.

The National Weather Service closely monitors how ice forms on the Grand River, hoping they can predict when ice jams may cause blockages and back ups.

This week, they posted a photo of the river taken by a Kent County Sheriff's drone, demonstrating the different types of ice and flows as the river slowly freezes over in the wake of the super cold temperatures we've experienced recently.

The photo was taken Sunday and the drone shot overlooks the Jupiter Street bridge in Plainfield Township.

The graphic shows how 'border ice' forms first along the shallower and slower moving sides of the river, while little circles of slushy 'frazil ice' move along the current of the river.

Eventually, as you see in the photo, tweeted Monday by the Weather Service, eventually objects in the river like bridge piers, slows the frazil ice down along the sides so it will eventually freeze solid.

With warmer temperatures slated for the next few days, the icing over process will slow down a bit, before picking up again this weekend when frigid temperatures return to the Grand Rapids area.

In the meantime, the Weather Service also announced that 2021 will go down as one of the warmest years on record across the state, with some areas reporting it as the top three warmest years since records began being kept, which kept the snowfall to a minimum.

It Turns Out Living in the Mitten During Winter Isn't All That Bad!

Believe it or not, there are actually some benefits to experiencing West Michigan winters!