Tropical Storm Lee made landfall, battering the coast of the far northeast over the weekend. Strong winds and heavy rain knocked power out for hundreds of thousands. One area was left with quite the surprise, making the coast look a lot like a winter’s day in Nova Scotia.

Thick sea foam churned up in Lee’s wake brought out onlookers to Lawrencetown Beach. The sea foam looked like a thick snow blanketing the coast.

How does sea foam form?

Sea foam forms when the ocean is agitated by winds and waves, churning up dissolved ocean matter on the sea floor.

If you were to look at ocean water in a clear glass, you’ll notice it is not clear at all. Ocean water is full of tiny particles of dissolved salts, proteins, fats, dead algae and pollutants. It also has a bunch of other bits and pieces of organic matter. If you were to shake this glass, adding air particles to the mix, you would see small bubbles form on the surface of the liquid.

Sea foam forms much the same way but on a great big scale. Each coastal area has differing factors governing the formation of sea foams.