It has been blisteringly cold across much of the United States for the past several weeks. Some would say the only thing colder is the United States' current relationship with North Korea. Temperatures reached record lows in many cities, some reporting wind chills below 30 degrees! It seems like anything and everything left outdoors was destined to be encased in ice.

The term Bomb Cyclone (also referred to as a weather bomb, meteorological bomb, explosive development, bomb cyclone or bombogenesis) was being used to explain the rare phenomena that was leaving much of the country blanketed in heavy snow and ice.

The descriptive title was given back in the 1970's to explain a certain sudden drop in pressure that creates this unusually frigid atmosphere that we are experiencing today.

It has become so cold that images and video footage are circulating showing entire beaches and swathes of ocean completely frozen. This incredible sight was made even more surreal by the image of people walking around on the frozen ocean as if it was a freshwater lake in the winter.

Although we can predict these storms with enough time to adequately prepare for them, it is hard to believe just how cold it has recently become.

Is it even possible for the oceans to freeze?

The short answer to this question is — absolutely. Many believe, incorrectly, that because there is salt in the oceans that it is impossible for their waters to freeze.

The truth is that salt water freezes just like normal water, only it requires a lower temperature. Whereas fresh water will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, ocean waters need to be just a bit colder to do the same. It is not a huge difference with ocean water freezing at 28.4 degrees.

Normally, ocean waters in most parts of the world exist in roughly 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is incredibly cold, just not quite cold enough to freeze the waters. Only at the ice caps on the North and South Poles is it generally cold enough to freeze the surrounding waters, if at all.

Will it ever end?

The good news is there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Temperatures across the nation are slowly returning to normal and there are even a few days coming up where the weather will be warmer than normal for this time of year.

It is certainly needed as the country digs and chops its way through the snow and ice, all while still trying to recover from the latest winter storm. The grim reality is cold snaps like these are likely to be increasingly common in the coming years as the planetary weather conditions continue to shift, whether it be from man-made global warming or other natural causes.