DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- It wasn't just Hurricane Nicole's driving rains, or the howling winds, or even the oncoming surge of the Atlantic Ocean that plastered Daytona Beach early Thursday morning. Mother Nature also whipped up a frothy mixture of seafoam that turned the tropical fury into a surreal blizzard-like storm as the foam became caught in near-hurricane-force wind gusts.
FOX Weather Correspondent Robert Ray was reporting live just yards from the Atlantic Ocean at Daytona Beach as Hurricane Nicole was making landfall and was caught in the middle of the foamy mess.
"The Atlantic Ocean is creating this massive foam and surge along with these incredible wind gusts," Ray said as he was battered by torrential rains and wind. "It's literally like a blizzard (of foam)."
An anemometer at the nearby airport recorded a gust of 64 mph right around the time the video was taken. Gusts would peak at 70 mph in town.
"Very difficult conditions here this morning. I hope no one is out on the road," Ray said. "This is just a really nasty sea here this morning."
According to NOAA, sea foam forms when large algae bloom decay offshore and are whipped into a froth during stormy conditions as seas violently churn -- and a landfalling hurricane would certainly check that box.
It is mostly harmless, though NOAA warns there are a few instances where the foam could be problematic. If the foam is the result of certain types of algae dying close to shore, popping the foam's bubbles could release toxins that can irritate the eyes.