boiling water, freezing air, & thundersnow

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If you take boiling water and toss it into the air when it’s -22 degrees outside, it evaporates into steam before it hits the ground.  Here’s a video of it.  Looks neat. At first it looks like it’s instantly turning into snow, but it’s in fact steam.

I remember hearing that hot water can actually freeze faster than cold water.  Turns out that’s only sometimes true — according to science, water at 100 degrees C will freeze before water warmer than 60 degrees C but not before water cooler than 60 degrees C.  Although if you put hot water and cold water in the freezer at the same time, the hot water can freeze faster because the bottom part of the hot water can start freezing while the top is still warm (and no convection is occurring).  Further explanation is beyond the scope of this article, but you can read more here if you’re feeling particularly nerdy today.  (It’s actually called the Mpemba effect.)

Also on the page right now is a video of Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel getting surprised by “thundersnow“.  It’s basically just thunder and lightning, but it’s more rare in a snowstorm.  His reaction is interesting, which is why this video has been making the rounds on TV.

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One response »

  1. This would make a great science project. Since most people don’t get to experience -22 degrees, you’d have to create some type of freezinator gun, which could make its own science project on its own (and with which you could threaten the judges to ensure your victory). MUWAHAHAHA!

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