Turning Boiling or Hot Water into Snow at -13°F (-25°C) [Video]

It’s really cold outside today here on the south shore of Montreal (QC, CA). Really, really cold. The temperature outside currently is at -13°F (-25°C), but when you add in the wind chill factor, it feels more like -29°F (-33°C). Since it rarely gets this cold, I decided to use the opportunity to show my kids what happens when you throw really hot (boiling) water in the air at this temperature. You can check out the video of the experiment below (and put it in HD and full screen mode to observe the effect more closely.)

Warning: Be REALLY careful when you throw that water, you could get burned if it falls on you.

It’s an easy experiment to accomplish. Just boil water on the stove or in a coffee cup in the microwave, go outside, and throw the water in the air.

Oh, and for those who are wondering why you need to use hot water, well, hot water evaporates more quickly than cold water since it’s already closer to the point of evaporation, so when it hits cold air in the form of tiny droplets of liquid, it just turns into snow and water vapor.

Just seeing the look of wonder on my kids’ faces was all I needed to justify going outside today.

12 Responses to Turning Boiling or Hot Water into Snow at -13°F (-25°C) [Video]

  1. Dude it was -29 this morning in QC and with chill factor it felt like -20 celcius…you guys in montreal got it easy :P

  2. What do you mean it was -40 but with windchill felt like -20 celcius? Do you mean it was -29 (celcius or fahrenheit I don’t know which you mean?) but felt like -40(which as we know is the same in both celcius and fahrenheit)? Wow that’s a lot of confusion. I know where I used to live sometimes it was -40 but felt like -85 fahrenheit due to windchill.

    • Hey Mike,

      Yeah, it has to be way below the freezing point, and fairly dry outside…. something around -13°F (-25°C)… maybe it’ll work if it’s a little warmer, but not by much.

  3. I used to live in Minneapolis and can say that even cooler than this is when you blow soap bubbles (at around -15 F) and they will freeze into perfect spheres. Blow a bunch on your (most likely snow-covered) front yard and turn it into an bubble-pocked alien landscape, heh.

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