Weather Blog

Fun ways to pass the time when it's below zero outside

Fun ways to pass the time when it's below zero outside

With Mother Nature holding an unrelenting icy grip on much of the nation whose states do not touch Interstate 5, I thought it might be fun to show those trapped in the frozen tundra how you might be able to pass the time.

Here are several videos found on the Internet of people doing crazy experiments with water. Many of you have probably seen this before, but it's still cool to me. The trick involves taking boiling water and tossing it into sub-zero temperatures. The water instantly vaporizes into a puff of snow.

The hot water evaporates more efficiently so that's why it needs to be boiling for these tricks to work well. And when it's that cold, air can't hold as much moisture so it is typically dry and thus primed for evaporation. More information on the physics behind the phenomenon can be found here.

This first video was taken in 2007 atop Mt. Washington in New Hampshire:

And another from Wisconsin:

This one is my favorite -- taken in 2009 from Fairbanks:

And here is a bubble freezing in sub-zero temperatures:

Have a great (and cozy) weekend!