Weather

Watch: Boiling Water Appears To Vaporize In Cold


Monday morning we at The Courant and Fox CT were talking about the same thing as most of the state-

It's cold. Very cold. Insanely cold.

Fox CT floor manager Tim Paul said he heard that when it was extremely cold, boiling water would burst into vapor if you threw it in the air.

Why, that's preposterous! And we absolutely needed to try it.

Using a microwave in the break room, and a coffee pot to help retain the water's heat, we ran outside to test the theory. And guess what? After two tries, it worked!

Why is this? Fox CT Meteorologist Joe Furey said it's not the extreme cold, but the extremely low dew point. At a -20 dew point, the air is so dry that it can't sustain water. That's why the small amount evaporated, and anything that was left exposed to the cold turned to ice crystals.

Attempt One:
 
  Attempt Two (Success!):
 


The first try was thrown straight up. It gave off some vapor, but most of it stayed as water and splashed to the ground. On the second attempt I spread the water out a bit more, and sure enough it all disappeared.

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