Monday, February 05, 2007

How Cold Is It?

Cold enough to freeze boiling water drop-lets in mid-air!!!

When we woke up for school/work at 6:00 this morning, it was -16 degrees with a windchill of -38 degrees!! Yes, that's darn cold!!

As we watched the school closings scroll across the bottom of the TV screen, one of the station's meteorologists walked outside, threw a cup of boiling water into the air and filmed the result - water droplets freezing in mid-air and hitting the ground as ice crystals.

Not wanting to miss the opportunity for a science experiment, I ran downstairs to put the kettle on for hot water. A few minutes later, we headed out to conduct our own experiment.
With me as the water tosser-
Rowan is the outdoor observer and Gemma as indoor observer-
And Jani as photographer-
We too were able to toss boiling water into the air and watch it freeze in mid-air and hit the ground as ice.
And - it was also cold enough to freeze over our antique windows. The girls are loving the chance to carve designs into the frost - it brings back memories of reading "Little House in the Big Woods" with their frosted over windows. The other windows in the house have been replaced with energy-efficient ones, but we kept two of the anitque decorative ones.
Also, two major miracles today -
1. The Madison Metro School District actually CLOSED school today - this is a major feat as we typically don't close, even when all the districts surrounding us are closed.
2. Our kitchen water pipes DID NOT FREEZE!! I was able to fill the tea kettle with water from the kitchen sink. In years past, before we had the pipes all re-insultated, we could expect our kitchen pipes to freeze over on a night like we had last night - even if we left the heat up and opened up cupboards. So I was thrilled to having running water this morning and not need to head to the basement with a blow dry to defrost pipes. Now the dishwasher is another story - the connection line between it and the sink has been frozen for a few days, so we have to do things the old fashioned way - wash by hand - not a bad feeling though since the hot water warms the hands nicely.
It's now 7:49 AM and we've warmed up to -13 degrees!!

3 comments:

Liza Lee Miller said...

Awesome science experiment! And, STAY WARM! Wow! That is super-duper cold! We've seen the temp on our car register -8 before but that was at 7,000 feet. Next time, you can be sure we'll try to throw boiling water in the air. That is so cool! Errr, cold! :)

Sonya said...

What a cool experiment... and your antique windows are beautiful. Looks like a lot of fun for the girls!

Daria de la Luna said...

Really neat! You do know about making penny impressions on window frost, right? Our frost has only been on the outer window & I'd have to fuss with the inner window to get to it, but I used to have a blast with it when I was a kid.