Man Turns Boiling Water to Dust in 20 Below Weather
By OutdoorAly

Posted: December 14, 2013

A Great Falls teacher posted a video of his home experiment turning boiling water to snow instantly in minus 20 weather last week. The video was picked up by USA Today online of Jonathan Logan, a science teach at Paris Gibson Ed Center in GreatFalls. He started a website with videos like this to help his students better understand the universe as it really is. But the real question is how and why does boiling hot water turn to instant snow? Check out the video, and if you are curious, read more below about why this works!

Mark Seeley, a climatologist at the University of Minnesota, explained it to Life’s Little Mysteries.

“When it’s cold outside, there’s hardly any water vapor present in the air, whereas boiling water emits vapor very readily that’s why it’s steaming,” Seeley says. “When you throw the water up in the air, it breaks into much smaller droplets, so there’s even more surface for water vapor to come off of. Jonathan Logan is a science teach it Paris Gibson Ed Center in GreatFalls and started a website with videos like this to help his students better understand the universe as it really is. But the real question is how and why does boiling hot water turn to instant snow?

“Now, cold air is very dense, and this makes its capacity to hold water vapor molecules very low. There’s just fundamentally less space for the vapor molecules,” Seeley explains. “So when you throw the boiling water up, suddenly the minus 22 air has more water vapor than it has room for. So the vapor precipitates out by clinging to microscopic particles in the air, such as sodium or calcium, and forming crystals. This is just what goes into the formation of snowflakes.

Feature photo: screenshot from loganaskswhy.com