Watch what happens when a squirt gun hits the air at -42ºF

In case you haven’t noticed, it is as cold in Canada (and soon some parts of the USA) as it gets at the South Pole at times:

tempcity_nat_640x480

The video author writes:

Woke up to a balmy -41C (-41.8°F) this morning in South Porcupine, ON. Thought I’d share what happens when you mix boiling water and a water gun and take it outside for a few shots.

Watch:

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182 thoughts on “Watch what happens when a squirt gun hits the air at -42ºF

  1. And meanwhile in the UK we are still suffering from a relentless string of storms, floods and mild weather. Probably the worst winter for storms in living memory.

  2. Relax, it’s going to get worse before it gets better, it may start warming up on Wednesday.

    Clear further evidence the heat is hiding in the deep oceans, or it would obviously be a little warmer.

    Although this is a weather, and not a climatic (at least I hope not), event of extreme cold, the alarmist community can be guaranteed to somehow morph it into being “further irrefutable proof of global warming/climate change/whatever.”

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of the US’s electricity is being generated by wind and solar power now and over the next few days.

  3. Flash freezing – great! Love the video.

    It’s a well known fact that hot water freezes faster than cold water and would be interesting to see the effect of using warm, rather than boiling, water.

  4. Global Warming is great stuff or is it the 1970’s again, global cooling. I have not even looked but just hope there is not many deaths from the cold and snow. I thought I was checking out.

    I rushed my self to the hospital on Friday afternoon to after working my body way to hard for 11 hours plowing snow and shoveling in the cold weather, My body was already low on fluids from not drinking water day before.I dehydrated my body even more by drinking 2 Java Monster Energy drinks in the first 8 hours of working time period, eating no food,not drinking water and then accidently inhaling a piece of rock salt coated in CMA in my lung at the 10 hr mark. After the salt inhalation, I tried to cough it out then I got chest muscle spasms and numbness in left arm. Within an hour blood pressure was spiking, never had that happen before. Took a few aspirin and headed to the hospital. They Kept me over night hooked up to all kinds of equipment, x-rays, several blood tests then let me go in the morning.
    All test came back good, My left chest and arm still feeling little weird but that is the main arm I use to turn plow truck steering wheel while I plowed mostly large residential driveways in N NJ.

  5. We got down to around -20 F here in western New Hampshire yesterday morning. That’s close to a record low, and I’m sure we’re shattering a lot of low temperature records all over the U.S.

  6. Impressive and interesting. Glad I can’t do that, at the moment, in our +5C in the UK.
    Keep warm Canada, keep burning that oil, gas and coal to keep warm.

  7. I was in Stowe, Vt, in ’96 and we had -30F, skiing was great but a bit cool. Had to keep the car running all night to guarantee it ran next morning, but gas was $1.10 per gallon then so not a great problem pocket wise.

  8. Peter Miller says: January 5, 2014 at 4:18 am
    “…Although this is a weather, and not a climatic (at least I hope not), event of extreme cold, the alarmist community can be guaranteed to somehow morph it into being “further irrefutable proof of global warming/climate change/whatever…”

    Correct. There were three green muppets on the Beeb this morning reviewing the Sunday newspaper’s coverage of the recent storms. One commented that this ‘weather disruption’ was a sure sign that climate was changing and that the storms were the worst in recorded history.

    They obviously had conveniently forgotten how bad the storms were back in the early nineties, although all were old enough to experience it for themselves. This typically one-sided agenda driven BBC propaganda makes me want to vomit…

  9. Wait, that can’t be true because a person posting at Haplessington Post said in a comment that because the polar vortex was so far south as a result of global warming, there was no cold air left in Canada. I thought Richard V, Super User, really nailed it for simpletons like us skeptics:
    Richard V. (richnerd)

    Super User·1,247 Fans·Retired Imagineer, gentleman farmer

    “For all of you so enthusiastically displaying your incredible lack of understanding of the impact of global warming on weather patterns, let me explain it in a way you would understand:

    Think of global warming as a bad marriage. As the marriage grows worse over time, the arguments get more intense and more frequent….but just because you have a day without an argument, it doesn’t mean your marriage is fixed.

    What I can’t understand is that extremes in weather conditions related to global warming have been explained repeatedly in the media (except for FOX News) and yet the inevitable village tools pop in here with pointed caps and declare that 97 percent of climate scientists are” The brilliant Super User, Drew B, showed his wide-ranging knowledge as well with this gem”

    Drew B. (pixeloid)
    Super User·1,037 Fans·Reality has a liberal bias.

    “Ironically, as global warming proceeds, the warmer arctic air will push parts of the jetstream further South resulting in even harsher winters for some areas, as well as extremely mild winters elsewhere. Americans really have a hard time understanding that America is only a small part of the planet.”

  10. This is relevant:

    http://his.library.nenu.edu.cn/upload/soft/haoli/112/171.pdf

    Basically, warmer times are less stormy for Western Europe.

    Less storms during MWP (when a higher population was sustained in the Western Isles of Scotland) and more storms during the LIA as per data from ships logs of the time.

    Hence the current high level of storminess correlating with the recent falls in CET.

    I recommend tonyb’s site for lots more detail which the Met Office seems to be blissfully unaware of:

    http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/

  11. Gareth Phillips says:
    January 5, 2014 at 3:57 am
    And meanwhile in the UK we are still suffering from a relentless string of storms, floods and mild weather. Probably the worst winter for storms in living memory.

    I think it is more noticeable now because of the high likelihood of flooding. Britain has always been a wet country. The problem now is, we allow building on flood plains then get get surprised when homes get flooded. The situation can only get worse, as we continue to concrete over the countryside to accommodate the ever increasing population of our small island nation.

  12. Try filling a mug with warm water and throwing the water into the air.
    Similar result but a bigger cloud of snow/ice.

  13. Apparently the string of vicious storms, flooding and mild weather are being caused by the dramatic temperature differences across North America and a record breaking Jet stream whipping the resultant lows across the Atlantic towards the UK. It may be a reasonable prediction that this low temperature in North America will spawn even worse storms in the next week or so. Time to check the tie downs on the chicken shed I think. http://www.theweatherspace.com/2013/12/22/strongest-jet-stream-ever-recorded-to-bring-two-super-storms-to-united-kingdom-region-this-week-with-possible-tornadoes-in-ireland/

  14. Tenuc says:
    January 5, 2014 at 4:19 am

    It’s a well known fact that hot water freezes faster than cold water and would be interesting to see the effect of using warm, rather than boiling, water.

    Do you have references for that “fact?” The claims I’ve looked into in any detail used things like home refrigerators which have horrible temperature control, especially in the freezer compartment (the thermostat is usually in the warm side).

    https://medium.com/editors-picks/d8a2f611e853 is the latest claim to explain the phenomenon. Perhaps you can check out the paper it links to, http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.6514 , and let us know if it makes sense.

  15. Caz Jones says:
    January 5, 2014 at 4:48 am
    I think it is more noticeable now because of the high likelihood of flooding. Britain has always been a wet country. The problem now is, we allow building on flood plains then get get surprised when homes get flooded.

    —————————————————————
    True.
    Another significant factor is that whereas many people in the past would have a small front garden (next to the street) many of those have now removed walls and paved it over to provide car parking. The rain can’t sink into the soil in all those little plots as it would have before, runs into the street and overwhelms the often Victorian-sized drainage system.

  16. This cold air mass is forecast to blast down to southern Mexico and Florida over the next 48 hours. Early tomorrow afternoon – 10C to 20C below normal in eastern North America.

  17. RE: Chuck L says:
    January 5, 2014 at 4:38 am

    I really chuckled reading the explanation by “Drew B. (pixeloid)” stating that “warmer arctic air will push parts of the jetstream further South resulting in even harsher winters for some areas.”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Of course, you could try: “Warmer arctic air is responsible for the increase in ice, frosts in Florida, and the fact poor people can’t afford heat, while an absence of colder tropical air makes the greener reds be dumber smart and… ”

    No. I just can’t do it. My heart’s not in it. I just feel too much like a complete dope even pretending to talk that way.

  18. Sorry guys, I’m off to sunny Malaga first thing tomorrow and staying until April. Not only will my old bones be warm they will be commendably ‘green’ as my carbon footprint will be low – no central heating to run. As if it matters.

  19. Fun that cold means global warming. But in fact the cold is only proof of global cooling. The cold has a negative impact in temperature and there for the climate. Inf act if you dump the data adjustments you will see that where closer to an ice age then the climate optimum.

    If you go back in time you see warm air gets closer tho the pole when the earth is warming and goes back further to the equator whit global cooling.

    If the world was warming there would be no place for ice.

    Fun test. Trying making ice cubes in the oven! Di dent work well. Seems to me that warm t do sent make ice.

  20. Super User·1,247 Fans·Retired Imagineer, gentleman farmer

    “For all of you so enthusiastically displaying your incredible lack of understanding of the impact of global warming on weather patterns, let me explain it in a way you would understand:

    Think of global warming as a bad marriage. As the marriage grows worse over time, the arguments get more intense and more frequent….but just because you have a day without an argument, it doesn’t mean your marriage is fixed.
    ————————————

    So thermodynamics works just like a bad marriage? Wow…impressive. Seriously…impressive.

  21. We ran 16 °F ( – 9 °C) last night here in sunny North Carolina. That is 15 °F below normal but did not break a record. The Records were 6 °F(-14 °C) (1918) and 76 °F ( 24°C) (2005)

    Now tell me again why I should be scared to death of a possible 1 to 2 °C increase over a century?

  22. Frank K. says: @ January 5, 2014 at 4:21 am

    We got down to around -20 F here in western New Hampshire…
    I can remember -30F in Rockingham NH. My little diesel truck had to jump start all my neighbors cars. (Nice to have an engine block heater you can plug in)

  23. I’ve been to South Porcupine in the winter and to nearby Timmins several times over the years. Back in the 1990s it got so cold (some days -50 C without wind chill) that they’d stop the school buses from running. You plug in your truck engine heater and your truck would start but the transmission would be frozen. To which was heard the following conversation.

    person 1: Did you hear it’s -50 deg C in Timmins this morning?
    person 2: Timmins? There is nothing from Timmins except whores and hockey players.
    person 1: Hey my Aunt was from Timmins.
    person 2: Oh yeah? Which team did she play on?

    But on a weather note, I live 8 hours south of South Porcupine and it was -26 deg C two days ago. That’s the coldest it’s been in 10 years at least. About 7 years ago it was +4 same time of year. We didn’t have any snow until Jan-14 and my pond barely froze that year. This year I had 4″ of ice on the pond before Christmas. I know because I had to break through the ice and get grey-water for the house when we lost electricity in the ice storm. People around here were without electricity for 6 days. Temperatures at my place are exaggerated versus global temperatures but there does seem to be a general correlation. I miss global warming.

  24. Ric Werme says: January 5, 2014 at 5:13 am
    Tenuc says:’…It’s a well known fact that hot water freezes faster than cold water…’

    Ric Werme says: “Do you have references for that “fact?..”

    Most of the current stuff from the mainstream I’ve read seems to be trying to explain the effect, rather than doubting its existence.

    Good paper here giving brief history of Mpemba effect, experiments and some conjectures as to why it happens…

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0512262v1.pdf

  25. Tenuc says:
    January 5, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Flash freezing – great! Love the video.

    It’s a well known fact that hot water freezes faster than cold water and would be interesting to see the effect of using warm, rather than boiling, water.
    __________________________
    Are you serious?

  26. @njsnowfan says: @ January 5, 2014 at 4:20 am
    ….I thought I was checking out.

    I rushed my self to the hospital on Friday afternoon…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Bad news, glad you are OK, though you should know enough to always stay hydrated… Course the hubby and I are sitting here sucking down gallons of fluid with temps of 101 and flipping a coin as to who goes out to feed, throw hay and de-ice the water tanks this time around. (Boy, do I hate winter colds)

  27. Re: hot water freezes faster than cold

    Actually, it’s more complicated than that. Your math and engineering majors here may remember taking a class on differential equations …

    The rate of temperature change in water is a function of the temperature differential between that water and its environment. It follows that the boiling water will cool faster than cold water will, but the boiling water is many degrees hotter i.e. has more cooling to do before hitting freezing.

    Therefore, it’s only when the temperature [differential] is very large that hot water will actually freeze faster than cold water, and it kinda depends on what you consider to be “cold.”

    Source: got a “B” in differential equations in 1993.

  28. Dang it. “Therefore, it’s only when the temperature is very large” should be “temperature DIFFERENTIAL”

  29. Loved the video of the watergun! I am going to share that with my friends and family. They will get a kick out of it and since we all here in the Northeast know and usually love this weather (or we’d obviously move) We try to adapt to certain conditions when severe weather strikes. Its become a “do what you got to do” situation in times like these and as sad as it is – people will always complain knowing the outcome will remain the same – There is no winning the fight against Good Ol’ Mother Nature. It most certainly doesn’t mean we have to enjoy losing our big and pinky toes while out shoveling the 40 ft of snow that got dumped on us within two days – one storm after another. BUT, In all fairness if we prepared bettered – it might make it a tad better on our parts to get through it. Afterall, we do (those of who live in the states where this kind of weather is expected) know and normally are use to getting this extreme/severe weather at least once or twice during the winter season. With that said, This year it came earlier, it hit us with a vengeance and it seems for the time being there is no end in sight of it letting up any time soon – so, we can either complain about it OR find ways to enjoy the days when the sun is shining brightly and staying warm on the cruddy, crappy days. Most importantly (and I cannot stress this enough) We need to ban together, check on our elderly neighbors, who may or may not be alone – make sure they are taken care of – don’t need anything (a lot of them don’t want to impose on anyone or be a bother) and in this day in age – I don’t know about yours..but, my kids are always bored – so, give them a shovel, bundle them up and send them out to shovel off their stairs, or their walkway etc. Or just to walk over and say hello to them…give them some company. Everyone gets a little depressed during the winter season – because the lack of light – so take that into consideration. Also — PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember to check on your pets !! If it is too cold for you – it is WAYY too cold for them. I have had to buy puppy pads for my pup – we have a dog run out back of our house and she cannot even get a minute off the steps before her feet are frozen and one of us has to go get her – leaving her unable to go potty at all. The weather completely cripples SMALL dogs..and The same Ive been hearing about larger breeds. We need to remember, that they have NO VOICE…they cannot speak and tell you – So, listen for them. The same goes for rabbits that normally live “outside” It is too cold this year – Even if they have hay – They need to be brought inside. Outside cats – Need to be inside. No matter how mad they get at you – Keep them in – Until we get a break in the cold weather – I know here in Maine – the weather is so crazy – yesterday it was -17 and today WAS SUPPOSE to be 30 above – it is again – -2 but, feels like -18 with the wind. Tomorrow could be Sunny and in the 40’s and everything melting and people walking around in sweatshirts..Those are the days where its ok to let the animals play outside and get some fresh air..Most of them will come in when they are ready – Then theres the obvious that are caged and you have to be responsible pet owners and figure it out for them.
    Sorry to take up your time – with this – But, as your post is about the weather – Our weather here in Maine – always does the “input” on Checking on your pets and the elderly. So, I thought maybe It would be ok.
    Thank you for your blog..I love it – And, hope you warm up soon!! Look forward to reading more soon!!
    Darcy from Maine!!

  30. A similar technique is used for making curling ice; and the best in the world at this are Canadians. The final layer is produced by spraying warm water upwards. If you get this just right, the lower surface tension of the warm water causes the droplets to be smaller than if the water was cold, and the drops freeze on impact with the ice, giving the perfect pebbled surface.

  31. Back in the day had a buddy in the cattle operation world, he got the bright idea of leaseing one of the big ranches in Montana that Mobil Oil had bought for the lignite coal.

    The Montana cowboys taught us bad boy Texan easy weather types all about taking a wizz off the second story of the local bar at closing time. ” Human Hail Stones” .

    Two winters of helping him was all my good nature could do.

  32. Gareth Phillips says:
    January 5, 2014 at 5:07 am

    “… …”

    Personally, I love records being broken. Especially those from less than 100 years ago (the jet stream was first investigated in depth by long range bomber personnel in WWII). Except for all the other ones I like, such as … ‘worst evah…’ and … ‘unprecedented… and … ‘ín living memory’

    I like to wonder that if natural variability can break centuries old records, how often did it do so before our record keeping began? How close together were those breakages? How frequent? How large?

    Decadal records? Not so much.

  33. Gail Combs says:
    January 5, 2014 at 6:30 am

    “”

    Rock. Paper. Scissors. Get inside your opponent’s mind, rather than let dumb chance rule your future ;)

    Oh, and slice and onion, wrap it in linen, heat in the oven for 1/4 hour and rest it on your chest(s). You will be able to quit your Rock. Paper Scissors. in no time.

  34. “And meanwhile in the UK we are still suffering from a relentless string of storms, floods and mild weather. Probably the worst winter for storms in living memory.”

    The cold that is happening in Canada will soon come to Europe,UK and the rest of US. Januaray and February will be cold months .Northern Asia is already freezing as well and all this cold weather will shortly affect most of Northern Hemisphere. I have been writing about this since 2009. We will have colder winters for many decades to come . Not every year but the long term trend will be to colder winters .As the moderating effect of the oceans drops because they are entering their 30-35 year cold phase, [ like 1880-1910 and again 1945-1975] due to changes in deep ocean currents ,the land areas will get colder quite quickly. That is why we are seeing the extra cold in the middle of Canada [ hiiting temperatures now -50C today with wind chill] . The Northern Hemisphere winters have been cooling since 1998 and so have the winters of most areas like US, Canada, Europe, and UK.
    The extra cold of the winter is begining to cool the spring season also as we have seen in United States . In Canada the fall season is also cooling . Canadian Arctic has cooled 5 degrees C since 2010.

  35. Tenuc says: January 5, 2014 at 4:19 am “It’s a well known fact that hot water freezes faster than cold water and would be interesting to see the effect of using warm, rather than boiling, water.” Alan Robertson says: January 5, 2014 at 6:23 am “Are you serious?”

    It is called the Mpemba Effect and it is much too subtle to be effective in spraying or throwing water. There is a Wikipedia article of that name.

    Believe nothing read or heard without verifying it yourself unless it is Weltanschauung congruent.

  36. herkimer says: @ January 5, 2014 at 7:05 am

    ….. I have been writing about this since 2009. We will have colder winters for many decades to come . Not every year but the long term trend will be to colder winters….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Agreed. So far they have not mucked with these records:
    Northern Hemisphere Snow:
    October: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/snowcover-nhland/201310.gif
    November: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/snowcover-nhland/201311.gif
    December: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/snowcover-nhland/201212.gif
    January: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/snowcover-nhland/201301.gif

  37. This last cold outbreak all we got was about 6″ of snow (not lake effect, however).

    This time we’re under the gun with a lake effect snow warning for up to 2′ of snow from Monday night thru all of Tuesday into Wednesday morning followed by a couple days of cold with high temps of approx 5°F (-15°C).

    Looking for the bright side of it: I guess that means I can skip the workouts for a couple days as I’ll be getting all the exercise I need shoveling snow several times a day for a couple days. And, as an added benefit, the more I exercise, the lower my blood pressure; much more effective than those stupid pills.

  38. It’s a well known fact that hot water freezes faster than cold water
    __________________________
    Are you serious?
    Alan Robertson, are you doubting that statement? read Tenue link
    I always remember this because it was one of the 1st science experiments we did in 5th grade.
    It’s counterintuitive to think warm water will freeze faster than cold and a good teacher always asks the students beforehand, “what do you think will happen?”

  39. On the west coast of Canada where I live, we lately don’t get our cold weather until Juneuary. :-)
    – – –
    Gail Combs says:
    Course the hubby and I are sitting here sucking down gallons of fluid with temps of 101 …
    – – –
    For a moment there, I thought you might have been in Australia.
    – – –
    The second time I was in Winnipeg, 1988 (first time I was to young to remember) the temp. Was +40C 104F. I played tennis in Spokane in 104 F temps in mid to late 1970s, with my father. My father likes heat, which is why we all moved from Toronto in 1964.
    It was +7C here yesterday.
    – – –
    Not building in a flood plain : Your housing may get extremely expensive if you restrict yourself too much where you can build. Not flood plain Toronto suffered flooding a few months ago, then a 75 million dollar bill in snow and ice removal recently.
    – – –
    This past summer I stepped out of the coffee shop in Maple Ridge and ended up pouring out my precious remaining coffee to put out a fire in the bark mulch in the parking lot. Where’s my bloody medal ? :-)

  40. I want to modify my previous statement
    “The extra cold of the winter is begining to cool the spring season also as we have seen in United States . In Canada the fall season is also cooling . Canadian Arctic has cooled 5 degrees C since 2010.”
    While APRIL and May have been cooling in Contiguous US [ 48 states] since 1998, March has warmed . The net effect is that SPRING is still warming be at a low rate of 0.19F/ decade
    In Canada it is the fall season that has been cooling not spring since 1998. The spring season has been cooling only after 2010 [ the last 3 years ]

  41. Rick says: January 5, 2014 at 7:35 am “I always remember this because it was one of the 1st science experiments we did in 5th grade.”

    It is unlikely that you observed the Mpemba Effect. Auerbach, David (1995). “Supercooling and the Mpemba effect: when hot water freezes quicker than cold”. American Journal of Physics 63 (10): 882–885. Bibcode:1995AmJPh..63..882A

  42. beaut1ful*m1nd says: @ January 5, 2014 at 6:40 am

    …. – so, we can either complain about it OR find ways to enjoy the days when the sun is shining brightly….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Like cross country skiing right out the front door. A favorite sport of mine before I wised up and moved to just below the snow-line in NC.

    If you are going to live in the frozen north a wood stove for heat and to cook on when the power goes out (at the worst possible moment) is always a good idea. I really miss my wood stove for slow cooking.

  43. Tenuc says:
    January 5, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Tenuc, that was a terrific article. Very carefully written, excellent historical review (including Aristotle, Descarte, Bacon, etc. up to Ann Landers) and a clear understanding that the effect remains incompletely studied in all its permutations and ramifications for the last 2000+ years. Some useful meditations on the scientific method, Kuhnian paradigms and unwillingness to investigate phenomena outside the current paradigm (applicable to the climate change debate (both (or all) sides))….

    Thanks for the ref.

  44. We are in an Arctic low which allows polar jet stream wanderings to escape the confines of the circle and invade our lands in more southerly directions with polar-frozen air temperatures. It also means that elsewhere in that loopy circle there will be warm invasions into northerly directions (that’s what loops do you know) with tropical-warmed air temperatures. It has nothing to do with warmed arctic temperatures. It has everything to do with the strength or weakness of polar pressure systems being tightly bound at the outer edge, or loosely bound and loopy at the outer edge.(as well as the height then in the middle of those circular systems).

    Climate scientist and bloggers are often clueless about pressure systems. Meteorologists have the scoop on these kinds of weather patterns, which can occur both in short term “weather” data, as well as longer term “weather pattern” variation trend data. When the Arctic Oscillation hovers around the low end of its pressure, we get lots of snow and storms in Canada and elsewhere when the loops come over continental areas. So what happens if the pattern stays around for a long period of time?

    I am going out on a limb to suggest that invasions of Arctic air and snowy storms (IE negative Arctic Oscillation pressure) may have caused or significantly contributed to the development of Lake Missoula. And then when the pattern reversed to a more positive trend (IE positive Arctic Oscillation pressure), the ice dam area warmed up and we ended up with catastrophic floods.

    http://www.nps.gov/iceagefloods/d.htm

  45. Leon Brozyna says: @ January 5, 2014 at 7:28 am

    ….the more I exercise, the lower my blood pressure; much more effective than those stupid pills.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Try getting off the salt and sugar/starches/carbohydrates. Worked very well for me, might work for you.

    I was amused that I and many others consider “low Carb” as under 30 grams of carbs a day (you can smell a chocolate bar) yet the studies I looked at call under 300 grams a day “Low Carb” and then can not find any evidence of benefits. Seems CAGW is not the only place science gets a bit err “interesting”

    …, the free-living subjects were randomly assigned to either a high- (75 GI units) or low- (43 GI units) GI diet (1440 kcal/day, 60% carbohydrate, 5% SFA) for eight weeks… A diet of 60% carbs is low?!?

  46. re: that emergency trip to the hospital

    Becoming dehydrated in winter-dry air probably occurs more frequently than becoming dehydrated in summer. So drink up friends.

  47. Herkimer, although we have had a mild winter in the UK so far, all the forecasts are for very cold (for UK anyway) weather in the next few weeks. Last year here in NE England we had snow for almost every day in March, we have had 6 foot icicles hanging off the gutters. The last few winters have definitely been colder, not this one, but there is still time.
    We are flying to Las Vegas on Saturday going on to LA San Francisco and then Hawaii and have no idea what clothes to pack. Any ideas anyone please?

  48. I meant to say “We are in a negative Arctic Oscillation period…” An Arctic low is more properly thought of as a local Arctic weather pattern pressure system storm.

  49. Ric Werme says: January 5, 2014 at 7:52 am “I went off to figure out what “Weltanschauung congruent” and gave up when I got to http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/half-baked-ideas-facts-wikipedia/#comment-7302

    Oh my! Thank you. Weltanschauung is German and philosophical technical talk for world-view, to separate the unlettered critics from significant criticisms. The discussion that Ric links from Wikipedia talk is of Popperian Type 1 facts, Napoleon died on St. Helena, differentiated from Type 2 facts, the statement that “Napoleon died on St. Helena.”

  50. It’s 10c in Wales today. Another storm due tonight and the next one being prepared off the east coast of the USA. While no particular weather event can be correlated to climate change, I do recall being warned that climate change would bring more frequent severe weather, whether that be cold, warm or windy. And that is what seems to be happening across the globe. The cold weather in the US is unusual, as are the storms in the UK, each single event can be rationalised away, but in totality it’s getting harder and harder to say there is nothing going on.

  51. Logically speaking, if storms are driven by the temperature differential between air and ocean (with the ocean being the warmer of the two), and ocean temperatures lag behind air temperatures in decade long temperature cycles, then it would be reasonable to expect increased storm activity when global temperatures are going down, and decreased storm activity when global temperatures are going up.

  52. Some Guy says:
    Therefore, it’s only when the temperature [differential] is very large that hot water will actually freeze faster than cold water, and it kinda depends on what you consider to be “cold.”
    Source: got a “B” in differential equations in 1993.
    ————————————————————–
    Right. And when the hotter water cools to the same temperature as the cooler water was, the delta-T is the same and therefore the rate of cooling is the same from then on. Water doesn’t “remember” that it was previously hotter than it is. Unless I suppose one believes in homeopathy where water has a good memory for things. It is always possible something else changed in the environment around the boiling water that changes the heat transfer coefficient.

    This is simply Newton’s Law of Cooling.

    Source: a “B” in DE in 83.

    I’ve also heard the opposite: that hot water boils slower than cold water. Always assumed both of these belong to the category of old wives tales.

  53. Ric Werme says: January 5, 2014 at 5:13 am
    “…the latest claim to explain the phenomenon. Perhaps you can check out the paper it links to, http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.6514

    O:H-O Bond Anomalous Relaxation Resolving Mpemba Paradox
    “…the O:H nonbond in water follows actively the general rule of thermal expansion and drives the H-O covalent bond to relax oppositely in length and energy because of the inter-electron-electron pair coupling [J Phys Chem Lett 4, 2565 (2013); ibid 4, 3238 (2013)]. Heating stores energy into the H-O bond by shortening and stiffening it. Cooling the water as the source in a refrigerator as a drain, the H-O bond releases its energy at a rate that depends exponentially on the initially storage of energy, and therefore, Mpemba effect happens…”

    Thanks for the link to the paper, Ric. I think they are clutching at straws with this explanation – a common problem with lots of ideas on the topic, as scientists struggle to come to terms with this problem. Perhaps a re-think of the basics could help?

  54. Tenuc says January 5, 2014 at 4:19 am

    It’s a well known fact that hot water freezes faster than cold water and would be interesting to see the effect of using warm, rather than boiling, water.

    Going to perform this experiment this afternoon/tonight outside since temps are headed to ‘freezer’ temps … will let you know how this turns out …

    My bet: It’s bogus …

  55. Don’t want to be a snitch, but all I see is thick steam that turns into micro ice crystals.. there is no snow real ice/snow things comming out of the gun.. the droplets hit the surface as liquid. It’s an old trick of using warm water to bedazzle people.

  56. Gail Combs says:
    January 5, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Try getting off the salt and sugar/starches/carbohydrates. Worked very well for me, might work for you.

    Not bad boilerplate advice; however, the thing I most need to get off is my ass. I’ve already reined in the sodium from well over 3000 mg daily average to approx 2200 mg. (I do miss those processed meals – they’re so convenient) (Latest study for CDC found the touted 1500 mg sodium diet to be overrated, though I still try to keep it down as low as possible to allow me an occasional surge from a DiGiorno pizza). The biggest source of sugar (several cans of Coke daily) is also under control, though it’s not yet to the desired level of a couple cans/week. My biggest problem is spending too much time sitting at the computer. Once I get activity levels up on a regular basis (so that it’s routine – like doing a quick 25 mile trip on the bike and feeling like I was cheating by making it such a short trip) I’ll look at other risk factors again. (I’ve even swapped out occasional trips to my beloved Wendy’s for healthier trips to Subway).

    All in all, I’m doing much, much better than last year when a rush visit to the VA ER got me a 10 day stay for congestive heart failure. Doing so well now that plans for a triple bypass have been shelved.

  57. Every Siberian knows that a sprayed hot water freezes in a dry, cold air faster than cold water, simply because much of a hot water vaporizes almost immediately, and it is the vapor (spatter) that freezes, while colder water comes out in a denser spurt, which continues on its way as liquid longer than vapor. No mystery here, methinks.

  58. Gareth Phillips says: @ January 5, 2014 at 8:19 am

    ….. but in totality it’s getting harder and harder to say there is nothing going on.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    #1. A warmer world has less storms because the difference in temperature between the tropics and the poles is less. (temp changes occur more at the poles for this reason. )

    #2. There has been a change in weather patterns because of a shift in teh jet stream. The jet stream has gone from zonal (mild weather) to ‘loopy’ or meridional, causing oscillation between warm and cold weather. link and link

  59. The current weather patterns result from the more meridional path of the jet stream on a cooling world as the temperature gradient from tropics to poles steepens. Very cold air pushes further south while across the frontal boundaries warm more moist air pushes north with the resulting extreme temperature gradients across the boundaries. See the three year update of my Thirty Year climate forecast at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/07/skillful-so-far-thirty-year-climate.html

    Weather is much more variable on a cooling world – very cold blocking highs in winter -hot blocking highs in summer. – generally more drought. – fewer strong tropical hurricanes. Fewer El Ninos – more La Ninas. Strong winds and gales across the steeper temperature and pressure gradients. Trouble for agricultural production.
    A warming world is more humid and there is more energy for powerful tropical hurricanes. More El Ninos than La Ninas. Generally Much better for world food production.
    The patterns of the last several years are clearly indicative of a cooling trend.

  60. dbstealey says: @ January 5, 2014 at 8:29 am
    Stop it!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I guess they did. ROTFLMAO.

  61. Leon Brozyna says: @ January 5, 2014 at 9:27 am
    Try Hardies, lo-carb burger. They use lettuce to wrap the burger instead of an eatable napkin (bun)
    The lo-carb took ~ six months to have much of an effect on me. Even if lo-carb is “a wives tale” subbing veggies and meat for bread and potatoes isn’t going to hurt you.

  62. Clay Marley;
    Right. And when the hotter water cools to the same temperature as the cooler water was, the delta-T is the same and therefore the rate of cooling is the same from then on. Water doesn’t “remember” that it was previously hotter than it is.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You would think that, wouldn’t you. I had a house in Winterpeg that had an edition with no basement. During cold winters, the water lines would freeze. Sometimes it was only the hot water line that froze, sometimes it was both, but if it was only one of them that froze, it was always the hot water line. I’d even run the water just before going to bed to fill the hot water line up with hot water, and on those famous Winterpeg 40 below incidents the hot water line would still freeze while the cold water line was fine. I eventually licked the problem with a combination of insulation and a thermo electric wire wrapped along the length of the hot water pipe. Cold water pipe never needed it.

    Having grown up on the Cdn prairie, I’ve got other examples of the same effect. Never did understand it. Moved to the coast. Still don’t understand it, just don’t need to anymore.

  63. I was in Alaska when it did not get any warmer than -50 for two weeks. At -70 one could take a cup of hot water and toss it into the air; the water never hit the ground. Or poor a pitcher of water from the second story and create a stalagmite.

  64. Pamela Gray says January 5, 2014 at 8:07 am

    We are in an Arctic low which allows polar jet stream wanderings

    Would a better way of saying that be – the amplitude (north – south amplitude) of the Rossby waves (with embedded jet) has increased? This increased Rossby wave amplitude results in greater Meridional (N-S) air flow at the lower levels (like the surface!) versus Zonal (E-W) air flow, hence, more cold air at lower latitudes during winter (the converse is also true, some northward movement of warmer air at the surface at higher latitudes at the northern extent of the Rossby wave).

    As it is, the jet, embedded in the Rossby wave is actually formed in the warm air mass with an undercutting, denser cold air mass. A lot of times it seems that people get confused and imagine that the ‘jet’ actually drives these colder air masses (with a vector in the direction of the cold air movement) southward when the vector would seem to be more ‘normal’ to that direction.

    Polar water vapor satellite animation, where one can see the ‘waves’ progressing around the N pole:

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/ewall/SAT_NHEM/atlanimwv.html

    It appears the Rossby amplitude is quite high at the present!

    .
    .
    .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rossby_wave

    ” Atmospheric Rossby waves are giant meanders in high-altitude winds that are a major influence on weather. “

  65. Davidmhofer – welcome to the wet coast. I was told some 50+ years ago that it was the dissolved gases – air bubbles even – that allowed the cold water to supercool. This would seem like an easy test to create using two ice-cube trays. Boil some water to drive off dissolved gases, let it cool to room temp in the first tray. Fill the second tray with hot water from either the tap or reheat some from the pan. THe latter might show that the tap water was gassier than the stagnant, boiled water, so maybe two tests, cooled, boiled against a) hot tap, then b) reheated previously boiled. Meanwhile, I have last night’s dishes to do.

  66. A depiction of Rossby wave: Movement and fluctuation over the North Pole, showing wave patterns depicting the formation of an outbreak of cold air over Asia.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/106997/Rossby-wave-patterns-over-the-North-Pole-depicting-the-formation

    Notice in panel (c) at the top of the polar air mass, it is about to ‘dislodge’ a contingent of cold air, resulting in panel (d) and an outbreak of cold air over Asia and indicated to be a Low (by the L in the circling isobars).

    .

  67. mrmethane;
    This would seem like an easy test to create using two ice-cube trays.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Been there, done that. The ice cube trays filled with hot water freeze first. Did it like 9 times to convince myself. Then I noticed the water vapour steaming off the hot trays. I figured the water vapour was taking heat with it, leaving less water behind. So, repeated experiment using Mason jars figuring to contain the water vapour. Only did that one once. The one with hot water not only froze first, it burst the Mason jar followed by an encounter with an enraged mother wanting to know why I would do something so stupid, and didn’t I know how expensive those Mason jars were? (It was many decades ago).

  68. Jim, very interesting. I wonder if Rossby waves force the AO pattern, or something else that sets up the AO pattern forces the Rossby waves. Could it be that Rossby waves tighten or loosen the pressure edge of the Arctic polar jet? When it is tight the bunching up of the Arctic system increases the height in the middle of the Arctic as opposed to when it is weak and loose, thus spreading it out thus lowering the pressure height in the middle. So what causes Rossby waves (besides Steven’s theory)? What causes a tighening or loosening of the Arctic Polar Jet? Could it be the long term arrival of colder (which is due to less solar irradiance due to a consistent pattern of clouds around the equatorial belt) or warmer (which is due to more solar irradiance due to a consistent pattern of no clouds around the equatorial belt) pools of water into the Arctic circle? Could it be that the mother of Arctic blasts is an equatorial belt of clowds having been present some time in the past? How far back do we have to look for that event? Years? Decades? 60 years? More?

  69. Or is it a lack of equatorial clouds sometime in the past? Bob T? An*on*y? What pool of water do we have there right now? I am betting a warmer pool. Which would mean that we had a lack of equatorial clouds for a period of time sometime in the past. And here is the loop. When the AO is positive the easterlies are strong thus keeping clouds to a minimum and allowing full strength solar irradiance. So sometime in our past, we had that set up over a consistent period of time. The AO is said to have a 60 to 80 year oscillation. So I would go that far back, at least, to see what the equatorial belt was doing in terms of cloud cover and the strength of the easterly trade winds. But I would also consider how long it takes for oceanic currents to send these pools of water up north to knock at the Arctic doors.

  70. By the way, Willis will probably concur, weather books meant for sailors are pretty good reading regarding this issue of trade winds and the AO, as well as other areas of interest in terms of sailing weather.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=qXxIieLNl2gC&pg=PA133&lpg=PA133&dq=Arctic+oscillation+and+trade+winds&source=bl&ots=STXbdeiAfP&sig=QaUP2878FjBn1BoArXCMVqZHPlc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mabJUuzwLaacyQG2lIHACw&ved=0CFYQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Arctic%20oscillation%20and%20trade%20winds&f=false

  71. Pamela Gray says January 5, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Jim, very interesting. I wonder if Rossby waves force the AO pattern, or something else that sets up the AO pattern forces the Rossby waves.

    That is the 64,000 US $ question … figuring in there other factors like ‘laminar flow’ around the pole that would be affected or disrupted by Hadley cell circulation and Ocean heating of low-level air masses … I can see the factors that would come into play, the ‘art’ being to quantify them in some sort of … dare I say it? A model .. Oops! I said it …

    Back to Rossby waves – they look to be the product of two different fluids possessing different viscosities and when ‘passing’ by each other and possessing a coefficient of friction greater than zero ‘interaction’, a kind of ‘mixing’ takes place. If the two fluids possessed a coefficient of friction of zero, we might have a continually ‘rotating’ mass of cold air at the poles (different from mid levels) and no Rossby waves! That is a simplified view, granted, but, it establishes a lower bound for how the two fluids would interact with each other were their interaction ‘frictionless’.

  72. I notice that we have two anamolous warmer pools sitting at both Arctic doors. Your Rossby link shows highs sitting over those two doors. Could there be a connection? Could the warmer pools of water set up a high right there thus creating the loopy Arctic Jet as it bulges out between these two highs?

  73. Gail Combs says:
    January 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Try Hardies, lo-carb burger. They use lettuce to wrap the burger instead of an eatable napkin (bun)

    Interesting option.

    My focus is less on lo-carb and more on more fruits & veggies. In the last couple months I’ve had more salads than in the last several years. This afternoon’s grocery run will see even more greens than ever and even some salad dressing. Also, have increased tuna, salmon, & chicken. While I’m not looking at lo-carb, I’m getting there by the elimination of processed foods.

    The most important detail most often missed (that you mention) is that it takes months for changes in diet to have an apparent effect. While I’m in much better shape now, I figure it’ll be at least summer of 2015 before I’ll be able to say I’m “fully recovered” from my bout with CHF.

  74. re: Pamela Gray says January 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Indeed, it could.

    Take a look here at about 1/2 the page down, at how ‘convergence’ (settling or descending air) and ‘divergence’ (upwelling or diffusing) works in connection with ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ respectively.

    http://earth.usc.edu/classes/geol150/stott/weather/circulation.html

    That page is a wealth of info showing the interaction highs and lows, Hadley, mid-level and polar cells as modified by real-world Rossby wave behavior. The difficulty with atmospheric air flow systems/dynamics is – it’s a complex 3 dimensional system where density, temperature, Coriolis effect, un-even heating etc is not uniform, never in actual equilibrium and adjoining air masses are always in ‘conflict’!

    .

  75. This morning at 9am MST in Calgary my outdoor thermometer said -28.7C
    My lake was invisible from ice fog. It was cold, and completely still, and the night appears to have been cloudless.

    Currently, 3.5 hours later, it’s -17.2C, the sun is shining, and things are slightly more tolerable.

    We currently have near record levels of snow on the ground, at least for this time of year. My snow pile from shoveling the driveway is about 7-8 feet high. We had a few inches yesterday and I really couldn’t even find anyplace to put it.

    Again, it makes it really difficult for people who live here to buy into any claims of warming.

  76. Contrary to “solar top-down” Arctic weather system variations and jet stream meanderings, this demonstrates an intrinsic equatorial slide via ocean currents to the Arctic and then up into the atmosphere propagating system that loops back to the equatorial belt as the AO causes stronger or weaker trade winds, which affect the absence or presence of clouds around the equatorial belt, thus causing solar irradiance trends which eventually affects the AO as the ocean currents send these pools of water northwards (and likely southward to Antarctica as well).

  77. Leon Brozyna says:
    January 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

    …in the last couple months I’ve had more salads than in the last several years. This afternoon’s grocery run will see even more greens than ever…”
    _________________
    The only problem with a diet like that, you’ll find your ears getting bigger and you’ll start to move about in short hops.

  78. And there clearly is a swinging weather pattern variation oscillation that varies quite a bit (IE 60 to 80 or more years with just one of those systems before swinging back). Not only is there a swinging event but each oscillation can be stronger or weaker as it progresses, just as we see in El Nino, El Modoci, and El Nada oscillations.

  79. Tenuc says:
    January 5, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Ric Werme says: January 5, 2014 at 5:13 am
    “…the latest claim to explain the phenomenon. Perhaps you can check out the paper it links to, http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.6514…

    Thanks for the link to the paper, Ric. I think they are clutching at straws with this explanation – a common problem with lots of ideas on the topic, as scientists struggle to come to terms with this problem. Perhaps a re-think of the basics could help?

    I’d start with an experimental design that includes very well controlled freezers, and include “boiling beads” or something else that provides ice nucleation points to prevent supercooled water. I suspect one aspect is the heated water looses dissolved air and that may help lead to supercooling.

    I’d also cap the containers being frozen in case there’s some odd convection or other air current effects.

    In some of the experiments I’ve seen, they’ve frozen both samples at the same time. Which is good. If samples are frozen separately, the hot water may increase the temperature enough to trip the thermostat and provide faster cooling.

    One thing that might be tough to do well is to do calorimetry on the samples. It’s easy to compute the number of joules to be removed to freeze a sample of water. It’s tough to count them, but I think that would provide very important information on either sloppy design or an interesting process.

  80. The best diet is the Calorie per Gram diet.

    Most people will feel satisfied eating 1500 to 2000 grams of food per day and most people burn 2000 to 3300 calories per day depending on your weight/size and to a much much smaller extent, your activity level.

    If you restrict yourself to foods that are close to 1.0 calorie / 1.0 gram, you can eat enough food to feel satisfied and you will lose weight.

    The good news is that there are lots of food that taste good that are close to 1.0 calorie/gram. You can eat a varied diet. Bad news is that there are some foods that you just have give up.

    Example, Calories/gram –> Pasta –> 3.5 —> Big, big Fail, now add Alfredo sauce and its 5.0
    Rice —> 3.0 —> Fail
    Diet oatmeal —> 4.0 –> Big Fail and False Advertising
    Bowl of Soup –> 0.4 —> Big Pass
    Ham —> 1.0 —> Pass
    Turkey Breast — 0.9 –>
    Potatoes (omg, Carbs) —> 0.8 –> Pass.

    Basic math answers lots of questions. Anything under 1.5 calories/gram will work.

  81. Bill, that is cool! I would guess it would even out cholesterol as well. Which would give the old gall bladder a break. Gall stones are nasty painful things made from cholesterol.

  82. Bill Illis,

    Looks like the soup and potatoes at least may be low in calories/gram because of water content.

    Reminds me of what a Science teacher told us way back in Junior High. A good way to control calorie intake is to drink a big glass of water before eating. Makes you feel full for 15-30 minutes. Seems it could work if you can avoid eating between meals.

    Of course, if you can avoid eating between meals…

  83. John M says January 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Of course, if you can avoid eating between meals…

    Thinking about this the past week; timed lock on the fridge door! Next, the cupboards, the kitchen …

  84. I did comment once before:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/29/how-a-lay-climate-skeptics-view-can-count-on-global-warming/#comment-1488359

    about the ‘Mpemba Effect’ .
    In this video it looks to me like the ‘hot’ water is sublimating-? at a rapid pace ,it doesn’t look like it is depositing on the railing.It is/is it instantly sublimating/deposting ice/vapor to the air…?and then evaporating?or or is the ice falling out of the air?It would be nice to have absolute/relative humidity of the air?.It looks pretty dry in that video, but in my area it is offically28°F clear 74% RH. Long story short ,that led me to…..the heat of sublimation which is also an interesting topic.
    and after all that, today seeing a video reference to that effect.with further experimentation withe hotter/cooler water done by others i’m sure(not those temps where i’m at)and awaiting the results of.
    My opinion now is that hotter/cooler water will also freeze and any water that is above freezing will also freeze faster than…of course frozen water.
    Thanks for the interesting info

  85. dbstealey says:
    January 5, 2014 at 9:43 am
    “Here is an interesting experiment to freeze water.

    ~ ~ ~ ~
    The world needs more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) classes. In this case Chemistry.

    I’ve seen this trick (the operative word) done by chemistry instructors and with colors and song. For example, when the words of a school’s fight-song get to, say crimson, the mixture in the beaker changes color to – crimson. That takes just the right mix of chemicals and very good timing. The change from liquid to solid can be used in the same way to stunning effect.

    I thought the video was going to show rapid crystallization of very still super-cooled water with a small tap on the side of a pan. I’ve done this. It is supposed to work with sugar solutions also but I haven’t personally done it.

  86. @Frank

    Warnings
    City of Toronto
    12:20 PM EST Sunday 05 January 2014
    Freezing rain warning for
    City of Toronto continued

    A couple of hours of freezing rain likely north of lakes Erie and Ontario this evening. Significant freezing rain over Eastern Ontario overnight.

    An intensifying low over Southeastern Missouri is heading towards Southern Ontario today and is forecast to cross the Greater Toronto area overnight reaching Petawawa Monday morning. Some disorganized bands of snow are currently affecting some regions, but heavier snow is expected to develop this afternoon over Extreme Southwestern Ontario and east of Lake Huron. The heavy snow is forecast to reach areas east of Georgian Bay early this evening.

    Northwest of a line from roughly Leamington to Stratford to Barrie to Pembroke, total snowfall amounts of 15 to 20 cm are expected before the snow tapers off overnight into early Monday morning. 20 to 25 cm may be possible locally under the heaviest snow. Blowing and drifting snow will also be likely tonight and Monday due to blustery winds associated with the storm.

    Southeast of this line amounts will be limited as the snow is forecast to change to rain as temperatures rise above the freezing mark. For areas north of lakes Erie and Ontario a period of freezing rain is expected this evening during the snow to rain transition. Over Eastern Ontario, a more prolonged event is possible overnight with several hours of freezing rain forecast before temperatures rise above zero very early Monday. This is not expected to be anything like the recent severe ice storm.

    In the wake of the storm, bitterly cold west to northwest winds will result in the development of intense snow squalls southeast of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 cm are forecast over a large area Monday as the winds carry the squalls far inland and are forecast to shift during the day. Very low visibilities will be likely with near whiteout conditions possible under the most intense snow bands.

    These cold brisk winds will also likely produce widespread dangerous wind chills beginning Monday night as some of the coldest air in years produces record-shattering cold. Wind chill warnings will likely be issued Monday.

    Travel conditions are expected to deteriorate and become hazardous due to accumulating snow and reduced visibilities in falling snow and blowing snow. Furthermore, where freezing rain falls, untreated surfaces will quickly become icy and slippery.

    Environment Canada will continue to monitor this evolving situation and update warnings accordingly.

    Please monitor the latest forecasts and warnings from Environment Canada at http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca.

  87. dbstealey says:
    January 5, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Here is an interesting experiment to freeze water.

    Can someone please explain it? Thanx.

    ==================================================================
    Not an explanation but just a wild guess.
    If the water (and the room?) were near or below freezing then perhaps the sudden drop in pressure resulting in the freeze?

  88. Fun video.
    Is that dirty, black, sooty CO2? ……….Or have I seen too many MSM photos of coal-fired power stations?
    (sarc)

  89. I am just getting the hang of the AGW language. Hotter temps=Antho (man made) Global Warming. Masses of ice=AGW. Cold temperatures=AGW. Long spells of cold weather=AGW. If you are ice bound on a boat in the Antarctica=AGW. This all adds up to one thing, AGW. Yeah, right!!!

  90. There is a coal electricity plant near the freeway on my way to and from work. If I did not understand how the sun can change the color of steam from white to dark, I would be convinced that this plant gives off sooty stuff depending on the time of day. But of course it does not. Steam is steam, even in the shadows.

  91. Lil Fella from OZ says:
    January 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I am just getting the hang of the AGW language. Hotter temps=Antho (man made) Global Warming. Masses of ice=AGW. Cold temperatures=AGW. Long spells of cold weather=AGW. If you are ice bound on a boat in the Antarctica=AGW. This all adds up to one thing, AGW. Yeah, right!!!

    ======================================================================
    8-)
    What it adds up to is that Man can’t control nature but some men are using nature to try to control Man. (And make a few bucks in the process.)

  92. “knr says: January 1, 2014 at 6:39 am
    Village Idiot sorry but the ‘weather’s not climate’ argument is a dead duck , given the numbers of times any extreme weather event has been jumped on as ‘proof’ of AGW .
    I fact I will give you 100-1 the first extreme weather event of 2014, no matter what , will follow this pattern.”

    Yep, 100% right there knr! 5 days into the year and the first weather extreme hits the headlines and Voice of Russia report:

    “Dr Keiran Hickey, a climatologist at the National University of Ireland in Galway, said: “The big issue here is the number of weather extremes we’re seeing around the world, including in the UK and in Europe but also obviously in North America as well, and the and that would fit nicely into the predictions for climate change and global warming in that we would see moseverity of these big weather events seems to be getting worsere climate disturbance, less so-called ‘normal’ weather and more extremes taking place.” ”

    http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_01_05/Big-weather-events-getting-worse-climatologist-9310/

    Of course, regular truther ‘Justtthefactts’ proves that 2013 was the dead duck reference ‘Weather Weirding':

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/04/2013-was-not-a-good-year-for-catastrophic-anthropogenic-global-climate-warming-change-disruption-wierding-ocean-acidification-extreme-weather-etc/

    No unusual weather on the horizon in 2014 then….

  93. Yes, hot water freezes faster than cold water. I’m Canadian and we were shown this very early on in school. Demonstrated! Because no one would believe it at that age. Another counter-intuitive fact is that it tends to get warmer after there is snow on the ground compared to before. Not all the time, but enough that it’s a well known fact where it snows a lot or where it gets cold for a long time before it snows.

  94. Actually it’s beautifully visible if you switch the video to 1080p that the railing got wet from the perfectly liquid stream of hot water that puts out a lot of steam which then turns into fine microcrystal powder which continues further with the movement of the air. No instant snow here. Same with other videos of this effect … it’s just freaking steam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6_lJYj4GX4 .. beautifully visible heavy blobs of water that drop down. The hot water = faster ice does not play a role here. Just that on a cold day the steam forms a thicker formation and people go “oh my gosh look at that.. instant snow….. no.. no instant snow.. just thick steam.

    For the water to completely turn into ice you would have to shoot it with a much higher velocity and in more sprayish formation – just like the snow cannons do.. and they don’t need to pump hot water into those cannons.

    Jeez.. how many people actually take a moment to think and then visually inspect the video?

  95. There is more to this recent and consistent cold weather than just the current jet stream changes. Northern hemisphere winter temperatures have been declining for 15 years so there is a much longer climate trend caused by perhaps the cooling Arctic and Northern Hemisphere SST decline. . Both North Atlantic and North Pacific SST’s are cooling slowly although the North Pacific cooling started more after 2005 . A negative PDO since 2007 means there is more colder water along the eastern Pacific than in the western and central Pacific .These factors all add to the net cooling .

    AO was record positive [around 4] during December and was positive all of December yet we were already getting colder temperatures as we see for Winnipeg, CANADA. and other parts of Canada. in December. So despite POSITIVE AO , cooler temperatures were setting in.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao_index.html

  96. We used to dump left over liquid nitrogen from hand-held dewars on the ground outside. So much vapor came from the process, that it looked like there was a fire. Used to drive our hazardous materials team crazy — they asked how we disposed of excess liquid nitrogen (we let it go back into the air it was taken from). BTW, liquid nitrogen does a great job on killing ants.

  97. I am so glad we moved to the tropics. The only temperatures below freezing are in our freezer, and occasionally transferred to a glass of Scotch on a temporary basis.

    Pool currently at 32C….

  98. If the oceans are cooler, though still anomalously warm, land temps would also set up as cooler. Meaning that while the AO is positive in terms of anomalous pressure, land temps can be ramping down, simply because the ocean source of the heat has lessened. There is a slope to the process of oscillation changeover. Certainly when the AO is in negative pressure territory, loopy Rossby waves will bring polar-cold temps into more southern latitudes.

  99. R. de Haan says: @ January 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Wonder how that AGW scare mongering is working for the warmista’s when we have snow owls in California…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    We have one here in North Carolina on my farm.

  100. Pamela Gray says:
    January 5, 2014 at 8:07 am
    We are in an Arctic low which allows polar jet stream wanderings to escape the confines of the circle and invade our lands in more southerly directions with polar-frozen air temperatures. …….. So what happens if the pattern stays around for a long period of time?

    I am going out on a limb to suggest that invasions of Arctic air and snowy storms (IE negative Arctic Oscillation pressure) may have caused or significantly contributed to the development of Lake Missoula. And then when the pattern reversed to a more positive trend (IE positive Arctic Oscillation pressure), the ice dam area warmed up and we ended up with catastrophic floods.

    Pamela,
    That is an interesting and plausible speculation! The many cycles of formation and destruction of Lake Missoula created much of the convoluted geology of Washington state (as I’m sure you well know). For others that may not be aware, here’s a summary simulation video:

    A fine picture of the ancient beach fronts stair stepping the mountainsides around Missoula today can be seen here: http://formontana.net/shores.html
    MtK

  101. Meanwhile, in Brisbane we are having a heat wave with temperatures well over 30. This is PROOF! Global Warming is happening!

  102. _Jim says:
    January 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

    http://earth.usc.edu/classes/geol150/stott/weather/circulation.html

    That page is a wealth of info showing the interaction highs and lows, Hadley, mid-level and polar cells as modified by real-world Rossby wave behavior. The difficulty with atmospheric air flow systems/dynamics is – it’s a complex 3 dimensional system where density, temperature, Coriolis effect, un-even heating etc is not uniform, never in actual equilibrium and adjoining air masses are always in ‘conflict’!

    _Jim,
    That page IS a wealth of information – Thanks!
    MtK

  103. MrX says January 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Yes, hot water freezes faster than cold water. I’m Canadian and we were shown this very early on in school. Demonstrated!

    Myth, parlor trick or special circumstances required?

    A paper by Monwhea Jeng, published in the American Journal of Physics, vol 74, pg. 515-522 sheds some insight. Here is a summary from another forum on the paper and the effect:

    This paper described the notion of the Mpemba effect starting at the time of Aristotle, and when you read it you find that it is a highly difficult problem, to begin with, difficult in stating what one exactly means by “hot water freezes faster than cold water.” First of all, he shows that not all experimenters did the same experiment or looked for the same effect. It would go too far to write all down what Jeng claims, and anyone who would like to have a copy of the paper (with numerous references to other papers) can get it from me.

    Clearly it will not always function, if you take a liquid at 99.9 degrees celcius and one at 0.1 degrees celcius you will find that the cooler one will freeze sooner. Therefore, it is a parametric problem, such that “there is a temperature range within which warmer liquids will freeze faster than cooler.”

    Basically, there were a lot of explanations, convection in the fluid while freezing, the containers standing on frost which melts for the hot liquid giving a better conducting area at the bottom (but the lab experiments were performed with frost-less cool elements), degassing (but there are various experiments that did not show any difference), super-cooling … , the size and shape of the container, etc. etc.

    Basically, this is a very interesting and real phenomenon, but very difficult to investigate as it depends on lots of paramenters. A very interesting study was done by Walker with different containers and different thermocouples and different temperatures, and found that for some of them nothing “weird” happens and colder fluids freeze faster than warmer (Hurrah for thermodynamics!) but there are also parameter regions, in this case temperature regions where warmer fluids freezes faster (Hurrah for Mpemba).

    According to Jeng super cooling is no solution for the Mpemba effect, although a paper a year Earlier by Auerbach (Am. Journal of Physics, 1995, vol 63, pg. 882-885) seems (according to the abstract) to make a link between supercooling and the Mpemba effect.

    .

  104. John F. Hultquist and Gunga Din,

    Thanks for responding to my comment @9:43 am. But I still don’t understand the mechanism.

    What is the straw used for? Is it a diversion, where the ice forms after a few seconds with or without the straw? Or is the burning straw necessary?

    Also, I know there’s a relationship between salt, water, and ice. But what is it in this case?

    TIA.

    [I would do the experiment myself, but I don't have a plastic straw handy.]

  105. My name has probably become a bad word in news organizations for my many e-mails on the subject, but I will risk enduring the same fate here by pointing out that wind chill is not temperature. So, statements like “[hitting temperatures now -50C today with wind chill] are wrong. The wind has no effect whatever on temperature. The same units should never have been adopted to express both temperature and wind chill, but the idea is now ingrained into us and there is little to do- I wonder if the media had a hand in this since they love to use anything that sounds the most extreme (“if it bleeds it leads”). Temperature is temperature and is only what is shown by a thermometer. Wind chill is a RATE OF COOLING, not a temperature.

    Ian M

  106. From layers of mud occurring after a Mt. St. Helen’s ash layer laid down around 13,000 BC (or BP whatever the new letters are), 11 of those catastrophic floods occurred after that period of time. So freezing temperatures and snow buildup could not have been caused by continental drift, or some huge meteorite causing a dust cloud every now and then. Of all the possibilities of periodic warming and cooling that would cause that ice dam to break, it seems to me that the AO could be among the top contenders.

  107. How does the current winter weather compare with the wintery weather that the mid west had during 1886.

  108. The newest model forecasts are even uglier.

    Up to 20C below normal by early Tuesday afternoon for the eastern half of the US. Mega-exceptional.

  109. Pamela Gray says:
    January 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    The mechanics of the failure of the ice dams (I think the count is 80+ or so) is very well understood. Cracks, water, gravity and so on. After failure and drainage of the water more ice flowed south in the Purcell Trench and pushed across the opening of the Clark Fork River. Then the lake grew and deepened again with the increasing depth increasing the pressure on the blocking ice. Repeat. “Episodically” from the Ice Age Floods Institute:

    http://www.iafi.org/

    As far as I have heard and read, no one has suggested the need for an atmospheric periodic warming and cooling for these events because none is needed. Timing of the refilling (raising) of the lake can be related to something perhaps, but that timing changes and is not periodic (from what I read).
    From the (1983) link at the end, quote:
    Calculations show that each time the lake rose to about 600 m deep, it made the glacier buoyant and engendered a catastrophic discharge along the glacier bed (a joekulhlaup). A reconstructed water budget suggests that after a complete draining, the lake refilled in 3 to 6 decades; thus the hydrostatic prerequisites for a joekulhlaup were reestablished dozens of times during the late-Wisconsin episode of lake damming. Various intercalated tephra layers, radiocarbon dates, varve successions, and the Bonneville flood deposits in the region suggest that late-Wisconsin glacial Lake Missoula existed for about 2 millennia within the period 15,000 to 12,700(?) yr ago.

    http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr83671

  110. PAMELA GRAY

    “land temps can be ramping down, simply because the ocean source of the heat has lessened.”
    You are repeating what I said originally about the oceans also being a part of the reason for the cooling. It is common knowledge that a positive AO causes strong westerlies which keeps the ARCTIC air to the north . In December we had strong positive AO but the temperatures got colder , indicating that some other mechanism was at work too. What you are arguing about escapes me ?.We seem to be saying the same thing. in just different ways , so lets call it a draw and go on to other topics

  111. Suspect the reason for the “boiling water” in the squirt gun is so the gun does not freeze up after the first squirt. The hot water gives you a few more opportunities to shoot before a freeze up.

    Something being missed about the equations of heat etc is the heat of fusion.
    That takes many more calories then cooling the water off.

  112. R. de Haan says:
    January 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Wonder how that AGW scare mongering is working for the warmista’s when we have snow owls in California, wattsupwiththat?: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/03/3850232/snowy-owl-invasion-of-us-extends.html#

    The article only says “An invasion of snowy owls has been reported this winter across the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.”

    Northeast reference: http://falmouth.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/snowy-owls-invade-cape-and-islands says in part:

    “The species has been reported from beaches all over the Cape and Islands and it seems no beach or headland in the region has not had owls reported,” said Nantucket-based ornithologist Vern Laux Dec. 18 on Cape and Islands NPR station WCAI’s “Weekly Bird Report” program.

    This year’s influx of owls, known as an irruption, “is already of historic proportions,” Laux said.

  113. John F. Hultquist says:
    January 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    dbstealey says:
    January 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    The video is on a site called TrickLife. Think about it.

    All things that look like water – are not.
    All things that look like salt – are not.
    All things that look like ice – are not.

    See here, especially #3.

    http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistrymagic/tp/sciencemagictricks.htm

    ======================================================================
    Cool! …er… Hot! …er… You get the idea.

  114. @ Ian L. McQueen

    While I understand your irritation, I also understand the point of adding wind chill to temperature. It is to tell Canadians what it will feel like if they are foolish enough to go outside.
    “The thermometer says it’s a comfortable -41, but don’t let that fool you! Wrap up warm anyway, because there’s a sharp wind that makes it feel like -50, and you’ll be really cold if you dress for -41.”

  115. @John F. Hultquist

    “All things that look like water – are not.
    All things that look like salt – are not.
    All things that look like ice – are not.”

    How can that be? Water looks like water, and it is water, so it can’t be true that everything that looks like water isn’t water. Likewise for salt and ice.

  116. Yes, hot water freezes faster than cold water
    Jim says @9:14-My Bet. It’s Bogus….@3:49 Myth parlor trick or special circumstances required?
    Jim you’re making progress and that’s good.
    “When Mpemba asked his physics teacher to explain the observations, the teacher told Mpemba his data must be in error, because the phenomenon was impossible.
    Mpemba asked a visiting physics professor, Dr. Osborne, the same question. This professor replied that he did not know, but he would test the experiment. Dr. Osborne had a lab tech perform Mpemba’s test. The lab tech reported that he had duplicated Mpemba’s result, “But we’ll keep on repeating the experiment until we get the right result.” Well, the data is the data, so when the experiment was repeated, it continued to yield the same result. In 1969 Osborne and Mpemba published the results of their research. Now the phenomenon in which hot water may freeze faster than cold water is sometimes called the Mpemba Effect.”

  117. herkimer, I wouldn’t call December’s AO indices strongly positive. It certainly was in November. It is entirely possible that Arctic cold air was allowed in your area during December. Even under a strongly positive vortex, the edges are a bit wriggly, reaching a bit outside and inside a perfect circle.

    I think what I am trying to speak to is a trend versus a single month. AO trends are like Pacific equatorial oscillations. Some decades we have more El Nino’s (weaker or stronger), some decades we have neutrals (weaker or stronger), and some decades we have more La Nina’s (weaker or stronger). Plus the oscillations are not of equal length. I am guessing the AO goes through similar somewhat chaotic patterns.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.shtml

  118. I just got back from the Arctic… sea ice page on WUWT, and the Yearly Max / Mean / Min Ice Extent trend chart has been updated with an additional year of data, change from previous chart:
    Max -2.63% is now -2.574%
    Mean -4.01% is now -3.946%
    Min -9.04% is now -8.951%
    – – –
    In 2012, the CBC said that climate scientists told them that the Arctic would be ice free in 2014. In 2013 the CBC didn’t say a word about the arctic, no update for its viewers / taxpayers.

  119. Rick says January 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm
    ..
    Now the phenomenon in which hot water may freeze faster than cold water is sometimes called the Mpemba Effect.”

    I think it is incorrect to call it ‘hot water'; I’m thinking a better term needs to be used.

    Also, my present experiment gently ‘agitates’ the surface of the water (my ice cube trays are outside in the wind!); this may have the effect of causing the ‘seed’ effect seen when a bottle of super-cooled water is disturbed and *then* the actual ice forms from the point of impact.

    BTW, at the 58 min point I now have ice on the top of the ‘hot’ water ice tray. The water was only brought up to about 140 F or 60 C, not boiling. Fits the criteria for ‘hot water’ … no (now do you see the dilemma? “hot” is not very descriptive and perhaps misleading.)

    The cold was at 55 deg F from the tap.

    .

  120. re: meridional circulation vs. zonal.
    ===
    It was found that “zonal” epochs correspond to the periods of global warming and the meridional ones correspond to the periods of global cooling. (Lamb 1972; Lambeck 1980).

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2787e/y2787e03.htm

    ===
    According to the same UN study, we can use variations in length of day for the last 7 years to predict temperature trends for the next 7 years.
    Interestingly, nobody seems to be doing that.

  121. Jim, you keep working on that, and in the meantime I’ll get in touch with Mpemba to let him know there is some weighty ground breaking stuff happening out on Jim’s back step.

  122. Rick says January 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Jim, you keep working on that, and in the meantime I’ll get in touch with Mpemba to let him know there is some weighty ground breaking stuff happening out on Jim’s back step.

    I think he knows; it is a special set of circumstances where his ‘effect’ is operative. Having said that, you might want to review this paper and perhaps bring it to his attention:

    When does hot water freeze faster then cold water? A search for the Mpemba effect

    This paper would seem to spell out the conditions under which the Mpemba effect can be observed repeatedly. This technique, however, does not seem to offer a realistic improvement in (a reduction of) the time required to *freeze* an ice cube tray given normal running hot and cold ‘tap’ water. 80 deg C water from a pan heated on the stove (as tap water is at/near 60 deg C is insufficient as determined in this paper) may allow deformation of the thermoplastic used for some ice cube trays (like mine for instance).

    – – – – – – – –
    Abstract:

    It is possible to consistently observe hot water freezing faster than cold water under certain conditions. All conditions except the initial temperature of water specimens must be the same and remain so during cooling, and the cold water must supercool to a temperature significantly lower than the temperature to which the hot water supercools.

    For hot water at an initial temperature of > = 80 °C and cold water at < = 20 °C, the cold water must supercool to a temperature of at least 5.5 °C, lower than the temperature to which hot water supercools. With these conditions satisfied, we observed initially hot water freezing before the initially cold water 28 times in 28 attempts.

    If the cold water does not supercool, it will freeze before the hot water because it always cools to 0 °C first regardless of the initial temperatures.
    – – – – – – – –

    BTW, testing here at the 1 hr 15 min point shows the the ‘cold’ water tray to have more ice formed than the ‘hot’ water ice cube tray.

    .

  123. John F. Hultquist,

    Thanks. I guess the burning straw was what I suspected — a prop. Interesting link, too, thanks for posting. #20 also has a good explanation.

  124. Meanwhile the snow pack in the Pacific NW (US) is near record lows. Fairbanks is running 30-40 deg F above normal. And forest fires have already occurred in the Big Sur area of nor Cal. (during the their rainy season)
    Just weather, I guess…..

  125. littlepeaks says:
    January 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    BTW, liquid nitrogen does a great job on killing ants.

    So does boiling water. >:|

  126. I live in the midlands of the UK , well away from the high winds on the coast area , this morning i was watching a spider spin its web on the outside of my window so there must be insects about , just opposite is a cherry tree , there are hundreds of pink blossom on it and the leaf buds are getting fat , below my window is a rose bush with one white rose still on it , i have the feeling that when the weather over the pond gets worse there will be huge numbers of climate refugees coming to our balmy little island . and people say global warming is a bad thing !!!! We have got it here and its lovely , more please !!!!

  127. Jim, I read your link; now re-read mine. Your 6 pages can be distilled (sic) into:
    “Supercooling – Hot water tends to experience less of a supercooling effect than cold water. This makes it more likely to become solid when it reaches the freezing point of water.”
    My link also shows that besides supercooling; evaporation, convection, dissolved Gases, and effect of the surroundings can come into play for the Mpemba Effect to take place.
    Anyway it was interesting communicating with you.

  128. Ric Werme says: January 5, 2014 at 7:52 am “Believe nothing read or heard without verifying it yourself unless it is Weltanschauung congruent.” I went off to figure out what “Weltanschauung congruent” and gave up …”

    UnScience or Non-Science? [ ... ] Over 60 years ago, Bertrand Russell had a book published entitled “Unpopular Essays.” He described how he came about the title. In a preface to a prior work, he said that the work should be of interest to the general educated public. Critics took him to task and complained that certain passages were difficult to understand, implying he misled purchasers. He did not wish to be charged with this again. He fully admitted that certain passages in the new work may be difficult for some to understand. Thus, he cannot claim the essays are popular. If not popular, they must be unpopular.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/05/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-118/

  129. Throwing containers of near boiling water/coffee into the air below -40 is also fun. Poof its gone.
    FYI adding a little glycerin to the water makes more water (%) go farther. My son did a science fair project on it.

  130. We got down to around -40C in Ottawa a few days back, too. This time of year always reminds me of one of my favourite Futurama quotes:

    Leela: Fry, night lasts two weeks on the moon.
    Moon Farmer: Yep, drops down to minus 173.
    Fry: Celsius or Fahrenheit?
    Moon Farmer: First one, then the other.

  131. TonyG says:
    January 6, 2014 at 11:21 am

    @Gail:

    Might want to step back on that salt/health matter….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Seems to be a KCl/NaCl balance thing at least for me. I knocked my blood pressure from 170/140 down to 122/73 (last check a couple minutes ago) with a complete change of diet. Given the side effects of blood pressure medicines and their expense I decided to try a change in diet, with careful monitoring first. It worked for me and has worked for some others but not all.

    If I eat too much salt my hands go numb overnight and my BP sky rockets so I will continue watching my salt intake. Cutting out all the junk food containing high salt certainly is not going to hurt.

    Please note as a kid and a young adult, I went to a doctor who ALWAYS prescribed a diet along with any medication so that has been my inclination through life. If my daily monitoring had not shown steady improvement I would be on BP medicine now. However the condition has not returned in almost ten years as long as I don’t cheat too much. And yes I continue to monitor my BP since it is a silent killer.

    • 100% with you on the BP and dietary & lifestyle changes – definitely the better approach IMO. As for the salt – from what I’ve studied, it appears that about 1 in 5 people have a greater sensitivity and thus have that problem. So sorry you have to deal with it. If we ever get our NC WUWT meetup going, I’ll make sure to keep that in mind for anything I cook :)

  132. dbstealey says:
    January 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    John F. Hultquist,

    Thanks. I guess the burning straw was what I suspected — a prop. Interesting link, too, thanks for posting. #20 also has a good explanation.

    =========================================================================
    If it was super-cooled water then the straw may have served as the agitation to start the freeze.
    (If I remember correctly the finger wasn’t removed until just before the straw cleared the water.)
    I don’t know why the glass didn’t break. I didn’t notice any increase in volume. Water expands when it turns to ice.

    If it was a super-saturated solution of some sort, as in #3, then perhaps some of the solute was in the straw and began the crystallization when the finger was removed and it dropped.

    But I’m still guessing.

  133. With regards to hot water sometimes freezing faster than colder water – I suspect that it is a combination of a number of things, super cooling of the water being the most important.

    If you put a water in a freezer, especially a sugary drink, it might cool below the freezing pint but not freeze. Tapping it will lead to nucleation sites that cause the ice to form very quickly. Starting with a cold liquid will make it more likely to supercool as there will be little turbulence in the bottle due to the small difference in temperature between the bulk of the liquid and the surface.

    While water should not have a memory, rapid cooling might make the water more turbulent even as it reaches the starting temperature of the cold sample, which leads to better conduction of heat to the surfaces from the middle of the sample as well as more likely to star nucleation of crystals.

    • @Robert – re: Hot vs cold water freezing. The way it was explained to me is that hot water is moving around more, so more of it is exposed on more surfaces, to the cold, hence why it freezes faster (think of saw dust burning).

  134. Boy from Albany, during cooler Pacific ocean years (we have had a series of cooler neutral and La Nina episodes compared to El Nino events), it is typical that snow pack is reduced. What you are referring to is a weather pattern variation that has nothing to do with warming. Indeed, if we had been under the effects of a warmer El Nino episode, there would be greater snow pack in the Pacific Northwest.

  135. Gunga Din says:

    “I don’t know why the glass didn’t break. I didn’t notice any increase in volume. Water expands when it turns to ice.”

    I had thought of that. Problem is, we can’t tell in the video if the ‘ice’ is cold or not.

  136. Sounds like we all have short memories. A similar polar vortex breakout happened also in January1985 shortly after a very warm spell along the east coast of North America in December 1984. Could the past warm spell in November in Northern Asia be behind our current cold spell [or the current warm high over Northern Pacific?] These events are both similar to SSW[, Sudden Stratospheric Warming ]which have been happening in December / January every other year but have been happening more frequently now .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_1985_Arctic_outbreak

  137. http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Books/Personal/The-Bet?WT.mc_id=12_13_2013_TheBet

    The recent very cold temperatures in North America provide a preview of how a colder climate affects people. More people die.

    Excess winter mortality rates increase and the poor suffer the most.

    Fortunately in North America we have cheap natural gas due to shale fracking.

    In Europe the enviro-extremists have been fighting shale fracking and natural gas is many times more expensive.

  138. OK, to hear from the engineering majors, hot water does indeed freeze faster and it is exactly thermodynamics which causes it. It has to do with the triple point cliffs and the fact that the number of calories associated with a 1 degree temperature drop is much less than the number of calories associated with a phase change, so the fact that more of the hot waters goes to vapor (a phase change) cools the water more rapidly, making it freeze slightly more quickly.

  139. I’ve done the hot water/cold water test with coffee urn water (around 190F) versus tap water. In all cases, the tap water froze first. I used insulated containers to prevent any change in conducting surfaces. However, I did notice that the really hot water lost a decent amount of mass due to evaporation. Should that loss be large enough, say around 1/4 of the original mass, you’d likely get a hot water freezing faster than cold water scenario.

    Of course, really hot water has much fewer dissolved gases in it, which I think makes it unlikely to supercool, unlike relatively cold water. I have had fun with supercooled liquids with my kids, having them agitate a container of really cold liquids in the freezer which then formed crystals almost immediately.

    So yes, the Mpemba effect is real (of course; it’s demonstrable), but all things being equal- and that’s a challenge in a fluid/gas mixtures at different temperatures- the cold water will freeze faster than the hot water, assuming that you don’t lose sufficient mass from evaporation.

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