People across the U.S. are filming themselves tossing cups and pots of boiling water outside their homes to show how freezing temperatures are instantly turning the water into snow.
Videos of the curious experiment have been shared on Twitter from users from New Hampshire and Maine, two states that are currently experiencing dangerous extreme cold weather.
A clip shared by a user in Mount Washington, New Hampshire, shows a woman throwing a pot of boiling water outside her home’s porch, the water immediately turning into snow. The caption reads: “Riding out the record-breaking -107 windchill and we had to do the boiling water into snow experiment. Pretty cool. Wild n crazy atop Mt Washington, NH. We’re safely away in the valley. Stay safe out there.”
Another video shared by a user in southern Maine shows a man conducting the same experiment on a deserted road. “A double-the-fun boiling water trick! Current air temperature is -12°F in Southern Maine,” the captions reads.
“It’s -40 F/C wind chill in Cumberland, Maine. Let’s turn boiling water to snow in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…,” reads another tweet from a user tossing a cup of boiling water into the freezing air outside, as they walked into a snowy street.
Boiling water can instantly turn to ice when it comes into contact with a cold enough environment, in a phenomenon known as the Mpemba effect.
In Mount Washington, New Hampshire, wind chills were expected to drop below 100 degrees below zero on Friday night, while hurricane-force wind gusts were likely to peak to heights of 140 miles per hour, according to forecasts by the Mount Washington Observatory. At 6,288 feet in elevation, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Gray said some areas around Mount Washington would experience “the lowest wind chill temperatures over the past 40 years” on Friday night.
A video shared on Twitter shows the conditions on top of Mount Washington as 120 mile-per-hour winds and wind chill of minus 95 degrees were reported. “It is above the tropopause, meaning that these are stratospheric winds,” the user wrote.
NWS Gray wrote that “while we can’t definitively say whether or not Mt Washington was in the stratosphere, the tropopause started just below the summit.”
New Hampshire residents have been asked by the NWS and the state’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management to remain indoors on Saturday, as even a short time spent outside could lead to frostbite or hypothermia.
The NWS has warned that dangerously cold wind chill temperatures will continue to impact the Northeast through Saturday evening, as blizzard conditions hold up in northern Maine. The agency has also warned that high winds may bring power outages, tree and property damage, and make traveling difficult over the Rocky Mountain Front and the High Plains on Saturday.
The Arctic blast is expected to abate by Sunday.