Creating Clouds

Living with an atmospheric scientist, there is a lot of nerding out about weather happening on a daily basis as each new model run comes out. Imagine the excitement when this arctic air mass moved through and dropped the temperature to -40 degrees F (not counting the windchill) on the summit of Mount Washington last night. Given the dangerously cold forecast this weekend, we opted to stay inside and enjoy a warm fire and a relaxing weekend of catching up on things. Of course, though, Ted was watching the weather observations all day, and at times worrying about the groups who ventured out to higher summits and exposed ridges above treeline. When we went to bed last night, the ASRC summit observation on Whiteface was -38 degrees F with 50mph wind gusts, amounting to a windchill of -85F! I can’t even imagine what that must feel like.

In Mayfield this morning, it was -16F (not counting windchill), which Ted deemed cold enough to try the “boiling water trick,” which we may have done 3 or so times for fun. This consists of boiling a pan of water, which brings it close to the evaporation point, and then tossing it into very cold, dry air where it instantly evaporates. The water vapor then undergoes rapid deposition to become the tiny ice crystals that make up the cloud you see rise into the air.  Check out the video!