Yes, Boiling Water Can Turn Instantly Into Snow

With sub-zero temperatures present in most places across Wyoming, it is possible to turn boiling water instantly into snow. Just be careful if you try it.

Jimmy Orr

December 22, 20222 min read

Collage Maker 22 Dec 2022 11 42 AM
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

It’s a trick that should be done with caution or an emergency room trip could follow, but when done correctly, it’s pretty cool.

Boiling water when tossed into the air (preferably from a container) can turn into snow before it hits the ground.

The outside air temperature has to be cold enough for it to work and the water has to be hot enough. Both ingredients are essential.

CNN Failure

A CNN reporter on Thursday tried it and failed miserably, probably because both ingredients were missing.

The reporter, who was in Denver, threw a cup of hot water into the air and it came down as hot water.

“I just humiliated myself for no reason,” the reporter said.

Cowboy State Daily Success

Cowboy State Daily’s food critic, Tim Mandese, on the other hand, knew how to do the experiment correctly.

First of all, she was in Denver, Mandese said. And it wasn’t cold enough there. The temperature there was a balmy zero degrees.

“That’s too warm,” he said. “If it’s not below zero, it’s not worth the effort.”

Casper’s Bitter Cold

In Casper, where Mandese lives, it was 42 degrees below zero Wednesday night. And at the time of his experiment on Thursday morning, it was 16 below zero.

Mandese tossed the boiling water from a cup in his snowy front yard and “poof” – most of it turned into snow.

“About 95% of it turned,” Mandese said. “If it was just a bit colder, all of it would have.”

The other key, he said, is to make sure the water doesn’t cool. “It’s gotta be hot.”

Ideal Conditions

According to the website ScienceNotes, the idea temperature for this experiment is minus 30F.

“This temperature is bitterly cold and quickly causes frostbite, so work quickly,” the site cautions.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.