How Cold Is It?

In honor of the “polar vortex” sweeping the USA, I decided to assemble some cold-related info. Cheer up, it could be a lot worse!

(standard pressure 100 kPA unless stated)                 Fahrenheit    Celsius   Kelvin

Fresh water freezes                                       32            0         273

Sea water freezes                                         28            -2        271

“Zero” (Fahrenheit Scale)                                 0             -18       255

Coldest common salt (23% NaCl) brine                      -6            -21       252

Coldest liquid water under pressure (210 MPa)             -8            -22       251

Pure (anhydrous) ammonia liquefies                        -28           -33       240

Mercury freezes                                           -38           -39       234

Fahrenheit equals Celsius; approximate temperature
at which gasoline becomes too thick to flow               -40           -40       233

Pressure in propane tank drops to zero                    -44           -42       231

Coldest antifreeze (70% weight ethylene glycol)           -60           -51       222

Coldest calcium chloride brine                            -62           -52       221

Lowest recorded temperature in North America
Snag, Yukon                                               -81           -63       210

Lowest recorded temperature in Northern Hemisphere
Oymyakon, Siberia                                         -96           -71       202

Dry ice (solid CO2) at standard pressure;
coldest liquid metal alloy (41% cesium, 12% sodium,
47% potassium)                                            -109          -78       195

Welding gas (acetylene) freezes                           -119          -84       189

Nitrous oxide liquefies; ethane liquefies                 -128          -88       184

Lowest recorded temperature on Earth’s surface
Dome Fuji, Antarctica                                     -132          -91       182

Lowest upper atmosphere (mesosphere) temperature          -148          -100      173

Undiluted alcohol (ethanol) freezes                       -173          -114      159

lowest melting point of a room-temperature liquid
(2-Methylpentane)                                         -243          -153      120

Whole Body Cryotherapy chamber                            -256          -160      113

Natural gas (methane) liquefies                           -258          -161      112

Oxygen liquefies                                          -297          -183       90

It’s this cold outside: ND forecast from Crystal, ND (NSFW).

I know North Dakota. I know cold.

It’s negative 11 degrees in mid afternoon here. :eek:

Your numbers may be a little off as Antarctica set a new record low of -135.8F.

I’m going to have to bring the propane in from the back porch tonight.

Not too cold, here… Looks like it’s only -2 F.

My mom is panicking, and all the schools are closed, but after over a decade in Montana, it’s hard for me to get worked up.

It’s - 15, which is the high for today. Lake Michigan is steaming (at least it was this morning) because it’s so warm compared to the air temp. Kinda neato.

Its warmed up to -11F in Cowtown IL. The furnace hasnt stopped running continuously since last night. At least its still running!

It’s 24 here in West Georgia, and will be 10 when I leave for work in the morning. That’s cold to us! The weather channel says it will feel like -20 tonight with the wind chill! :eek:

Well, it’s -2F at 3 pm here. That, for me, qualifies as well-digger’s tits, witch’s balls, and/or brass monkey’s ass cold. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s cold enough here in Wisconsin that the local female Wiccans have donned non-metallic foundation garments.

What do thermometers use when they can’t use mercury past -38 degrees?

Well, Cowtown describes a whole lot of Illinois!

In my part of Illinois it’s about -8°. It will drop another 7° or so tonight, and then start warming up. We may see 40° by the weekend. It will be balmy.

Perhaps a Galilean thermometer of some sort.
According to Jack London, how quickly spit freezes in the air.
How penguins float in salt brine.

It is currently -8F (-22 C) here in Southeastern Michigan.

However, it has been rapidly dropping the last 4 hours or so. It was -2 an hour ago, so it is coming on down.

My assistant news director was asking us today “any interesting visual ‘it’s damn cold out there’ ideas for tv tomorrow?” He was thinking of freezing a wet t-shirt.

Any thoughts? (This will be in DC, expecting 5 tonight / tomorrow morning, high 18 tomorrow)

Well nowadays thermometers are mostly electronic. If you mean the old-fashioned column of liquid type, ordinary alcohol is good for any temperatures people are likely to encounter.

Blow soap bubbles and watch them freeze.

Oh, let me know if the girl in the frozen T shirt needs help warming up. :slight_smile:

Its -7F right now in Columbus, OH. Wind cgill of -30. Not as cold as many, but certainly not pleasant.

In areas where it regularly becomes very cold, is the plumbing protected so that you do not have to leave water running?