Steamy Weather

Yesterday morning, the outdoor temperature here was minus-25 Fahrenheit. For those of you of a Celsius persuasion, that’s almost minus-32.

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Pictorial evidence


That’s the cold of insta-frostbite. That’s the cold of “keep your pets in, no matter how much they agitate to go out.”

That’s the cold of “three cat nights” in bed, hot chocolate with boozy eggnog added in, and letting the mail pile up in the box because how important could it be anyway?

And it’s the cold of one of my favorite weather phenomena.

Our Lake Champlain water temperature is 36 degrees right now (about 2 Celsius). The bays are frozen solid enough for ice fishers to be out in their tents.

But steam is rising off the broad lake. Big billows of steam . . .


105 thoughts on “Steamy Weather

  1. I’ve been thinking of you. It has been around zero here in the mornings and it reached a high of 11 yesterday afternoon. And I thought that was cold! It’s balmy here compared to Plattsburgh! The lake effect is gorgeous. I got to see that once myself many years ago.

  2. That is astonishing. Your post is astonishing. I had half written a post in my head about chilly old Blighty. We had our first snow this morning and the temperature is -1°C. I’d contemplated mentioning that it’s a bit cold. Perhaps I’d better not …..

    • Well, cold, like all things, is relative and I have no doubt you’re chilled to the bone! This is ridiculously cold–and we see no relief for more than a week! The only good news is that it tends not to snow very much when it’s that cold outside . . .

  3. Brrr!! A great excuse to snuggle up on the sofa and read a book/knit/crochet/sew/watch a movie or whatever else it is you wouldn’t normally do in the middle of the day. Did you have to venture far outside to capture those great photos though?

    • I took some of the photos from the house and some from my car, although I did stop and jump out of the car and back in, real quick. Mostly, I’m doing as you suggest, and using the weather as an excuse to stay home!

  4. Wow. And here I thought it was so very cold at 32F (0C). 😀 Can’t even begin to imagine how cold it is up north. Stay inside, stay warm!

  5. So cold! It must be difficult breathing outside. I hope you poor mother has recovered. We have had torrential rain here and the river has burst it’s banks; near freezing but nowhere near as cold as where you live.

    • I’ll take cold over flooding rain any day–that’s awful! And scary! My mother is a trouper and was laughing about the whole thing later in the day. But those fingers will always be extra sensitive to cold now . . .

  6. oh wow, don’t you just love extreme weather?! I had to smile at the prospect of your -32c. We have had a cold weather front across the north of the UK today, with a small amount of snow and the country has come to a standstill. It is all of about -2 lol! 🙂

  7. Would you believe I have no idea how cold that is… it’s a high of 57*here,almost as warm as your inside temp.😳 the pictures are beautiful that sorta of give me a peek into the cold.

    • The truth is that I can’t really tell the difference between 20 degrees and 20 below–it’s all just wicked cold. I guess the main difference would be how quickly frostbite would set in. But you’re having temps that must feel pretty shocking to you, too!

      • We had a few warm days up in the high 50’s to low 60’s… next week it is to chiller with high 45* to the mid 20’s at night that is normal for this time of year.

  8. I cannot imagine how cold that must be, nor how you survive in those temperatures. Your heating system must be good! We have just had days of the thermometer being at the other end ~ +35° C. Further inland it has been in the 40s. Your photos are amazing, but why does it steam?

    • We do have a good furnace (but our bill will be enormous!) This part of the country is well-prepared for snow and cold and, mostly, people go about their business and do fine. The steam comes from the difference in temps of the air and the open water. Even though the water is VERY cold, almost ready to turn to ice, the air is that much colder, causing steam to rise. Weird . . .

      • Do you ever get a hoar frost when the Lake gets to steaming? Wonderful for photos if you can catch it before they melt. (Although at these temps, they’d likely stick around for a bit longer; )
        Switching back and forth from °F > °C is a regular pain… But I do remember that 40below is the same in both and bloody (eyelash & nostril-freezing) cold! Lol!

    • That’s the issue with frostbite. My mom’s hand was warm and feeling fine a few hours later but I know those fingers will always be more sensitive to the cold now. I have the same issue with my right hand–no matter how good my gloves are, my fingers always simply ache. What are the temps in SC?

  9. OOoh Kerry, those are great photos! Stay warm! It was 8* this morning so Mad and went out for a walk….crazy dog was making snow angels and having a ball, and only my eyes are showing. We walked fast and it still took a long time to get warm. No more now, it’s going below zero for the rest of the week. Maybe I will get some stitching done after all!

  10. Pingback: Supplementary Snapshot Saturday: First snow – From Pyrenees to Pennines

  11. Hey Kerry what a spectacular phenomenon, Mother Nature keeps on amazing us! The cold is arriving here too. The Walker Bros and a Lovely Princess are here for the whole festive season so we are snug as bugs and enjoying hot choclate and scones after the last winter walks for now…that is all except me: I managed t break my tibia in 3 places a while ago. However after some complications I am on my way to recovery and being spoiled rotten. That is good comfort for not being able to walk in my favorite season. The New Year will start on crutches but back to walks and work.
    I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful New Year and I cannot help myself to picture you in bed with goodies to eat and hot choclate to sip and those cat snoring away between the quilts. I hope your moms hand has healed by now, so painful!!! Lots of love, Johanna

    • How nice to get an update from you and how awful that the update includes a broken leg!! I imagine that involved surgery–Don broke his tibia and fibula a few years ago so I have an idea of what you must be going through. But three places?? That sounds like a possible world record. I’m glad to hear you’re being spoiled–take full advantage as long as you can and be careful on those crutches!! I hope the new year finds you on your feet, enjoying all the things you love to do! Love to all of you!

      • Tibia and fibula…my goodness that beats all. Did it heal properly? I have been assured all will heal completely so I try not to worry. And I have been confirmed yet again I have the best family & friends imaginable with all of them driving me everywhere , taking care of so many little things, supporting me in general.(I had a bloodcloth and a bad allergic reaction to meds) That is so heartwarming!!! Amazingly enough I had no surgery , though it was a close call. The doctor said admiringly: ‘You nailed it just perfectly”…hmm, debatable but he is an excellent physician so I forgave him ;o) So there was a lot of sleeping, reading, knitting and trying not to whine…there is enough real mess in the world right? Just a couple of weeks and I am back at work,back in the car and back to normal. Thank you for your lovely note my dear friend, stay warm!!! Xo Johanna

  12. We have woken to a balmy 5F the past two mornings.. balmy compared to you. We are warmer today with an inch of fresh snow overnight. Our dogs are not interested in leaving the hearth. We have two heat lamps on in the barn. Happy New Year – Oscar

      • Cold, cold, cold… no snow (hence my snowman made from tire rims). Mornings have been 0F to 10F for the past week. We have a kind neighbor how comes by to let our dogs out after sunrise, when we leave for work early. We are waiting for warmer days this week.

  13. what amazing pictures you captured. we are pretty warm down here in jersey with the high of 9. We have fished many times on Lake Champlain so seeing it in a different beautiful setting such as this is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for coming here and commenting! As I’m sure you know, people are fishing Lake Champlain even as we speak–I can’t imagine how cold they must be out there on the ice! And Jersey is getting bad weather now, too, right? Stay warm!

      • Oh yea I’m sipping my coffee watching the fall right now. Coldest winter we have had in a while. As much as I love fishing, I will only do if the water is not solid. I’m a fishing snob lol. Take care and you be cozy warm also.

  14. We are staying warm, compared to you–only down to 7 below zero. It’s been windy, though, so I haven’t been out on my daily walks and even the dogs only have quick trips outside. But you are right about cold being relative. When our kids were in elementary school in Fairbanks, Alaska, they had outdoor recess until temperatures reached 20 below. Seems crazy, but 20 below in Fairbanks was nothing special!

    • And now they’re saying it’s colder in the northeast than on Mars–what?! Are you getting hammered with this latest winter storm? It’s missing us–wheee!

        • Ugh. That does sound ominous–the wind makes it especially scary, i think, with the possibility of losing power and roads closing. Be careful and stay warm–let us know you made it through okay!

          • So far, so good. Howling wind, swirling snow, but the power’s on and we are snug. Spent a wonderful day spinning, resurrecting a lovely wee German wheel that was sadly neglected and dried up, and ordering fruit trees for spring planting. And cooking a big pot of gumbo.

  15. Very pretty! We are so lucky we can stay in when the weather is frightful. Yesterday we had snow and the temps were in mid-teens or so. Jim and I actually went out snowshoeing in our neighborhood — and I’m glad we did, as we’ll be INSIDE for at least a couple of days!

    Back on January 20, 1985, I had a job interview in the loop in Chicago. It was a Saturday and many of the buildings were locked up tight. It was the coldest day on record in Chicago (I still can look it up that way) at -27F. With wind howling through the canyons of buildings, with skirted suit and high heels and stockings. 🙂 I got the job.

    • Of course, you got the job! But, oh, that must’ve been an awful trip for the interview! We’ll be staying in all weekend–dangerously low wind chills–and, yes, we’re so lucky to be able to choose that for ourselves!

  16. I like cold, not freezing. That is just not what humans or animals are designed for. I hope it doesn’t last much longer. Have been watching the news to keep an eye out for all affected by those temps. It seems to be one extreme or another all across the country these days. The photos are fantastic but please stay warm and safe. Glad I don’t have to work outside like so many.

  17. I used to work in an office overlooking Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin and enjoyed that same phenomenon–before the lake froze over, it steamed. And from the 7th floor, it was quite the sight. After freezing, it was interesting to track the cross country skiers traversing the lake. Stay warm!

  18. My goodness that’s cold. I don’t dare tell you what the temps were here today. It’s been unseasonably warm and dry, even for California. What a gorgeous view of the lake, and if you don’t have to go out in that weather, I imagine it’s incredible to watch from outdoors. Three cats in bed, eh? Life could be so much worse. 🙂 Happy new year, Kerry.

    • It’s so weird that we live in the same country and our weather is SO different! And both problematic in their own ways. Yes, the cats love the bed, and the spot in front of the fire, and the floor with radiant heat in the studio . . .

      • It really is extraordinary. The differences seem more and more extreme, too. I can hardly believe the weather you’re all having. I just came in from pulling weeds wearing a light sweater. I love radiant heat, and wish we had it throughout the house. It really cozies up the place. But again, California. I mean honestly. 😉

    • Thanks, Andrea! The lake is now frozen over so we have no more steam–even though the air temps just get lower and lower! I hope you’re staying cozy and warm where you are, too!

    • Oh, I took the photos from the house and the car! I’m not that dedicated to photography! It’s gotten even colder and the lake is frozen over now. It’s truly brutal. But we have a cozy house and many cats to keep us warm . . .

  19. That last photo is especially gorgeous, Kerry. It sure is cold there — and here too. Yikes. Those garden pests cannot possibly live through such cold (see where a gardener’s thoughts go….)

    • I don’t know how anything lives through this cold! Yet the ducks still splash around, where they can find open water, and the crows are everywhere! Brrrrr . . .

  20. Meant to reply to this awhile ago, but my iPad is requiring me to sign into my wordpress account and not taking the password. {sigh} Sounds like good hand quilting weather! I was bundled up under my quilt last night as our temps dipped to 9 – which is very cold for down here. We layered clothing on last night and watched the full moon rise. When it’s this cold everything is so bright and clear. Happy New Year!

    • Hi Karen! it’s really hard to imagine daffodils, or most any living thing, right now! But I will trust they are in my future! The mail sits for days at a time–it’s not like it’s very interesting, anyway. How’s the weather where you are? Pretty dicey?

  21. I love snow days too. There is a peaceful calm that comes over the earth when it snows. Those big snows are extra special. My classmate Pam’s father was the farmer/bus driver on the top of the hill who determined if we would get a snow day. Pam, like you would get an earful from us if he didn’t call off school. As a child, school teacher, parent, and weaver, I would say my favorite days are snow days. We have had several already this winter in Michigan. Thank you for reminding me of the thrill, the joy, that I feel when the snow comes down hard and heavy.

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