Just how cold does it have to be in order for bitterly cold water to turn to “steam” on the surface of even-bitterly cold air?  That appears to be the case here, today.  The grayish-white haze you see over the water in the photo above is “steam” rising from the Hudson River.

The ambient temperature this morning was 3 degrees Fahrenheit.  According to the USGS and NOAA site, the Hudson River water temperature at Battery Park (southern tip of Manhattan) was 37 degrees.  So here in this situation, the above-freezing water “boils off” into the well-below freezing atmosphere.  It made for a interesting site to see.

I suppose a conspiracy nut would post an article saying something like, “Global warming causes Hudson River to boil!!”  It’s all in the interpretations, I suppose…

In related news… The water temperature in Poughkeepsie (about 30 miles up river) is 32.4 degrees Fahrenheit as of this morning, so there is still a fair chance of getting some ice down here this year, but I don’t think it will be as bad as last year because we are already behind schedule.  But it is still quite cold!

Lastly, here is a time lapse video I shot last year, in February, of the ice flows downstream and under the George Washington Bridge:


While at the Navy and Coast Guard Fleet Week event last spring, Matil and I learned that Coast Guard ice breakers serve through the winter keeping the Hudson River open to larger vessel traffic, and they are probably also the reason this ice was coming down in large chunks rather than massive sheets.

6 thoughts on “Forty-Five.

  1. We remember the year the Shrewsbury River froze. We saw a beautiful wooden boat sink due to the ice constantly rubbing and slicing into its hull. Thank God for the Coast Guard to help prevent these ice build ups.


  2. I remember that video and really like it. It’s an interesting visual to see the ice and the clouds moving in opposite directions, with a "fixed" bridge. It made me think of an infinity pool; still, yet always moving.


    1. Interesting perspective- Do the clouds need to feed the upriver stream first, or does the downriver water need to first provide fuel the atmosphere? The chicken or the egg? ; )


  3. Yes, I remember these cold days when you would see the massive cloud like vapors floating on top of Shrewsbury River. Also when the river would freeze and see the large chunks of ice floating out with the tide causing havoc in its wake. At times the ice would cause major damage to pilings at marinas as well as the personal dock at my friend Rich’s house. Now after spending the last 10 years in GA I was fortunate not to see Lake Lanier freeze but did witness the "ghost" like images floating on top of the lake. : (


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