Happy winter! Here are some tricks you can do when temps fall well below freezing

A meteorologist tosses boiling water into -20 degree air at the National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls, SD. (Photo via National Weather Service)

Happy first day of winter!

But even before winter officially began, it's been a rather cold December across much of the Northern tier of the United States, making for some amazing sights and experiments.

As temperatures dropped to between -20 and -24F in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last week, some meteorologists at the National Weather Service office there decided to have a little fun, conducting four experiments to illustrate the power of the freezing temperatures.

First up, always a fan favorite, is taking boiling water and instantly turning it into steam:

Live Science has an explanation of how this works-- but it requires temps well below zero and even better if the air is really dry.

Next up, you've heard of frying an egg on a sidewalk, but how about freezing an egg? Watch what happens to the yolks when it meets -20 degrees:

Earlier this month, I featured some frozen bubbles by local photograph Angela Kelly, who goes out on frigid mornings in Arlington, Wash. to photograph frozen bubbles. Well, watch how fast it happens in South Dakota!

And finally from South Dakota, even the toughest fabric softener may have met its match:

Here in the Northwest, while it certainly didn't get below zero -- or even close to it, it was cold enough to have a bit of fun with ice.

We had the bird-like ice sculpture that formed in a frozen bird bath:

And we had our own frozen bubbles:

And if you have cylindrical items that fill with water and freeze, you can even make "ice worms", like this photo taken from Kirkland in 2009:

And we had the steam coming off a relatively warm lake into the frigid morning:

We'll see what winter has up its sleeve!

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