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Can ice form on guides in above freezing temperatures?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
There was a vigorous debate on this subject a month or so back. I did a lot of research and learned a lot............and never found a solid answer.

I found this web site, maintained by the Physics Depts at the U of Illinois. I submitted the question and they answered it.

http://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=16346

My personal opinion is that this very rarely, if ever, occurs in nature....mostly because near-freezing-temperature air, especially air near to water, is rarely very far from fully saturated humidity. Very saturated, cold air will NOT promote much in the way of evaporation AND conversely will have a strong latent heat (from both temperature-related density AND water vapor) to cause a strong component of convectional warming to resist the necessary temperature drop (to cause freezing).

But, and I think this is what the website is saying, under ideal conditions (which I woud define to be VERY dry, unsaturated air) it is theoretically possible.

Peter Patricelli
post #2 of 19
Good grief, Peter! I just turned 64 and can't understand that awswer.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Greenie,

GOODNESS MAN, how can you possibly expect to ever catch a fish on a fly unless you understand this?

Actually I agree with you. My answer is almost as tortuously written as my thinking. But, as I see it, they deserve each other.



Peter Patricelli
post #4 of 19
Yup, pretty scientific.



Peter, good for you on following up. I think it's cool that they thought it was a good question. Though I am also in the "don't understand a word of the answer" club.



Any progress on the loading pics?



O
post #5 of 19
While fishing the Owens River in the Eastern Sierras of California in the winter with the air temperature above 32 degrees to maybe around 34 to 37 degrees roughly, I have had ice form in the guides numerous times. I think the main cause was the wind chill factor. When it was cold and windy, a little ice formed in the guides, especially the tip. No big deal but occasionally if I was too slow in casting the line would freeze-up in the tip guide. I am sure anyone fishing in the near freezing conditions of wind and cold may have had similar results. Not sure if this answers the questiion, but it does happen. I don't pay too much attention to the temperature when I go fishing, but when I get done, my truck has an outside air temp gauge and it's allways interesting to check how stupid I have been.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Oakman,
"Any progress on the loading pics?"

Step by step I have been assembling the necessay equipment, while waiting for the brutal outdoor temps to moderate since the actual strobe pics will necessarily have to be taken outdoors after dark. I have everything I need, actually assembled right next to my chair, 4 strobes on strobe stands, the camera on a tripod. I was/am going to electronically trigger the camera for 1 second exposures and 4 strobes firing (in synch I hope) 20 flashes/second. I have the camera and strobes triggered electronically. I was testing the exposure factor with a bouncing ball in my garage last week and my trigger/transmitter suddenly crumped. I am going to have to send it off to be fixed. Two steps forward, one step back. I am getting there.

999,
If/when it really happens, it would most likely be in a desert environment for the driest air possible AND be windy to maximize evaporation. The water being carried up on the surface of the flyline is evaporating all the way, gets wiped off on the guides, tip top first, which are constantly receiving this extra cooled water in small doses.

The problem with proving exactly when the phenomenon is happening is that there is never just ONE air temperature. Given wind swirling or still, shade or not, nearby heat/cold sinks in the form of water, rocks, trees, etc., etc. differences of 2-3 degrees in real air temperature in your immediate vicinity are likely. And we are talking very critically close-to-freezing temps anyway. So how/when do you know for sure the air immediately surrounding you is really, say 34 and you are not in a pocket of air that is 32. For sure, the micro-climate at the molecular level right at the guides, if ice is forming, is 32.

But the thermodynamics would predict, under the right conditions, it can happen.

Peter Patricelli
post #7 of 19
Funny that this should come up here as well! Some time ago I had a short back and forth on an ice fishing blog with a guy who opined that in temps more than a few degrees above freezing, the hole he had drilled in the ice was freezing over because the wind chill was well below freezing.





My reply was that wind chill is merely an estimate of the perceived temperature felt on one’s skin due to wind and it’s drawing heat away, and not an actual temperature which could initiate physical reactions which are dependent upon a certain temperature. If I recall, there was a fair amount of info on the web supporting that fact.





Cool that you bounced this off the U of I physics folks though! They seem to suggest at temps very, very near freezing, it is possible due to convection, etc. But this brings me to my underlying opinion here ...





Coming from a somewhat scientific background, the most apparent issue in all of these mini “experiments†to me was the lack of “controlled†or accurate temperature data at the site. My ice fishing debate partner was convinced that the air temp he was fishing in was above freezing, and that this proved below-freezing wind chills could freeze water. But how did he know that?!?!? He’s an ice fisherman, for Gods sake ~ we’re not generally regarded as the smartest chaps out there!!! (And here I include myself! I fly fish in part to improve my reputation!). Similarly (and very respectfully, I might add!) I’m not sure a car/truck thermometer can be relied upon to debunk common laws of physics. Bottom line is that in all but the slimmest of situations imperceptible to anyone without complex measuring devices, water freezes when the temperature of that water reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit, even if only within the microclimate where the water in question occurs. This could be different from the actual temperature of an area very close by.





If the tip of your fly rod is waiving around at 32, and due to it’s small volume the water accumulated there cools to below freezing, it will freeze, while water very close by may not due to ever so slight variations in the temp there caused by exposure to sun, association with some other warming source (ground, larger body of warmer water, etc) resulting in actual temps there being above freezing, or due to that water having more volume and so not having been cooled down to the air temp yet, or any number of other factors.





So if you see ice on your guides, pat yourself on the back and note in your fishing log that you nutted up and were out in below-freezing conditions! Sadly, the fish will not likely be any more impressed with your efforts ...
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Patricelli View Post
There was a vigorous debate on this subject a month or so back. I did a lot of research and learned a lot............and never found a solid answer.

I found this web site, maintained by the Physics Depts at the U of Illinois. I submitted the question and they answered it.

http://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=16346

My personal opinion is that this very rarely, if ever, occurs in nature....mostly because near-freezing-temperature air, especially air near to water, is rarely very far from fully saturated humidity. Very saturated, cold air will NOT promote much in the way of evaporation AND conversely will have a strong latent heat (from both temperature-related density AND water vapor) to cause a strong component of convectional warming to resist the necessary temperature drop (to cause freezing).

But, and I think this is what the website is saying, under ideal conditions (which I woud define to be VERY dry, unsaturated air) it is theoretically possible.

Peter Patricelli


Peter,

I'm with you until the underlined part. "Latent heat" refers to heat from a phase transition, like vapor condensing or liquid freezing; I think you mean "heat capacity." "Convectional warming" is warming due to bulk transfer of a warm fluid, like a forced-air furnace provides; I'm not sure but I think you're referring to heat "conduction", which is heat that flows due to direct (so-called thermal) contact.

I concur that it's vital that we get this sorted out . Personally, I suddenly have more time to devote to this, since my Renzetti vise broke yesterday--grumble, grumble.



Steve
525
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Steve,
You are right of course. "Latent heat" is the wrong term for what I was trying to describe. "Heat Capacity" does it.

Bummer on the vise. IMO that is the reason God made Bill Logan. God knows he isn't any good for anything else. You'll see!

Helf,
Those microclimates are all around us. I realized this the morning after I gave up the debate on this issue a month ago, walked outside in the morning and saw this patchwork of frost, wet pavement, ice, and unfrozen puddles. One could work out some of the patterns, under the trees, north side shaded, etc. There is never any ONE temperature.

On a frozen lake the ice layer, cooled all night by sub-freezing temps, would make a pretty good heat (cold) sink whose temp would lag behind daytime warming air. It could certainly cool the air in the ice hole, being the lowest spot, to freezing. The air he was feeling 6 feet above the ice is not the temp in that hole.

Peter Patricelli
post #10 of 19
just thinking (not that I do it too often): If you watch the zamboni at the hockey rink, it is squirting water on the ice, which freezes it, even when the arena air temp is above freezing. So the ice fisherman may find the lice border around his fishing hole freezing over due to the adjacent ice surounding it, regardless of air temp, wind chil, fish caught, hot dogs consumed etc Just thinking...
post #11 of 19

  Hi Peter:

I think we all know that frost forms on certain objects before the temperatures actually get below freezing, every year.  And sometimes when we are trying to hold onto our poles. 

 

I actually was on the prow of a boat when we went through a cloud of freezing fog.  It iced up my hands and I was grabbing at the rod with iced up fingers.  It just took a few seconds.  Ouch.  But that was below freezing, I am fairly sure.

 

But actually this is a very cutting edge question.  We know that frost forms on metal at above freezing temps.   History.  

Remember the mini solar system from H.S. Science class.  One orbiting electron was hydrogen.  Two electrons was  helium. 

But it appears that there is no electron orbiting.  Nope.  OOPS! It may be more like a cloud of much smallerstuff.

 

The electron forms when something intersects the cloud, or it intersects with the outside space.  Complicated yup.

 

So when metal atoms form up in a "giant" crystal or other structure, like a line guide, they share electrons.  WE THOUGHT!  It turns out, they share the cloud of smaller stuff with each other.   And to conserve energy (??) they share characteristics between atoms too, since it's one big cloud.  But those characteristics are really where the electrons get formed and interact with other atoms.

 

So when a metal surface shares it's electron cloud with say hydrogen in water:  it appears that the very characteristics of the metal get shared out for short distances. 

Characteristics like: atoms forming up in rows to make a solid,  Electron shells forming a solid rather than forming a liquid or forming a gas. 

 

I hope this is as interesting to you as it should be.

You also might Google "condensation nuclei",   or Snow-making. 

 

Good luck!

 

DON

post #12 of 19
I find this debate fascinating and I feel that being associated with you guys, via my SOL
'membership" raises my status in the community (much the same way that all my Orvis gear does on the stream.
I compare this discussion to an Andrea Bocelli concert I recently enjoyed.'
I didn't understand a word he said either but I appreciate his music and find that people are impressed when I casually mention "ha ha ha, that reminds me of the time I went to see Andrea Bocelli................".
Keep up the good work and please keep this debate going.

GScott
post #13 of 19
Gee, I thought the guides and especially the tip was iceing up because I was stripping 32 degree water thru the guides as I retrieved my nymph after it completed its swing across the Salmon River near Pulaski NY one February morning. A drift boat guide told me the river was one degree above hard as he floated by in the School House pool. Of course the air temperature was closer to 25 degrees and that could have caused it to build up.

The cure is easy, just put the tip in your mouth and let it melt. Then start casting again. Not a single fish that chilly day rose to the occasion.

I noticed later inthe day after fishing for about 5 hours that the chill had almost reached my core. When your body get that cold, multiple Blue Safire Martini's have no effect on your ability to function. biggrin.gif
post #14 of 19
Moral of this thread is Never Expose your fly tackle to a Zamboni.
post #15 of 19



Laat Sunday on the Assabet River. Temp 32 degrees.
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