"A tornado is a natural storm disaster created when a front of hot, humid air and a front of cool, dry air collide in the atmosphere. The warm air is pushed upward, which causes winds carrying water droplets to rotate into a vortex, speeding at up to 300 mph in the center. This spinning column of air and water droplets then begins to stretch between the earth and a convection cloud (made up of water droplets) to create a tornado. The water droplets form from the condensation of water vapor in the area within the funnel where there is low temperature and pressure. This makes the funnel visible to our eyes, because the large number of water droplets block out the sun's light, just like a thunder cloud." (www.haverford.edu)
This little experiment shows the physical properties of a tornado on a small scale.
Step 1: Supplies
- two empty 2 or 3 litre bottles (cleaned)
- a tornado tube
- lamp oil
Step 2: Assembly
To Make the Tornado:
- Quickly invert the lower bottle (full) to the top, and with a smooth circular motion, rotate the top bottle (full) to make the tornado.
Step 3: Optional Science Part
You can also change how big the hole is in between the two bottles by swapping out washers. Experiment between large holes, small holes, even squares.