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Where do tornadoes come from? – Weather – Earth science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:23+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

A tornado wrecked a town in northern France When there's wind coming from more than one direction at the same time, sometimes the air begins to spin around in one place. This is especially likely when a hot, wet wind coming from the south hits a cold, dry wind coming from the north. Both winds [...]

Stratus clouds – A blanket of cloud – Weather science

By |2017-08-20T18:32:08+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

Stratus clouds (thanks to NASA) If you see stratus clouds, that's the time to get inside and stay there. Stratus clouds mean rain if it is warm and snow if it is cold. They look like a huge gray blanket that hangs low in the sky. Sometimes stratus clouds are on the ground or very near the ground, [...]

What is snow? Weather – Earth science

By |2018-04-24T14:32:37+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

If it's colder, rain may fall as snow. About two and a half billion years ago, the Earth finally cooled down enough for it to snow for the first time. Most of the time since then, the Earth has been warm enough that it didn't snow at all. But from time to time, the Earth becomes cooler, entering [...]

Why does it rain? Weather – Earth science

By |2017-08-20T18:07:53+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

Thanks to Rocbike for the great picture! When the Earth first formed, about 4.5 billion years ago, it didn't rain here. Until about four billion years ago, Earth was too hot for raindrops to form, and water just hung in the air as steam without falling as rain. Then as the Earth's surface began to cool, in the Archaean era, huge clouds formed and began [...]

Nimbus clouds – Rain clouds – Weather

By |2018-06-11T22:13:06+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

Cumulonimbus clouds are a type of nimbus cloud What is a nimbus cloud? Nimbus clouds often mean that a thunder storm is brewing: there may soon be thunder and lightning. Get out of the swimming pool! (More about thunderstorms) Nimbus is a fancy word, but it really just means a cloud that already has rain or snow falling out of it. [...]

What are hurricanes? Weather science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:19+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

A hurricane in Cuba A hurricane (also called a typhoon or a cyclone) is basically a huge wind. Hurricanes form in the summer and especially in the fall, because they can only form where there is cold air high over warm ocean water. Hurricanes form near the equator, because that's the only place where ocean water gets warm [...]

What causes wind (Hot air rises) – Wind and weather Science

By |2018-04-24T11:55:43+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

Hot air balloon - hot air rising is what causes wind Hot air is lighter than cold air When something is hot, its molecules are farther apart than when it is cold. When air is hot, its molecules are further apart, so it takes up more room. That makes hot air lighter than cold air, because the [...]

Why is the sky blue? A science project

By |2017-08-20T14:53:06+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

A cloudy glass of water You can see for yourself that blue light scatters more than red light. This is the same way that John Tyndall showed why the sky was blue in 1859. Fill a drinking glass with water, and then add two spoonfuls of milk - almond milk is okay if you are dairy-free [...]

Kleenex balloon – Hot air rises project

By |2018-05-31T11:49:22+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

Making your own hot air balloon (Thanks to American Aircraft Modeler) You can make your own tiny hot air balloon to see how hot air rises and then cools down and sinks again. Take a Kleenex tissue or some toilet paper and glue the edges to a circle of light string with tiny [...]

Steam clouds projects – Weather science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:31+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

See the steam coming out of this kettle? You can make your own clouds and see how they work. Just take a tea kettle and fill it full of water and put it on the stove to boil (make sure this is okay with your folks). When the steam comes out, it makes a white cloud - that's the [...]