Bob Smerbeck, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com, has figured it all out — how to let loose a tornado in the comfort of his own home. Using a hair dryer, plastic tubes, and a light switch, Smerbeck can recreate the basic dynamics of supercell thunderstorms that produce tornadoes — except his tornadoes are inches, not miles, wide.
As Scientific American explains it, tornadoes take form when winds occurring at different levels of the atmosphere vary in direction causing thunderstorms to rotate, and when the rotation within the thunderstorm extends down to the ground. Smerbeck’s DIY machine simulates these movements, and you can do the same. You will just need to follow a series of videos created by the Tornado Project on YouTube. Start with Part 1 here, and then proceed to Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
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