The DIY Tornado Machine

Bob Smer­beck, a senior mete­o­rol­o­gist for, 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

More fas­ci­nat­ing videos can be found in our new col­lec­tion: 125 Great Sci­ence Videos: From Astron­o­my to Physics & Psy­chol­o­gy

h/t  @sheerly

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