Now Open on Level 4
How many times have you said to yourself “I can predict the weather better than those guys can”? Well, now’s your chance. At the WFTV Severe Weather Center 9, you can become a meteorologist for the day and show “those guys” how it’s really done!
Located within the exhibit Our Planet, Our Universe, the Weather Center is a working replica of the actual set used on WFTV’s weather forecasts. You’ll learn how to put a weather forecast together using all of the tools a meteorologist uses. Then, when your forecast is ready, you can practice delivering it in front of a green screen – putting you right in the action as WFTV’s newest chief meteorologist! Take a look at some of the great stations you’ll be working with…
- Introduction: WFTV Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry and his team have put together a series of videos that bring the profession to life. You’ll see what a day in the life of a meteorologist is really like, learn about careers in the field and even see how Doppler radar works.
- Weather Basics: As you pass through the exhibit, the first stop is the weather basics wall. Here, Tom and his team explain what weather is all about – from cold fronts to rainbows and describe just what makes some of our weather severe.
- Current Conditions: See what the weather is like outside the Science Center using WFTV’s forecasting equipment located right on our roof!
- Create Your Own Forecast: Choose from a variety of weather conditions and have the WFTV team report your forecast.
- Report Your Own Forecast: Now that you’ve had the training and seen the experts, it’s time to do a forecast of your own! Stand in front of a green screen and report the weather just like the pros while your family watches you on TV!
In a city like Orlando, where weather is so important to how we live, the WFTV Severe Weather Center 9 will give you everything you need to know about how the weather happens and how the experts bring it to you.
18 May 2011
Posted in WFTV Severe Weather Center 9
Have you ever wondered what a vortex is and how natural vortices including tornadoes, whirlpools and cyclones move the way they do? Try the tornado in a bottle experiment to find out. A vortex is a whirling mass of water, air or fire that creates a visible tornado-like column or spiral. A vortex can be created with the help of angular momentum, surface tension, centripetal force and fluid displacement. This experiment requires the use of super glue and a drill, so kids – don’t try this without an adult!
- Two 2 liter plastic soft drink bottles
- Food coloring (optional)
- Glitter (optional)
- Two bottle lids
- Super glue
- Electrical Tape
- Fill one bottle ¾ full with water.
- Add some food coloring and glitter. (Optional)
- Use the super glue (with a parent’s help) to glue the two bottle lids together, flat sides touching.
- Let dry.
- Drill a hole (with a parent’s help) through the center of both lids with a 9 mm drill bit.
- Screw in one side of the bottle lid to the bottle filled with water. Then, screw the empty bottle onto the other side of the connecting lids.
- Add some electrical tape around the connection to reinforce.
- Turn the bottles over and observe the movement of water from one bottle to the next.
- Try again, but this time give the bottle a few spirals as you set it down. Notice what happens this time.
The first time you turn the bottles over, the surface tension of the water tries to keep the water from flowing down. The weight of the water above it, however, forces the water to bubble up and break through into the second bottle. This is what makes the BLOOP BLOOP sound you hear as it happens several times. Each time this happens, pressure builds up in the bottom of the bottle until the air is forced up into the top bottle over and over until the top bottle is empty.
The second time, the water was directed into a spiral by your swirling motion creating a vortex into the bottom bottle. Gravity works to pull the spinning water down through the hole into the bottom bottle. The angular momentum of the spinning water makes the water at the center of the vortex spin faster than the water closer to the edge of the bottle creating a whirlpool effect.
The vortex created by the swirl lets the air pass through the center of the vortex without disrupting the flow of the water. When you combine this with the forces of water pressure and the gravity force, a centripetal force, or spinning force, makes the water swirl. Notice that the water near the bottom moves faster than the water at the top. The higher the speed, the steeper the curve needed to allow the spinning motion.