Science Station

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.

 

Volcanic lightning is a phenomenon that happens within a volcano. There are three different types of lightning discharge in a volcano; dirty lightning, small sparks, and vent lightning. Dirty lightning resembles normal lightning and can be seen from far away. Small sparks can only be seen close up. The third kind is vent lightning; this discharge comes directly from the volcano mouth and is approximately two miles long.

Volcanic_Lightning_2

According to Bradley Muller, a professor of Applied Meteorology in the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical , volcanic lightning is believed to be caused by a separation of charges. When one particle with negative charge is separated from the positive charged particle, lightning could develop between those two particles. This is the effect that causes lightning to form within a volcano. These charges develop when different materials rub or collide together; the friction between materials causes the charge itself. The moisture within the volcano can be a factor into whether the volcano gives off lightning. Moisture can affect the electrical resistance in the air and therefore affecting the amount of lightning present in the eruption. The intensity of the eruption also plays a part in the creation of volcanic lightning.

Volcanic_Lightning_1

Volcanic lightning is similar to lightning in a thunderstorm but there are also many defining characteristics that are unique to a volcano, such as the types of electric discharge.


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Did you know that tornadoes in the winter could be considered more dangerous? Tornadoes normally need warm, moist air to form therefore they are less common in the winter. However, when the conditions are right for tornadoes this could lead to a deadly problem. Thunderstorms in the winter have been known to be faster therefore the winds that spawn the tornadoes are naturally at an elevated speed.

These tornadoes, being equal in strength but faster in speed, can lead to several problems. The speed of the tornado can severely limit the response time available to receive warning. Not having enough time to prepare and take necessary safety precautions, such as finding shelter, can lead to serious destruction. Therefore on the safe side, make sure to take tornado watches very seriously because you never know when a tornado might form.

Tornado


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Orlando Science Center • 777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: [email protected]
  Supported by the City of Orlando, Orange County, and United Arts of Central Florida with funds from the United Arts campaign and the State of Florida,
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