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Thunderstorm Projects


Jane Louise

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Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    I'm not sure whether this one is for kids..but here goes lol

    Build a thunderstorm predictor

    Michael Fish

    You won't need a weatherman to tell you if a storm comes

    Are you Thor?

    Learn how to be like a god and make your own lightning.

    The things you'll need

    What you need:

    2 bicycle bell tops

    Wood for base about 15cm square

    2 Wood for upright 30cm x 2.5cm

    2 The barrels from three plastic biros

    Metal button or large-headed drawing pin

    Screw hook and eye

    Insulated wire for earthing

    Saws, screwdrivers, glue, hammers and drill bits.

    What to do:

    Fix the wooden central upright to the base. Drill a hole through the base, then make a small pilot hole in the upright and screw it to the base. If you can, try countersinking the hole so that the screw head won't scratch your table.

    Biro-and-bell ready for the clapperGlue the bicycle bell tops onto two of the biro barrels.

    You now need to mount the bells on the base board. When the bells are in place their edges need to be about 2.5cm apart and an equal distance from the central upright.

    Drill two holes for the biro barrels, part-way through the base, and fit the barrels. You can fix them with a little glue if they wobble at all.

    Glue the metal button to the tip of the last biro barrel (where the pen insert used to be).

    The clapperNow fix a screw-eye into the plastic fitting in the top of the barrel, and the hook into the central wooden upright, so that you can hang the pen centrally. It should swing unimpeded, and hit both bells.

    Use the screw fixing on one bell to connect a length of wire to earth. This could be a water pipe, or a metal spike in the ground. Don't fiddle with plugs and sockets, and if you are uncertain whether what you are doing is safe, please stop!

    If it is not thunderstorm weather you can test your predictor by using a balloon you have rubbed on your jumper or hair.

    Hold the balloon near the unearthed bell and your predictor should start to ring.

    The clapper in position - now you need a stormRemember that static only accumulates when the air is dry, so you need to test your predictor on a dry day (if you find one).

    If you know a friendly physics teacher you might be able to test it using a Van der Graff generator, which generates a bit more static than a balloon.

    Do not use any other sort of electrical supply, and especially not the mains.

    How it works:

    The idea is simple. Just before a thunderstorm, the air will be highly charged with static electricity and this will collect on the unearthed bell. The charge bell will then attract the ringer because if the bell is say positive, the ringer (which is insulated) will be relatively negative. However, when the ringer touches the bell (making it ring) it will immediately collect the positive charge. The bell and ringer, now both positively charged, will repel each other and the ringer will be pushed towards the earthed bell. When it touches the earthed bell (making it ring) it loses its charge because the bell is connected to earth. The ringer will swing back and the cycle starts again. So when you get a continuous ringing sound, you know to look out for the impending thunder and light show.

    http://www.open2.net/scienceshack/stormpredictor.html

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    Posted
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
  • Weather Preferences: Any weather will do.
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)

    Well Im not sure about building the Thunderstorm predictor, but I used to collect pictures of storms.....I had a massive folder with over 500+ pictures of Lightning, Hail, Tornados, Thunderstorms etc.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
    Well Im not sure about building the Thunderstorm predictor, but I used to collect pictures of storms.....I had a massive folder with over 500+ pictures of Lightning, Hail, Tornados, Thunderstorms etc.

    Wow, do you still have that folder now?

    MAKE A THUNDERSTORM (For Children)

    MATERIALS:

    * clear, plastic container (size of shoebox)

    * red food coloring

    * ice cubes made with blue food coloring

    PROCESS:

    Fill the plastic container two-thirds full with lukewarm water

    Let the water sit for one minute.

    Place a blue ice cube at one end of the plastic container.

    Add three drops of red food coloring to the water at the other end of the plastic container.

    Watch what happens.

    EXPLANATION:

    The blue and cold water sinks while the red and warm water rises. This happens because of convection. The blue water represents the cold air mass and the red water represents the warm, unstable air mass. A thunderstorm is caused by unstable air and convection plays an important part. A body of warm air is forced to rise by an approaching cold front therefore thunderstorm’s form.

    http://www.weatherwizkids.com/tstorm2.htm

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    Posted
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
  • Weather Preferences: Any weather will do.
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)

    I do yes, albeit a bit shabby from being in the closet for a while, I shall dust the cobwebs off and flood back the memories.

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