BrainStorms: Science with Scottlin – Thunderstorm in a Jar

Science With Scottlin

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – If you go outside right now, you may see clouds in the sky but it also may not be raining.

In this experiment, we will learn exactly how rain and thunderstorms work.

GRAB YOUR INGREDIENTS: water, a clear glass, shaving cream, food coloring, and a dropper. Most, if not all of these things can be found around the house.

STEP 1: Fill the glass with water leaving enough room for the shaving cream.

STEP 2: Dilute your food coloring in an extra bowl of water if you’re using food coloring gel.

STEP 3: Fill the rest of your jar with shaving cream to create your cloud.

QUIZ TIME: What type of cloud produces thunderstorms? (Answer: Cumulonimbus)

Step 4: Take your dropper to add in the food coloring. It make take some time for your “rain” to begin.

Science behind this experiment: The shaving cream represents the clouds, the colored water represents the rain, and the water in the mason jar represents the air outside. In reality, clouds slowly fill with moisture from the air. When they fill with enough moisture, they become over-saturated, and it rains. The idea behind this experiment is to illustrate the colored water saturating the cloud (shaving cream) and it becoming so heavy that it can no longer hold the water, falling through the shaving cream just as rain falls through the air.

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