Weather Lab: How to make a tornado in a jar


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18 News Meteorologist Jessica Camuto shows you how to make your own tornado in a jar!!

Supplies: Mason Jar, Water, Soap, Food Coloring (Optional)

There are four main environmental elements that must all be present in the atmosphere in order for tornados to form.

First, there needs to be wind shear present. Wind shear means winds are rotating and increasing speed with height.

Second, the environment has to be unstable. Stable environments are usually associated with sun and fair weather days; unstable environments are associated with severe weather.

Third, is that there has to be moisture in the atmosphere. The final element is lift, this is the updraft within the tornado. 

On average, the United States experiences around 1,253 tornados a year, the majority of these occur in Texas. Here in New York, we average 10 per year while Pennsylvania averages 16. 

Tornadoes are ranked on a scale known as the Enhanced Fujita Scale, ranging from EF-0 to EF-5. They are categorized based on winds strength and the amount of damage the phenomena produces. 

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