Weather Labs – Tornado in a Bottle (Episode 1)

Weather Lab
February 04 2022 08:00 am

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent and fascinating ways of balancing the atmosphere when needed. Children either are absolutely terrified of them or fascinated by them. I was both at different points in my life and it is why I am a meteorologist today.

This is the first of a exclusive called Weather Labs and in this edition, we will be making a tornado in a bottle.

You will need two large soft-drink bottles, my bottles were two liters in size and duct tape. Optional supplies may include some glitter, food coloring, a pipe or sleeve, but those aren’t necessary.

Take your two bottles and remove the label so you can see all of the interiors of the bottle. Fill one bottle 3/4 of the way full, just eyeball that. Place the mouth of the empty bottle on top of the full bottle and secure it with the tape. It is a simple experiment that I would be willing to bet many children have already done.

To make the funnel, turn the bottle where the full bottle is on top and give it a twist. A funnel will form as the water drains into the bottom bottle and that is your tornado in a bottle.

This is a good way to simulate a tornado in a controlled way without all the destruction that comes with the real thing. Air and water are both fluids and react in very similar ways. If you make one, show me! Direct message my Facebook at or email me at

Next week, we’ll be making a cloud in a jar.

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