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Severe Weather and Natural Disaster
Tornadoes

The Basics In-Depth Experiments Witness Account
Words to Know Experts Say Be Ready! See a Tornado

Experiments

Create a Tornado

Materials

  • One-quart glass jar, with lid
  • 3/4 quart of water
  • Two teaspoons liquid dish detergent
  • Two teaspoons of white vinegar
  • Two drops of blue or green food coloring

Directions

  1. Fill the glass jar with the water.
  2. Add the liquid detergent, the vinegar, and the two drops of food coloring.
  3. Seal the jar with the lid.
  4. Hold the jar with both hands, and shake it in a circular motion. Watch the tornado appear.

You may need to experiment with the amounts of detergent and vinegar. Some brands of detergent require different amounts of vinegar for best results.

Extensions:
Try adding small objects, like plastic animals or dollhouse items, to the jar so that you can more easily observe the speed and direction of your tornado.

See a Tornado.