Weather Wednesday: Hurricanes

Weather Wednesdays with the Wichita Wind Surge

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN 3 Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman and the Storm Track 3 Weather Team are proud partners with the Wichita Wind Surge! Every Wednesday, join the Storm Track 3 Weather Team with the help of the Wichita Wind Surge for easy and fun weather experiments you can do at home on KSN.com, Facebook and Twitter!

In today’s experiment we’re going to be talking about hurricanes. I know, here in Kansas, we don’t talk about hurricanes too often, but we do sometimes experience the remnants of one when it moves up from the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane season officially began on June 1st and goes until November 30th.

A hurricane brings several strong storm elements with it. The storm surge is where the level of the ocean rises under a hurricane. Then there are strong winds which increase in velocity the closer you get to the center of the storm. They can also spawn tornadoes.

Today, we want to talk about how they form, how they develop. For a hurricane to form, you need water and heat. You’ve heard us talk about areas of high and low pressure. A hurricane is, basically, an extremely powerful area of low pressure that forms in the tropics where the ocean is warm.

Hurricanes are are ranked on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. They are measured from a Category 1, which is the weakest, all the way up to a Category 5 that can cause catastrophic damage and widespread devastation.

What you will need for this experiment is:

  • A round, clear bowl of water
  • Food coloring
  • Shaving cream
  • Mixing spoon

Fill the bowl with water, but not so high that it will splash out. Using your mixing spoon, stir the water in a counter-clockwise motion until you have it spinning pretty good. Next, take your food coloring and add some drops near the center. This will show you the spinning motion of the hurricane. Next, spray a little bit of shaving cream into the bowl and you will see the spinning motion like we notice from satellite photos.

If you did this experiment or observed condensation in your life, then send us a picture and tune in at 1:30 on Facebook live.

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