Weather Wednesdays: How clouds form rain

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, Facebook and Twitter!

Today’s experiment focuses on how clouds form rain and it all starts with the water cycle. Water from oceans, rivers, and lakes evaporates and as the water vapor rises it cools, condenses, and turns back to liquid. Clouds are made of tiny water droplets. If there are enough they’ll bump into one another and grow. Once the bigger water droplets are too heavy to be suspended in the air they fall as rain. The water gets absorbed into the ground or goes back to a source of water for the cycle to start all over again.

Things you’ll need to make a rain cloud: Glass jar, food coloring (preferably blue), shaving cream, aquarium gemstones (optional to simulate hail)

Fill the glass with water but not to the very top. Spray the shaving cream in a circular motion on top of the water to form your cloud. Squeeze drops of food coloring on top of the cloud one at a time. Once the cloud is “saturated” enough you’ll see the food coloring (rain) fall from the bottom of the cloud. You can also use the aquarium gemstones to simulate hail if you’d like. Place one gemstone at a time on the cloud and once the cloud can’t support them you’ll see and hear the “hailstones” fall.

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

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