Did you know that the word “tornado” comes from the Latin word tonare, meaning “to thunder”Yes, the Spanish developed the word into tornear which means to turn or twist. Basically, a tornado looks like a black large funnel formed from a rotating or twisting air. It is also called a twister or cyclone because it moves over the earth and whips back and forth like a tail. In this experiment, we will be able to understand how the tornado is formed and wil be able to see an actual tornado at a small scale.
How is a tornado formed?
As we can see the profile of a tornado, we can say that it is formed by a rapid twisting air.
- two 2-litre transparent plastic drink bottles
- water (with a little food colouring added)
- paper towel
- Remove the labels and plastic rings from the necks of the two bottles.
- Fill one bottle 3/4 full with water.
- Dry the opening of the bottle with paper towel
- Cut a circle of cardboard as big around as the bottle’s opening.
- Cut a 1/4-inch hole in the center.
- Place the cardboard circle on top of your water bottle’s opening.
- Place the second bottle upside down on top of the 1st bottle.
- Check if both openings of the bottles are intact together.
- Carefully secure the bottles together with strong tape to prevent the bottles from leaking
- Hold the bottles upside down so that the bottle containing the water is on top.
- Observe what happens.
- Hold the lower bottle with one hand and the upper bottle with the other hand.
- While supporting the lower bottle, quickly move the top bottle in a circle.
- Let the bottles stand upright with the empty bottle underneath.
- Record your observations.
RESULTS / ANALYSIS OF DATA
Basing on the experiment, the water inside the top bottle swirls, forming a funnel shape or vortex as it pours into the bottom bottle. The vortex created in the fluid is the same shape as that produced by a tornado.
It is true that a tornado is made up of rapid twisting air. As the water flows between the plastic bottles, it creates a whirlpool or a spiraling behavior and simulates the funnel shape or the vortex of a tornado.