Ask Josh: Tornado In A Jar

Meteorologist Josh Fitzpatrick gives you a weather experiment you can try with your kids!

Recently I spent some time at my hometown of Gallipolis, Ohio, visiting the children at Wee Care Daycare.  Pictured above is a photo of all of us.  We had a great time coloring pages and making a tornado in a jar.  This was all part of their celebration, week of the young child.

I first made a tornado in a jar when I was in the fourth grade.  It was in Mrs. Barry's (Paxton now) science class at Hannan Trace Elementary in Mercerville, Ohio (south of Gallipolis).  This was also the same time that my interest in meteorology was being sparked.  We made a lot of science experiments that year but the tornado in a jar has stuck with me ever since!

All you need are some basic supplies to make it.


·        Jar (empty and clean)

·        water

·        Glitter

·        Two drops of liquid soap



Fill the jar two-thirds full of water.

Pour some glitter in the jar.  The glitter acts as debris getting sucked up into the tornado.

The drops of soap acts as clouds for the tornado to form.

Shake the jar in a circular motion then turn right side up and see the swirling tornado.


*If you want to get creative, you can also use food coloring to make the tornado have a color.


The swirling motion you give the bottle forms a vortex and is a easy way to create your own tornado.


I want to thank everyone at Wee Care Daycare for inviting me.  What a great facility they have!  By the way, our myZ 10 O'clock producer and Gallia Academy Alum., Kari Adkins attended Wee Care as well as my step brother, Grant Foster. 


Be sure to post your comments below and tell us how your tornado tuned out.  Thanks for reading! 

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