Weather Education Week

Make It Rain! Weather Education Week Experiment #2

You can make it rain -- and learn more about flooding! Follow along with Telemundo62 Weather Anchor Alondra Anaya and try this experiment at home.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Welcome to Weather Education Week @ Home! All week we are bringing parents and students interesting science experiments from the NBC10 and Telemundo62 First Alert Weather team -- and the Philadelphia Phillies!

For more on Weather Education Week @ Home, click here. For a printable version of this experiment, click here.

For this experiment, let's make it rain. If you try it, please take a video and upload it here -- we may use it on NBC10 or Telemundo62!

Need:

  • 1 Glass Jar (like a mason jar or larger)
  • Water
  • Blue Food Coloring with a Dropper
  • Shaving Cream

Steps:

  1. Pour water into your jar. Fill it almost to the top, leaving room for your “cloud” shaving cream.
  2. Add a layer of shaving cream to the top of the water. It will float.
  3. Add a few drops of blue food coloring onto the shaving cream in different spots.
  4. Wait and see what happens!
  5. The dye should begin to streak into the water below the shaving cream making for a beautiful “rainy” picture.

What Happened?

Your jar acted as a column of air, from the ground to the clouds. In this experiment, the shaving cream represents the clouds. As you add blue dye to the cloud, this represents more and more water being added into the clouds.

At some point, the dye becomes too heavy and spills out of the shaving cream and down the bottom of the jar. This is what happens with clouds in real life!

Typically, dark gray clouds represent clouds full and heavy with water. At some point, the moisture becomes too much and it rains. If the atmosphere is not too dry at the ground, then the water will make it all the way to the surface and it is considered rain.  

Rain is very important to our ecosystem, but if a cloud drops too much rain at one time, it can cause flooding—a dangerous situation!

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