In Oklahoma, you can never be quite sure what kind of weather you’re going to get. One day you might be outside in a t-shirt and the next you may have to pull out your parka for protection from a snowstorm! As Oklahomans we’re used to unpredictable weather, but what causes these drastic changes in temperature? Where do weather forecasts come from? In partnership with the Oklahoma Museum Network, Science Museum Oklahoma takes you into the complexities of weather through Weather Works, one of the Museum’s newest exhibits. For some swirling fun, one can step inside the Ride the Tornado booth or see a tornado take shape with spinning vapors in the Tornado area. Play the part of your local weather forecaster, as you point out ominous weather predictions on the screen behind you. Creating cloud rings is especially fun when used as Morse code to friends and family, and find out that the Doppler Effect is more than just something you hear the weatherman say on TV. Be a storm chaser for the day, because the forecast for Weather Works is nothing but fun.

What You'll Learn

Tools and technology like the Doppler Radar are the reason why we know information about storms beforehand. The Doppler effect is used to ascertain wind velocity in heavy thundershowers and tornadoes. It uses sound waves to measure the difference in frequency of echoes returned from approaching rain droplets and receding rain droplets, giving meteorologists valuable information that they then relay to the public when bad weather is on it’s way.
Another example of how physics comes into play with our weather system is the Coriolis Effect. This explains how an object moving through the air is affected by the rotation of the Earth. The Coriolis Effect is a factor in things like waves and jet streams that affect weather patterns. Try out the Coriolis Fountain to demonstrate this effect. 

At Science Museum Oklahoma