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Weather Experiment: Making it rain in a jar

Meteorologist Reece Cole is back with Mrs. Boyles 3rd grade class
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Posted at 7:00 PM, Apr 11, 2023

April is historically one of the wettest months in West Michigan, and the majority of the precipitation this time of year is rain.

Rain and precipitation are a part of the water cycle. As the water warms enough from the sun to evaporate, it cools as it moves higher into the atmosphere. There, the water vapor condenses, forming clouds, and eventually becomes too saturated and raindrops begin to fall back to Earth!

Weather Experiment: Making it rain in a jar

Meteorologist Reece Cole visited with Mrs. Boyle's third grade class at Martin Public Schools to visualize evaporation and condensation on a smaller scale. You can do this at home, all you need is a clear jar, boiling water, ice cubes and a paper plate.

As you bring a cup of water to boiling, quickly transport it into the clear jar, followed by putting the plate immediately on top, instead of the lid. After a few minutes, place some ice cubes on the plate. This represents the cooler air aloft in the atmosphere. The boiling water has some evaporation and steam in the jar, so as the warm water rises and touches the cold plate with ice, the water will condense and turn into water droplets.

Waiting patiently, you'll begin to see more and more "rain" collect on the upper rim of the car, and the cool water droplets will drip back to the bottom of the jar, like rain!