Make mist inside with this weather experiment

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There was mist in the Miami Valley Wednesday morning, and a chance for fog early on Thursday.

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Carly Smith demonstrates how fog, mist and rain develop in this weather experiment.

Question: How does mist form?

Hypothesis: If I change the temperature inside a glass or jar, then water vapor will condense on the glass.

Materials: glass or jar, paper plate, ice cubes, and water.

Experiment:

  • Pour hot water into the glass. Fill the glass about 1/3 of the way.
  • Sit the glass on the counter.
  • Place a paper plate on top of the glass.
  • Place a few ice cubes on top of the paper plate over the glass.

Observation: There appears to be a light fog in the glass. Then water droplets form on the inside of the glass creating the mist just like outside.

Conclusion: When you place the cold plate on top of the glass, the rising warm air runs into colder air at the top of the glass. This is how the water cycle works. As the sun heats water at the surface some of the liquid water molecules evaporate and turn to water vapor. When you place the plate with ice cubes on top of the glass, the rising water vapor then cools and condenses. Water vapor needs something to condense on for liquid drops to form. This is why you start to see water on the side of the glass. If you want to enhance the experiment and really see a cloud form you can add hairspray or light a match and use smoke for the condensation nuclei. The object needed for a cloud and eventually rain to form.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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