AccuWeather Summer Camp: Week 1
🔥 June 12 - Campfire Tales: Make it rain in your home (you won’t get wet!)
Do you like ferris wheel rides? Water likes the ride so much that it takes it every day!
Water first evaporates from puddles, lakes and oceans. As that water vapor rises up in the air, it cools and condenses and forms clouds. When the clouds fill up with enough water, you get rain or snow to fall back down to the ground – the ferris wheel or the water cycle keeps going around and around.
Let’s do a fun activity to see the ferris wheel ride that water takes in the air – but in your own home. Don’t worry, when rain begins to fall, you shouldn’t get wet!
🗺️ June 12 - Map Station: Campers, hikers beware – not all lightning shows up on radar
Do you have a weather app that shows you where lightning has struck? These are great tools to keep you safe from dangerous thunderstorms, but you really need to trust your ears more. AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert has some news that may surprise you – not all lightning strikes show up on those apps.
The best thing to remember is that when you hear thunder, you are close enough to get struck by lightning. You need to seek shelter immediately – and underneath trees or in tents and pavilions are not safe places. If you plan to be camping or hiking and thunderstorms are in the forecast, make sure you aren’t venturing too far away from a vehicle or building.
🎶 June 12 - Music Time: Golden Gate Bridge whistles in the wind
Let’s hear your best whistle! Not long ago, if we were all in San Francisco, we could have started a band with the Golden Gate Bridge whistling in the background. Check it out below!
High winds blowing through the railings along the bridge’s bike path made that noise, officials said. The railings were just installed – so that’s why it was such a new and weird sound to anyone in San Francisco.
The weather could really start a band with all of the noises it makes – there is booming thunder, hail or sleet pinging off roofs and winds rustling trees. Let’s leave out the scary sound of an approaching train from a tornado, but don’t forget everyone’s favorite weather sound – falling rain.
🔥 June 11 - Campfire Tales: What are coolest and weirdest clouds you’ve ever seen?
When you think of a cloud, what comes to mind? A cotton ball in the sky? There are times when clouds look like horseshoes, scorpions, dragons – or sometimes you might let your imagination run wild to what shape you see!
What are the coolest or weirdest cloud shapes you’ve seen in the sky? Did you take a picture? If so and your parents say it’s OK, send us your photo to Twitter or Facebook and use the hashtag #AccuWeatherCamp.
This cloud reminded AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Krissy Pydynowski of a scorpion.
Why all of the funny shapes? More often than not, winds act as Mother Nature’s paintbrush. Think of how winds can give you a different hairstyle – that can happen with clouds, and then it is up to your imagination what you see!
⛅️June 11 - Cloud scavenger hunt: Watch thunderstorm clouds tower high in the sky
In the summer, do you notice how a day starts sunny and ends with clouds bubbling up around lunchtime and into the afternoon? Those are cumulus clouds. Should you be worried about rain when you see these clouds? Let’s learn a bit more about these puffy clouds:
Cumulus clouds are basically the babies to cumulonimbus clouds – which you know more as thunderstorm clouds. Check out how these clouds can build high in the sky:
For some thunderstorm clouds, they will look like spaceships descending over towns and cities. Those are called shelf clouds. Shelves in thunderstorms? Let’s continue our scavenger hunt to see how these clouds look in the sky and how they form:
⛅️June 11 - Cloud scavenger hunt: Why do clouds have ripples like potato chips?
AccuWeather Summer Camp is going on a cloud scavenger hunt today – and the first clouds we found were cirrus clouds. You have definitely seen cirrus clouds before – they are the wispy ones that filter across the sky way above our heads. However, have you ever seen clouds with little ripples like what are on potato chips or what you see when you throw a stone into a pond?
How do those ripples form? Find out below – whatever is the reason, it makes a pretty picture in the sky!
🔥 June 10 - Campfire Tales: Fool your friends with this leaky bottle trick!
Water fight time! Are you going to grab a hose or a water balloon? Here’s a trick to spray your friends with water that they will never see coming!
Grab a bottle filled with water, a thumbtack and an adult (to help with the thumbtack) and watch what to do before offering your friend a drink:
When your friend squeezes the bottle or opens the top of the bottle, they will get splashed with water! If your friend yells at you, say that you were just giving them a summer science lesson.
When you punch holes into the bottom of the bottle, they are too small to let air in – and with the bottle upright, the air pressure inside it is equal and the water doesn’t leak. If you tilt or squeeze the bottle or open the top, the air pressure changes and lets the water spray out of the bottle – and onto your friend!
🔎 June 10 - Weather Detectives: Find the boss of the weather
What do you think is the boss of the weather? Mother Nature is a good guess, but what weather is in control above everything else? It’s not a hurricane or tornado, but something as simple as cold air.
Cold air is more dense than warm air, meaning cold air will be a bully and push warm air out of the way. When cold air wants to sit stubbornly over your town, you better keep your jacket out of the closet as the cold air won’t budge until it’s ready to leave.
Don’t be caught out in the cold! Learn what to look for to know if chilly air is headed toward your community with AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert:
🔬 June 10 - Invention Station: Ben Franklin’s famous kite experiment
June 10 is a famous date in the world of weather – Ben Franklin flew a kite during a thunderstorm on this date in 1752 and showed everyone the connection between lightning and electricity.
Have you heard this story before? Were you told that Mr. Franklin discovered electricity and his kite was struck by lightning? Actually, both are false! Let’s gather around the campfire and listen to the full story on AccuWeather’s This Date in History Podcast:
Don’t forget that you should never try to imitate Mr. Franklin’s kite experiment – you could get struck by lightning! Instead, here’s a safer activity to start AccuWeather Summer Camp. Let’s learn how to make our own instant slushy drinks with AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls:
The key to making your instant slushy is that your beverage needs to be very cold but not frozen yet (about two hours). That will cause the liquid to become supercooled – what’s that? This is when water has superpowers and can stay in a liquid form even with temperatures below freezing (normally, it should turn to ice).
When you turn the bottle upside down, it gives the liquid the nudge it needs to start the freezing process.
🔥 June 9 - Campfire Tales: Race is on between light, dark shirts in the sun
Why are you always told to wear light-colored clothes on a sunny, hot day? But, your favorite T-shirt is a dark color and you really want to wear it. Let’s do a test to see why it is still best to save that shirt for another day.
Watch what happens when we put a thermometer in the inside of both a black and white T-shirt and set them directly out in the sun. Do you think there will be much of a difference between the two?
That’s quite a difference in temperature as the black shirt absorbs much more sunlight than the white shirt! So as much as you want to wear your favorite dark-colored shirt, it’s best to save it for another day or even to change into it in the evening. If you don’t, the heat could make you really tired (or worse!) and then you won’t be able to do anything fun outside!
📽️ June 9 - Movie Time: Storm chasers get really close to big tornado!
Check out how close storm chasers got to a tornado in the video below:
Woah – even though the video is really cool to watch, that is too close for any of us to get to a tornado! Where should you head when a tornado is threatening your home? To the basement or bottom floor of a sturdy building and away from windows, right? Mobile homes and cars are not safe places to be during a tornado.
Did you know that tornadoes can happen anywhere in the world? That’s right, and there was actually a tornado outbreak in Russia that killed hundreds of people on this date in 1984. One tornado hurled a 120,000-pound (54,000-kilogram) water tank several blocks – wow! Let’s stay around the campfire and hear more about this unusual tornado outbreak in the AccuWeather This Date in Weather History podcast below:
🍳 June 9 - Cooking Activity: How fast will butter melt in a hot car?
Welcome to AccuWeather Summer Camp! For our first of many fun activities, let’s put on our chef hats and melt butter using nothing but a car and sunshine.
If the air temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), how long do you think it will take for butter to melt inside a car on a sunny June day? It doesn’t seem like a hot day, right? Watch the video below to find out the answer:
Just 30 minutes and the butter was all melted?? But, it wasn’t that hot outside of the car!
You can see that it doesn’t take long for the inside of a car with the windows up and no air conditioning on to become dangerously hot, even when the air outside is comfortable. The sun’s rays are able to get inside a car but cannot get out – causing it to heat up like a greenhouse. So remember to never let your parents leave you, a sibling or your pet in a car without the AC on, even for a short run into the store.