Moment of Science: Creating fog in a jar

A Moment of Science

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Do you know how fog forms?  Meteorologist Arielle Whooley shows us how to make fog in a jar.

Here’s what you will need:

– Glass Jar 

– Paper towel

– Water

– Ice Cubes

– Matches

Here’s how you do the experiment:

Start by completely filling the jar with hot water; kids make sure to get help from your parents handling hot water. Let the water sit in the jar for about a minute, then pour the water out, leaving about an inch of water at the bottom. For fun, place a drop of food coloring in the water, this will also make the fog easier to see. Quickly light a match and drop it into the hot water, place the paper towel over the jar with the ice cubes on top.

Sit back and watch to see what happens. If you still can’t see, place a dark piece of paper behind the jar.

What is happening?

The temperature of the jar is higher because of the hot water that was in there to start. When placing the ice cubes on top, which are MUCH colder, we are creating a temperatures difference.

When the cold air from the cubes passes over the warmer air in the jar, that is when we see fog.

Often in the Lowcountry, this happens with warmer air passes over our cooler water temperatures. This is known as advection fog. Another type of fog is radiation fog; this forms when the dew point and temperatures within a few degrees. Dew point is a measure of the atmosphere temperatures at which water droplets began to condense. Water droplets condense into fog. Normally we see this type of fog at night and it tends to “burn off” in the morning with the sunrise.

Did you try this experiment at home? Share your photos or videos with us on Facebook or by emailing us!

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