“Chemical meteorologist” experiment

How to make a home weather station (storm glass)

What will the weath­er be like this evening, and what should you take with you: an um­brel­la or a scarf? Here’s an ex­per­i­ment to make one of hu­man­i­ty’s most mys­te­ri­ous in­ven­tions – a storm glass! Even Cap­tain Nemo used one on board the Nau­tilus!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Wear pro­tec­tive gloves and glass­es an ob­serve safe­ty rules in work­ing with flammable sub­stances.

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • cam­phor (120 g);
  • am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride (30 g);
  • potas­si­um ni­trate (30 g);
  • ethyl al­co­hol (480 ml);
  • wa­ter (400 ml);
  • burn­er for dry fuel;
  • dry fuel;
  • beaker;
  • glass rod;
  • jar with ground lid;
  • fun­nel.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Sprin­kle cam­phor into the beaker, then add ethyl al­co­hol. Stir un­til the cam­phor dis­solves. Add the so­lu­tion of am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride and the so­lu­tion of potas­si­um ni­trate to the beaker. Ob­serve the sed­i­ment form. Heat the con­tents of the beaker on the burn­er with dry fuel, cov­er­ing with a flask to pre­vent the al­co­hol from evap­o­rat­ing. Then pour the re­sult­ing so­lu­tion into the jar with the ground lid and cool to room tem­per­a­ture.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

A storm glass is a chem­i­cal me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal de­vice which was used in the 19th cen­tu­ry. In­side the glass is a mix­ture of cam­phor, am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride and potas­si­um ni­trate. The am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride and potas­si­um ni­trate in­crease the den­si­ty of the so­lu­tion, and the cam­phor crys­tals serve as a weath­er in­di­ca­tor. The form and size of the crys­tals in the jar de­pend di­rect­ly on the tem­per­a­ture. Both adults and chil­dren will en­joy ob­serv­ing the storm glass. It should be placed near a win­dow, but keep it away from sun­light. Ac­cord­ing to some re­searchers, you can pre­dict the weath­er a few min­utes be­fore it changes.

  • Trans­par­ent liq­uid – good, fine weath­er
  • Crys­tals on the bot­tom – fog­gy air, frosts in win­ter
  • Cloudy liq­uid with lit­tle starsstorms
  • Large flakes – heavy air, cloudy skies, snow in win­ter
  • Cloudi­ness in the up­per part – windy weath­er
  • Lit­tle dots – hu­mid weath­er, fog
  • Flakes grow and re­main high up – wind in the up­per lev­els of air
  • Lit­tle stars – in win­ter bright, sun­ny days, snow for one or two days

The high­er the crys­tals grow in the glass pipe in the win­ter, the cold­er it will be.