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Science Experiment: Storm Surge

Hi kids, parents, and teachers! Science projects and experiments can be fun. However, be sure to always have a parent or teacher supervising to make sure things are safe!

Purpose: To understand the effect of the storm surge during a hurricane. The power of a hurricane can actually raise the ocean level causing flooding. How does this happen? For more on hurricanes go to our hurricane page or Dangerous Weather for Kids.

Materials Procedure
  1. Make a funnel out of construction paper to fit over the fan.
  2. Tape it to the wide end of the fan to concentrate the wind.
  3. Fill the dishpan with water to within about 5 cm of the top.
  4. Mark the water level at one end of the pan with the grease pencil.
  5. Position the fan so that it will blow towards the marked end.
  6. Turn the fan on so that the wind blows across the surface of the water.
  7. Note the water level and mark with the grease pencil.
  8. Turn off the fan and measure the difference between the first mark and the second mark.
  9. Record in science journal.
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 but tilt the dishpan to raise the water level near the first mark to create a high tide.
Conclusion/Questions
  1. Explain storm surge.
  2. Explain how a high tide would affect the storm surge and coastal damage.
  3. Conduct research on recent hurricanes to find out the storm surge heights and total amount of damage. Explain how the two are related.
Reference: NASA SciFiles

More Weather Experiements:
Coriolis Effect - How the spin of the Earth effects our daily lives.
Wind - Learn what creates wind.

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