Texas Tech University

How Weather Works: Our Place Between the Sun and a Storm

Do you ever wonder where weather comes from? All weather, including tornadoes, blizzards, and hurricanes, can be traced back to two things: the sun and Earth's spin. As the sun heats a spinning Earth, the winds begin to blow, leading to all weather as we know it!

The exhibition, How Weather Works: Our Place between the Sun and a Storm, takes visitors through a set of interactive stations that build off of the previous experience.

Dr. Ancell is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences, Atmospheric Science Group. The exhibition is the result of an Early CAREER grant Dr. Ancell received from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER Award is highly competitive and is the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty members who, according to the NSF website, "exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of the organization."

The exhibition, funded by the National Science Foundation, opens June 24, 2016.


Resources for members of the media are available here.

weather exhibit - globe with laser and thermometer to show earth's temperature

The exhibition starts with a look at how the uneven tilt of the Earth caused uneven heating by the sun. Visitors will see surface temperature readings from pole to pole as the Earth moves around the sun. Click for high-resolution image.


weather exhibit - wind turbine field model

The exhibition ends with a look into how chaos affects weather. Chaos is the altering of any number of the components that create a weather pattern. The last station allows visitors to move a wind turbine in and out of the path of the wind and see how it affects the wind pattern directly behind. Click for high-resolution image.