Nation's First Weather Museum
WRC TV StudioDid you ever wonder how a TV weather person does their job? Well,now, all the secreats are revealed! The meteorologist uses a "green screen" to project the background images of an interactive weather map or forecast graphic. The weather person is able to see their position, movements and script using a strategically placed TV monitors. Using the same technology as the pros, you can make your own weather report with meteorologists from the local news stations! Brought to you by:
WRC INTERACTIVE CLIMATE ZONEWhat is the difference between weather and climate? Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a given time and place. Meteorologists monitor the atmosphere by recording different atmospheric variables such as temperature, humidity, wind velocity, and air pressure. Climate on the other hand, is the long term average of recorded weather conditions. Climatologists monitor the temperature, preceipitation, and prevailing winds of a certain place. The climate of a place determines the type of environment a place will have. Deserts, tropical rainforest, tundra, prairies, and glacial ice flows are all determined by climate. Look around the room to learn more about different climates. You will also see our climate zone map. See if you can match the climate definitiions to the correct climate zone on the map!
HURRICANES, CYCLONES, TYPHOONSWhat is the difference between a hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon? They are actually the same type of storm. The only difference is their location. Hurricanes form in the Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Pacific, Cyclones in the Indian Ocean, and Typhoons in the Western Pacific Ocean. Around the room you will see images from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita from 2005, Tropical Storm Allison of 2001 which devastated the Texas Coast by dumping over 35 inches of rainfall, and WRCís Tropical Cyclone Prediction which uses a model that is based on the solar cycle of the sun. You can also view a computer simulation demonstrating where the storm surge would go if a Category 5 hurricane hit the Upper Texas Coast. Please take notice of the WRCís hurricane survival kit. Every family who lives in hurricane prone areas should have one. Are you prepared?
HURRICANE IKE 2008In early September 2008, Hurricane Ike was moving across the Atlantic and by the 11th, it was growing in size to a massive hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico headed for the Upper Texas Coast. Ike made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane very early in the morning on September 13 into Galveston, Texas. Tides started to rise the day before the storm made landfall and storm surge caused significant damage to Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. Power was lost to over 2 million people in the Houston area. Strong winds destroyed trees and homes.
SEVERE WEATHER - TORNADO CHAMBERThis exhibit was designed and built by engineers and meteorologists at the National Weather Service Office in Corpus Christi. Witness a tornado created in water vapor and touch it while learning how a vortex forms. A tornado begins in a severe thunderstorm called a supercell, which is a large rotating thunderstorm. The severe thunderstorms which produce tornadoes form where cold dry polar air meets warm moist tropical air. This happens most commonly in a section of the United States called Tornado Alley. Tornadoes can form any time during the year, but most form in May. A tornadoís intensity is rated by the Enhanced Fujita scale (EF0 to EF5) which measures the damage a tornado inflicts on human-built structures and sometimes on vegetation
CITY ON THE BAYOU: HOUSTON"S HISTORY THROUGH FLOODSHouston was founded by the Allen brothers on August 30, 1836 at the confluence of Buffalo and White Oak Bayous. Every structure in the new settlement was soon flooded and Houston continues to experience many floods each year. Remember, turn around donít drown! See how the weather, specifically the Houston-area bayousí propensity for flooding, has shaped Houstonís history and development as a community. Vintage photographs of past historic Houston floods from the Museumís collection as well as contemporary weather photographs are displayed. Also, see how retention ponds can reduce flooding with the Flash Flood table.
OBSERVATION DECKHave you ever wonder how meteorologists observe the weather? There are several instruments used including satellite, radar, barometers, anemometers, and thermometers, among many others. Devices such as ASOS stations, which are surface observing stations, buoys, and ships all use these instruments to provide daily readings. Observation data from the ASOS stations is produced every hour and is written in numerical code called METAR. Learn how to decode the METAR and then plot a weather station from the data.
WEATHER VIDEOSView current and classic tornado and hurricane footage and learn the basics of weather in the Museum's video room
EXPERIENCE HURRICANE FORCE WINDS!
Stop by and check out our newest exhibit, the Hurricane Simulator! For only $2.00 you can experience the winds of a catetory 1 hurricane. Afterwards, take a look at the cyclone room to see what you can do to prepare for a hurricane.
WEATHER HISTORYThe techniques of weather forecasting have changed drastically over the past 100 years, and World War II marked a very important time for the growth of meteorology. Lives depended on the weather and many advances were made to enhance our ability to predict the changing atmosphere. This exhibit houses equipment dating back to the early 1900s up until the 1990s. You will see items including an adding machine manufactured in 1908 to teletypes used in the 1950s and even a Principal User Processor used to view Doppler radar by the National Weather Service in the 1990s.