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Lodovica Illari
John Marshall
, and
W. D. McKenna


The “Weather in a Tank” project offers instructors a repertoire of rotating tank experiments and a curriculum in fluid dynamics to better assist students in learning how to move between phenomena in the real world and basic principles of rotating fluid dynamics that play a central role in determining the climate of the planet. Despite the increasing use of laboratory experiments in teaching meteorology, many teachers and students do not have access to suitable apparatuses and so cannot benefit from them. This article describes a “virtually enhanced” laboratory that could be very effective in getting across a flavor of the experiments and bring them to a wider audience. In the pedagogical spirit of Weather in a Tank, the focus is on how simple underlying principles, illustrated through laboratory experiments, shape the observed structure of the large-scale atmospheric circulation.

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