About the Exhibition

Goals

The goals of the Wild Weather exhibition are to:
  • Provide an engaging, immersive, and entertaining experience for visitors to explore severe weather – its power and its unpredictability;
  • Increase visitors understanding of the science behind severe weather, its connection to the world’s changing climate, the emerging technologies and forecasting techniques; and
  • Showcase the stories of people who are working to better understand severe weather events in order to improve our ability to predict and mitigate the impacts of severe weather, and prepare for future conditions as our climate changes.

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Key Messages

The following are key messages of the Wild Weather exhibition:
  • Severe weather can be a powerful and unpredictable force with the capability to cause great damage to communities, infrastructure and lives.
  • Scientists are working hard to better understand how severe weather works in order to create more accurate forecasts and to better understand extreme weather events in a changing climate.

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About the Exhibition

Severe weather is a powerful and unpredictable force that causes great damage to communities, infrastructure and lives. This 6,000 square-foot highly interactive and entertaining blockbuster traveling exhibition is designed to immerse and engage visitors of all ages in the science of severe weather.

Visitors are given unique opportunities to experience severe weather: they will experience a research flight through a hurricane, witness the destruction of tornadoes, follow turbulent cloud formations and lightning strikes, become citizen scientists in the midst of a raging winter storm, and meet a researcher studying the force of wind in the lab. Through the exhibition’s unique experiences, visitors will discover how emerging technologies and recent scientific discoveries are improving our ability to forecast severe weather and prepare for future climate changes.

The exhibition is divided into key theme areas, each with its own mix of experiments, challenges, models, computer interactives, multimedia experiences, and full-scale images.

The following eight zones establish the flow of the exhibition:

Zone 1: Entrance Experience

The entrance provides a gateway into the experience of Wild Weather by introducing the overall themes of the exhibition.

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Zone 2: Tornadoes

Tornadoes are among our planet’s most unpredictable forms of weather. In this zone, visitors track tornadoes using the most up-to-date technology, discover the inner workings of this fierce form of weather, experiment with mini-tornadoes, and explore the impact of climate change on tornado formation and frequency. The centerpiece of this zone is a large tornado sculpture that features videos, special effects and amusing surprises.

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Zone 3: Severe Thunderstorms

From a light roll to a loud clap of thunder, visitors will experience the sights and sounds of a thunderstorm like never before. Visitors are “struck” by lightning in slow motion and discover firsthand how lightning forms and examine the amazing convective power of thunderstorms. They also learn how damaging winds, hail, and heavy rain contribute to a severe thunderstorm’s ferocity.

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Zone 4: Experience the Weather – Dance up a Storm!

Visitors can move across the floor and dance up a storm! As they create movement, they add more energy into the system, provoking storm elements. As the storm grows, visitors come to understand the power of severe weather and how it can affect people’s everyday lives.

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Zone 5: Severe Winter Storms

Visitors step into a cottage-like setting where a severe winter storm has left them totally snowed in. They can check the weather forecast on the TV and weather radio, manipulate the rate of snowfall to observe the results out the cottage “window,” and then become a citizen reporter to share their observations from the home weather station. They also search the cottage for emergency supplies and learn what they would need to survive the next 72 hours in this storm.

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Zone 6: Hurricanes

From destructive winds and heavy rainfall to damaging storm surges, visitors examine the devastating power of hurricanes. Visitors also discover how these storms form and are forecasted. They embark on a thrilling research flight into the eye of a hurricane, meet a hurricane researcher, and investigate how our changing climate will affect the intensity and frequency of hurricanes in the future.

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Zone 7: Severe Heat

Visitors discover how heat waves form, and how researchers have made a clear connection between the occurrence of this deadliest form of severe weather and climate change. Visitors learn how they can help prevent heat-related illness in a person, and they will investigate the dramatic effects of drought on our water systems and landscapes.

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Zone 8: Exit Experiences

The fun exit experience wraps up the exhibition. Visitors will see incredible weather videos from around the world, test their familiarity with storm warning signs, dispel common weather myths, and get “blown away” in a staged hurricane photo op.

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