Storm glass – your personal weather station


At this time of the year we can not please stability unstable weather: rain, snow, wind, fog, or even – all the best from. Today, similar changes very few people can surprise, after all, you can always check the Internet weather forecast with hourly precision or buy expensive and superfunctional weather station. Well, or at least outside your window old thermometer informs you about the temperature outside.

Creature comforts are fine, and no one disputes their importance or convenience, but, to quote a famous movie, sometimes you want to exclaim: «my God, how boring we live! We lost the spirit of adventure! We stopped to do great good stupidity…» If you share our enthusiasm and mood, let’s try to build a very interesting thing, which will allow us a little «pohimichit» and make a useful machine for determining the weather.

Storm glass was invented in the mid 1700’s and has been well received at almost every ship and in every European port, because the device skillfully recognize the approach of bad weather. But the world popularity has received thanks to the storm glass Admiral Fitzroy, who used it in his journey with Darwin on the Galapagos Islands. Why the second name of the device – the «FitzRoy Storm Glass».


Thanks to the use of vodka rather than pure ethanol and water, these proportions are slightly different from the traditional, but the recipe is optimally balanced to achieve the original effect. A big plus is that a chemical solution does not require extreme precision to work properly.

1. You need to create Stormglass

• Vodka, 100% tested (50% ethanol) – 300 ml;

• Camphor – 28G (1oz);

• Potassium nitrate – 10 g;

• Ammonium chloride, 10 g.

Might have to be smart to get some items, but if you watched the show «breaking bad», you should understand that there are no obstacles to achieve goals. Moreover, the potassium nitrate or ammonium chloride could be substituted for other soluble salts, e.g., sodium chloride.

2. The cooking process

If you put together all the right elements, I believe that the hardest part is already behind us. Now you need to pour into a glass container (ideally a broad chemical flask of vodka, add the right amount of camphor and nitrate of potassium. Don’t forget the ammonium chloride.

The crystals inside Stormglass dissolve and arise yourself, as temperatures tend to change on a daily basis. If you want to start the experiment with a clean slate again, and to achieve full transparency of the liquid, you should put the used bulb in a pot, and a heat treatment «water bath» for 10 minutes to completely dissolve the old crystals. Be sure to pay attention to what the cap should be relaxed to prevent excess pressure from heating.

3. Marking

Since this manual was written, based on the original method, and interpret the significance will be in accordance: with the help of the book «Pharmaceutical formulas» Peter McEwan as published in 1908.

The interpretation of changes of the solution

• Transparent liquid: good Sunny weather;

• Crystals for the day: the thick air, frost in winter;

• Turbid liquid with small stars: thunderstorms;

• Major cereals: the heavy air, cloudy skies, snow in winter;

• Clouding in the upper part: windy weather;

• Small point: damp weather, fog;

• Rising flakes which remain high: the wind in the upper layers of air;

• Little stars: in winter, clear Sunny days, snow one or two days;

• The higher the crystals grow in the glass tube in winter, the cold will.

In General, man, now you’re thoroughly prepared for the advent of winter and none of the vagaries of the weather you are no longer afraid. Most importantly, dress warmly and be careful with chemicals.

If you do not be lazy and do this cool thing, necessarily bragging to us his creation.

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