Skip to content

Wild Weather with Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond travels the globe to discover the unexplained, the unexpected and the plain unlikely, in an attempt to reveal the hidden world of weather.

Share on Google Plus Share on LinkedIn View article Comments
Print

About the series

Weather is one of the most awe inspiring forces on earth. It’s capable of both devastating power and spectacular beauty. Where ever you are on the planet, weather shapes your world. Yet how it works remains a mystery for most of us.

In this series Richard Hammond gets right in amid weather to discover the unexplained and the unexpected, the unbelievable and the just plain unlikely, in an attempt to reveal the hidden world of weather.

See behind the scenes footage and discover more about each programme in our episode guides

Here at OpenLearn, we have compiled a great range of resources to accompany the series. You can:

We're delighted to announce that Wild Weather won the script award at the Wildscreen Panda Awards for 2016.

The programme was first broadcast from 1st December 2014. For further broadcast details, and to watch online where available, please visit the BBC website.

Order your FREE wild weather poster

Watch, try and then share your own wild weather experiment

Try a short course on weather

We have a series of low cost 100-hour flexible online courses introducing fascinating topics in science. These allow you to learn about a topic just for interest or maybe enable you to try out a new area of study before you commit yourself to further study. They feature:

  • The support of an expert learning adviser who can clarify study materials, answer questions and help you relate the course to your specific needs.
  • An online interactive quiz that you can attempt as many times as you wish to help you test your own learning.
  • A statement of participation from the OU which you can use to demonstrate your engagement with the course. (N.B. The course does not carry 'points' that can count towards a degree.)

Find out more about Science: the weather

Like science? Take it further with an OU degree

The episodes

Wind: The Invisible Force

Along the way he is part of a world first when he joins up with an American meteorologist called Reed Timmer and a bizarre vehicle known as The Dominator III.

Their aim is to succeed in doing what no one has ever done before, fire a probe into a tornado to measure its speed where it is at its fastest - right next to the ground. As Reed explains, 'near the base of the tornado is one of the biggest mysteries of tornado science and it's also the most important to understand because those are the wind speeds... that cause all the destruction'. To put that right, Reed and his team take The Dominator into the middle of a real live tornado and attempt to fire a probe into the very heart of it.

Richard also visits one of the few places on the planet capable of duplicating a real-life tornado. The Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment Research Institute (or WindEEE for short) in Ontario in Canada hadn't even opened its doors when Richard asked them to take part in an experiment. The $23 million facility is one of the the world's first hexagonal wind tunnels. As Richard says, 'I've got goosebumps. And that's not just because it's cold in here!'

Richard braves the winds and temperatures of -50 degrees Fahrenheit to take a trip outside on top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. On April 12th 1934, that station measured one of the highest wind speeds ever measured on land - 231 mph.

How the episode was made

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
Wind: The Invisible Force Richard Hammond investigates how wind actually starts. He visits one of the windiest places on the planet, walks into... Read more
Water: The Shape Shifter Richard Hammond investigates the crucial role water plays. Without water there would be almost no weather: no rain,... Read more
Temperature: The Driving Force Richard Hammond investigates the crucial role temperature plays in all weather. Without heat, there would be no... Read more