Atmo 336 – Section 001 Name



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ATMO 336 – Section 001 Name__________________________


Exam 3 – Spring 2015
Multiple Choice Section (3.5 points each [73.5 Points Maximum])

Mark final answers on the multiple choice answer sheet. You must turn in the entire exam.




  1. If you see lightning, then hear thunder 20 seconds later, the lightning was about ______ miles away.

    1. 2 (b) 4 (c) 5 (d) 10




  1. The majority of people who are struck by lightning actually survive it.

(a) True (b) False


  1. Which is more common, cloud-to-ground lightning or in-cloud lightning?

    1. Cloud-to-ground lightning (b) In-cloud lightning




  1. Thunder is the explosion that occurs when positive and negative charges collide and neutralize.

(a) True (b) False


  1. Most major hurricanes that hit the United States begin as tropical easterly waves that move off the continent of ________.

(a) Europe (b) Asia (c) Africa (d) South America


  1. On average, which ocean basin produces the most hurricanes per year?

    1. Eastern North Pacific (off west coast of Mexico)

    2. Western South Pacific (near Australia) where they are called severe tropical cyclones

    3. North Atlantic Ocean

    4. Western North Pacific (near southeast Asia) where they are called typhoons




  1. For hurricanes in the northern hemisphere, the wind flow around the center of the storm is ______, while the entire storm itself is more likely to be moving from _____ rather than the other way around.

    1. clockwise ; west toward east (c) counterclockwise ; west toward east

    2. clockwise ; east toward west (d) counterclockwise ; east toward west




  1. When strong hurricanes make landfall, this aspect of the storm is usually responsible for the greatest destruction?

  1. Tornadoes that form when hurricanes approach land (c) Flooding due to heavy rain

  2. The storm surge (d) The strong winds




  1. The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) measures the total wind energy realized over the entire life cycle of a hurricane. Yearly total ACE can be computed by adding the ACE for all hurricanes that occur in a given year. Worldwide ACE data has been calculated each year since 1972. Which statement is most true about worldwide ACE over the last five years?

    1. Worldwide ACE has been below the average ACE for 1972 – 2014, i.e., relatively low

    2. Worldwide ACE has been above the average ACE for 1972 – 2014, i.e., relatively high

    3. Worldwide ACE changes very little from year to year




  1. Which of the flowing was the biggest reason for the large number of deaths with Hurricane Katrina?

    1. The National Hurricane Center did a poor job of forecasting the path and intensity of Katrina.

    2. Many residents ignored evacuation warnings.

    3. Storm chasers and fun-seekers flocked to the area for pictures and hurricane parties.

    4. All of the above were significant contributors to the large number of deaths.




  1. During the monsoon season in Tucson, the center of the 500 mb subtropical high pressure cell moves into a position _________ of Tucson. This causes the 500 mb winds over Tucson to become easterly.

    1. south (b) north (c) right on top

  2. On average, which type of severe weather probably kills the most people each year worldwide?

    1. Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

    2. Thunderstorms, including tornadoes, lightning, hail, and wind

    3. Flash Flooding

    4. Exposure to extreme temperatures




  1. On average in the U.S., the number of people who are killed by extreme weather events each year is about the same as the number of people what are killed in vehicle accidents.

    1. True (b) False




  1. The stratospheric “ozone hole” occurs _____________________ .

  1. everywhere on Earth during the Southern Hemisphere spring (September-December)

  2. everywhere on Earth during the Northern Hemisphere spring (April-June)

  3. over Antarctica during the Southern Hemisphere spring (September-December)

  4. over Antarctica during the Northern Hemisphere spring (April-June)




  1. Which statement is most correct?

    1. We know CFCs destroy ozone in the stratosphere, so developed countries of the world have for the most part stopped producing these chemicals.

    2. We know CFCs destroy ozone in the stratosphere, but most developed countries of the world continue to produce it anyway.

    3. It is not known for sure whether or not CFCs destroy ozone in the stratosphere, but to be safe most developed countries have stopped producing these chemicals.

    4. It is not known for sure whether or not CFCs destroy ozone in the stratosphere, therefore developed countries continue to produce it.




  1. Suppose we are examining the temperature climatology of a particular city. The larger the standard deviation of the temperature distribution, the _________ .

    1. greater the mean temperature (c) greater the variability in temperature

    2. lesser the mean temperature (d) lesser the variability in temperature




  1. January and February of 2014 featured a wide range of temperature across the United States. Detroit, Michigan and Green Bay, Wisconsin had their second-coldest January-February period on record. Meanwhile, Los Angeles, California and Tucson, Arizona had their warmest January-February period on record. What do these temperature observations tell us about the possible connection to human emissions of greenhouse gases?

    1. The cold cities provide good evidence that human emissions of greenhouse gases are not causing global warming.

    2. The warm cities provide good evidence that human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global warming.

    3. Both (a) and (b)

    4. Neither (a) nor (b)




  1. Suppose the average surface temperature in some regionally-defined climate zone goes up by 2° C in the next 50 years. Which conclusion is most sensible?

    1. Such a small change cannot have much impact on the life living in that climate zone.

    2. An increase of 2° C in the average temperature over only 50 years would almost certainly cause the current ecosystem in that climate zone to collapse.

    3. The change could significantly impact the life living in that climate zone since the probability of extremely hot temperatures in that climate zone may increase sharply.




  1. The Sun is continuously emitting photons of radiation. Most of these photons would be classified as which type of radiation?

  1. Ultraviolet (b) Infrared (c) Visible (d) Microwave

  1. Radiation energy from the Sun that strikes the top of Earth’s atmosphere can either be absorbed or scattered (reflected) away to outer space. Which of the following accounts for the largest portion of the Sun’s energy that strikes the top of our atmosphere?

    1. Reflection of radiation to outer space

    2. Absorption of radiation by gases and clouds in the atmosphere

    3. Absorption of radiation by the ground surface and oceans




  1. In which of the following latitude zones on Earth is radiation energy absorbed from the Sun larger than the radiation energy emitted from the Earth to outer space?

    1. Tropical regions from 20° South to 20° North latitude, which includes the equator

    2. Polar regions with latitudes greater than 60°, which includes the north and south poles

    3. Neither (a) nor (b). All latitudes must be in approximate balance with respect to radiation and radiation energy absorbed from the Sun equals radiation energy emitted from the Earth.

Exam3 – Spring 2015 Name ________________________

Multiple Choice Answer Sheet
1. a b c d 12. a b c d

2. a b c d 13. a b c d

3. a b c d 14. a b c d

4. a b c d 15. a b c d

5. a b c d 16. a b c d

6. a b c d 17. a b c d

7. a b c d 18. a b c d

8. a b c d 19. a b c d

9. a b c d 20. a b c d

10. a b c d 21. a b c d

11. a b c d

Short Answer Questions (10 Points each, [30 points maximum])

For each numbered question (1-3), you must select and answer either (a) or (b). Make sure you answer all parts of each question you select. Use the answer sheets provided. Answers are worth 10 points each. If you need more space for an answer, use the extra lines after short answer question 3.




  1. Select (a) or (b) – 10 Points

    1. Without going into specific detail, what happens in thunderstorms to set the stage for a cloud-to-ground lightning strike? Lightning safety experts have suggested the 30/30 rule for lightning safety. What do each of the 30s stand for in the 30/30 rule? Which of these safety guidelines are people most likely to not follow? Suppose you are caught outside in a thunderstorm that is producing lots of cloud-to-ground lightning. What are some things you should do (or avoid doing) to protect yourself from being struck by lightning?




    1. In your opinion are all weather-related deaths preventable? Briefly explain the reason for your answer. For the United States, in general terms describe how the average number of severe weather-related deaths has changed from the middle of the 20th century (1940s – 1960s) compared with recent decades? What are some of the reasons for this change? There are some people who claim that severe weather events have become more common and powerful today because of global warming. I said in class that unless there are fairly large increases or decreases in these events, it would be difficult to prove that there have been significant changes one way or the other. Briefly, why is it difficult to prove whether or not there has been a significant change in extreme weather events in recent years? Hint. What information would be needed to be able to determine whether or not extreme weather events have become more common and/or more powerful?




  1. Select (a) or (b) – 10 Points

    1. Refer to the figure below when answering this question. The first tropical storm for the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will be named Ana. Assume Ana becomes a category 1 hurricane and positioned as shown in the figure. The 24 hour forecast is for Ana’s eye to make landfall near Brownsville, TX, which is close to the Texas/Mexico border, as a category 2 hurricane. The hatched area on the coast indicates the land areas where hurricane force winds are expected to occur. The area on land between the two W’s marks the coastal areas that are put under a hurricane warning by the National Hurricane Center. Why is the hurricane warning area much larger than the area forecasted to get hurricane force winds? Assuming that the hurricane does make landfall exactly where predicted, where would you expect that the most damage will be done? You must explain the reason why the most damage will likely take place at that location. Based on the current state of hurricane forecasting, discuss the possibility of the storm surprising forecasters and rapidly strengthening to a category 4 storm before hitting the coast. Note. No information is provided about the environmental conditions like sea surface temperature or wind shear is provided and these should not be part of your answer.






    1. Suppose you read an article about a possible connection between global warming and hurricanes. What type of connection is hypothesized and what is the simple basis for the connection? The author claims that there is already evidence for this connection in the recent record of Atlantic Hurricanes. One piece of evidence cited is that hurricane property damage in the United States has been increasing in recent decades, even after adjusting the damage values for inflation. Note: That statement is basically correct. A second piece evidence cited is that there have been more and stronger Atlantic hurricanes in the last 20 years (1995 – 2014) compared to the previous 25 year period (1970 – 1994). Again that statement is basically correct. Do either of these two points provide good evidence that hurricanes are becoming more numerous and intense due to global warming? Briefly discuss why or why not for each of these two points individually.




  1. Select (a) or (b) – 10 Points

    1. How do each of the following influence the amount of ultraviolet exposure a person will receive (i) Latitude; (ii) Time of Day; and (iii) Altitude? Explain how the sun angle is important for latitude and time of day. Briefly explain the reason why altitude makes a difference with respect to uv exposure. How do most sunscreens work to protect from ultraviolet skin damage? Many years ago (say before 1970), most people did not apply sunscreen. Would it be true to say that people back then really didn’t need sunscreen because CFCs had not yet been developed? Explain.




    1. Describe what it means for a planet to be in “radiative equilibrium.Suppose the amount of cloud cover on Earth suddenly decreases to half of what it used to be. Explain why the planet would not be in radiative equilibrium immediately after the sudden decrease in cloud cover. If cloud cover now stays the same at the lower amount, describe how the planet Earth will return to a new state of radiative equilibrium?

** Use the lines below if you run out of room on the short answer sheet **
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Exam 2 – Spring 2015 Name__________________________

Short Answer Sheet
Question #1. Please select and answer either part (a) or (b). ______________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Question #2. Please select and answer either part (a) or (b). ______________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Question #3. Please select and answer either part (a) or (b). _______________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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