Instrument based climate record and climatology of severe weather

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1. Where is the Earth’s heat equator located?

a. 30 degrees S

b. 10 degrees S

c. at the geographical equator

*d. 10 degrees N

e. 30 degrees N

2. Which factor contributes to the location of the heat equator?

a. most of the Antarctic continent is submerged under ice sheets

b. the Northern Hemisphere polar region is mostly ocean

c. the Northern Hemisphere has a greater fraction of land in tropical latitudes

*d. All of the above are correct.

e. Only a and b are correct.

3. The latitudinal shift in isotherms is greatest over the

*a. continents.

b. ocean.
4. The __________ hemisphere has a steeper temperature gradient.

a. summer

*b. winter
5. The western sides of continents typically experience

a. wet winters and wet summers.

*b. wet winters and dry summers.

c. dry winters and dry summers.

d. dry winters and wet summers.
6. The eastern sides of continents generally experience __________ seasonal variability in monthly precipitation totals.

*a. little

b. considerable
7. Precipitation generally declines poleward of 40 degrees latitude due to __________ precipitable water values.

a. high

*b. low
8. Reliable instrumented temperature records date from the late

a. 1500s.

b. 1600s.

c. 1700s.

*d. 1800s.
9. The “hockey stick” curve shows temperatures trended

a. upward for the entire 1000-year period.

b. downward for the entire 1000-year period.

c. gently upward and then sharply downward into the 21st century.

*d. gently downward and then sharply upward into the 21st century.
10. Almost all of the warmest years since the late 1880s occurred in the

a. 1940s and 1950s.

b. late 1960s and early 1970s.

c. early 1980s.

*d. late 1990s and early 2000s.

e. None of the above is correct.

11. Many weather/climate stations have experienced changes in

a. topographic setting.

b. exposure.

c. proximity to influence of large bodies of water or urban centers.

*d. All of the above are correct.

e. None of the above is correct.

12. What change in the water cycle is predicted for the future to accompany global warming?

a. increased atmospheric water vapor over the ocean

b. overall increase in precipitation

c. greater frequency of extreme rainfall events

d. greater frequency of drought events

*e. All of the above are correct.

13. A thunderstorm is considered to be a __________ weather system.

a. synoptic-scale

b. micro-scale

*c. meso-scale

d. planetary-scale
14. By convention, the __________ stage of the life cycle of a thunderstorm begins when precipitation first reaches Earth’s surface.

a. towering cumulus

*b. mature

c. dissipating

15. Severe weather is most likely to occur during the __________ stage of the life cycle of a thunderstorm cell.

a. towering cumulus

*b. mature

c. dissipating

16. The dissipating stage is characterized by

a. updrafts only.

b. strong updrafts and downdrafts.

*c. downdrafts only.

17. A meso-scale convective complex (MCC)

a. is responsible for most growing season rainfall across the Great Plains and Midwest.

b. usually covers a large area.

c. is primarily a warm-season phenomenon.

d. generally develops at night.

*e. All of the above are correct.

18. What condition is necessary for thunderstorm formation?

a. humid air in the low- to mid-troposphere

b. atmospheric instability

c. a source of uplift

*d. All of the above are correct.

e. Only b and c are correct.

19. Which type of thunderstorm system can produce severe weather?

a. squall line

b. meso-scale convective complex

c. supercell thunderstorm

*d. All of the above are correct.

e. Only a and c are correct.

20. Which region of the United States experiences the most average annual thunderstorm days?

a. Northeast

*b. Southeast

c. Great Plains

d. Pacific Northwest

e. Southwest

21. A severe thunderstorm cell may be accompanied by

a. surface winds exceeding 50 knots.

b. hailstones 0.75 in. or larger.

c. flash floods.

d. tornadoes.

*e. Any of these is correct.

22. Lightning is a brilliant flash of light associated with an electrical discharge

a. between clouds and Earth’s surface.

b. within a cloud.

c. between clouds.

*d. All of the above are correct.

e. Only a and b are correct.

23. When lightning occurs, we hear thunder __________ we see the lightning bolt.

a. before

b. at the same time that

*c. after

24. Hail is typically produced by thunderstorm cells that are characterized by

a. weak updrafts.

b. great vertical development.

c. an abundant supply of supercooled water droplets.

d. All of the above are correct.

*e. Only b and c are correct.

25. Annual reports of severe hail and wind occurrences in the United States have __________ since 1955.

a. trended rapidly downward

b. remained fairly constant

*c. trended rapidly upward

26. A characteristic of most tornadoes in the North­ern Hemi­sphere is

a. clockwise rotation as viewed from above.

b. a track toward the east or northeast.

c. association with a severe thunderstorm cell.

d. All of the above are correct.

*e. Only b and c are correct.

27. From 1999-2008, which state had the highest annual number of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles?

a. California

b. Colorado

*c. Kansas

d. Texas

e. Florida

28. Most tornadoes in the United States are rated

*a. EF0 and EF1.

b. EF2 and EF3.

c. EF4 and EF5.

29. The peak months for tornado activity in the U.S. are

a. January and February.

*b. May and June.

c. August and September.

d. October and November.

e. None of the above is correct.

30. A hurricane differs from an extra-tropical cyclone in that a hurricane

a. has no fronts.

b. develops within a uniform warm and humid air mass.

c. is more intense but smaller.

d. has cyclonic circulation that weakens rapidly with increasing altitude.

*e. All of the above are correct.

31. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when the maximum sustained wind speed reaches

a. 24 mph.

b. 49 mph.

*c. 74 mph.

d. 100 mph.

e. 125 mph.

32. The eye of a hurricane is characterized by

a. almost cloudless skies.

b. subsiding air.

c. light winds.

*d. All of the above are correct.

e. Only a and b are correct.

33. The eye wall of a hurricane is

*a. a ring of intense thunderstorms.

b. the least dangerous part of the storm.

c. an area of calm winds.

d. All of the above are correct.

e. None of the above is correct.

34. From 1970 to 1999, most hurricane-related fatalities were caused by

a. storm surge.

b. lightning.

c. hurricane-spawned tornadoes.

d. wind.

*e. freshwater flooding.

35. Destruction from a category 4 or 5 hurricane has the potential to be __________ times greater than that caused by a category 1 hurricane.

a. 2 to 3

b. 4 to 5

c. 10 to 30

*d. 100 to 300
36. What area is not a major hurricane breeding ground?

a. tropical North Atlantic Ocean

b. western Pacific Ocean

*c. tropical South Atlantic Ocean

d. Indian Ocean

e. North Pacific Ocean west of Mexico

37. Hurricanes do not form at the equator because

a. sea-surface temperatures typically are too low.

*b. there is no Coriolis Effect.

c. fronts are present.

d. All of the above are correct.

e. None of the above is correct.

38. A condition necessary for hurricane formation is

a. high sea-surface temperatures.

b. adequate Coriolis Effect.

c. strong winds aloft.

*d. Only a and b are correct.

e. Only b and c are correct.

39. Most Northern Hemisphere hurricanes occur

a. in winter.

*b. from August through October.

c. from November through March.

d. from May to July.

e. in early spring.

40. The major source of energy in a hurricane is the
a. downdraft in the eye wall.
b. polar front jet stream aloft.
c. strong temperature contrast across fronts.
*d. release of the latent heat of vaporization.

e. None of the above is correct.

41. What is the seasonal average of Atlantic tropical storms?

a. 2.2

b. 5.5

*c. 10.6

d. 16.2

e. 25.5
42. Which state is most prone to landfalling hurricanes?

*a. Florida

b. North Carolina

c. Mississippi

d. Virginia

e. New Jersey
43. The U.S. Pacific Coast is rarely a target of hurricanes due to

a. the strength of the northeast trade winds.

b. the cold California Current.

c. coastal upwelling.

*d. All of the above are correct.

e. Only a and b are correct.

44. The __________ ranks first in average annual number of tropical cyclones.

*a. western North Pacific Ocean

b. Pacific Ocean west of Mexico

c. North Atlantic Ocean

d. South Indian Ocean

e. Pacific Ocean south of Australia

45. Upon reaching 30 degrees N latitude, a hurricane typically curves towards the

a. northwest.

b. south and southeast.

*c. north and northeast.

d. southwest.
46. Lessons of the climate record reveal that climate variability and change are geographically __________ in both sign and magnitude.

a. uniform

*b. non-uniform
47. Polar amplification implies that the most rapid warming takes place at

a. low latitudes.

b. middle latitudes.

*c. high latitudes.

48. The climate record shows the time of transition between climatic episodes to be __________ the duration of the individual episodes.

*a. much shorter than

b. about the same as

c. much longer than

49. Climate change consists of a

a. long-term trend in elements of climate such as mean temperature or average precipitation.

b. change in the frequency of extreme weather events.

*c. Both of the above are correct.

50. A singularity is a weather episode that tends to occur on or about a certain date

*a. more frequently than change would indicate.

b. due to well-documented climate forcings.

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