Metro-East Living

Trivia: How much do you know about the weather?

1. What instrument do meteorologists use to measure wind speed?

2. What significant change in naming hurricanes was made in 1978?

3. What was the deadliest tornado to hit the United States?

4. What is the common term for a warm ocean current of variable intensity that develops after late December along the coast of Ecuador and Peru and sometimes causes catastrophic weather conditions?

5. What is Tetsuya Fujita’s claim to fame?

6. What do cirrus clouds look like?

7. True or false: The higher the dew point, the greater the moisture content is in the air.

8. What do forecasters call a strong, high-level wind found in the atmosphere that can reach speeds in excess of 200 mph, usually occurring 6 to 9 miles above the ground. These winds often steer the movement of surface air masses and weather systems?

9. What does a hygrometer do?

10. What does El Nino mean and how did it get its name?

11. What’s another name for the “northern lights,” which occur 50 to 100 miles above the earth, when energetic particles from a solar storm cause the gases in the upper atmosphere to glow?

12. What do you call the dense and vertically developed clouds that cause thunderstorms?

13. What star of the 1950s TV show “My Little Margie” had two weather-related names.

14. What do forecasters call a fast-moving low pressure system that occurs during the winter and sweeps southeast from Alberta, Canada, across the northern Great Plains and Midwest of the United States? These storms usually bring a few inches of snow.

15. What’s a common comment really tall people have to put up with?

Bonus: Why doesn’t anyone go to restaurants on the moon?


1. Anemometer

2. Hurricane names began alternating between female and male monikers. The growing number of female meteorologists were raising a storm of protest over male-only hurricanes.

3. The “Tri-State Tornado” killed 695 people and injured 2,027, traveling more than 300 miles through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana on March 18, 1925. It had winds of 260-plus mph).

4. El Nino.

5. In 1971, he introduced the Fujita Scale for measuring the intensity of tornadoes based on the damage they inflict on human-built structures and vegetation. The Fujita Scale has since been revised. It ranges from F0 to F5.

6. Cirrus are thin, wispy clouds that form high in the atmosphere as their water vapor freezes into ice crystals.

7. True. Dew point is the temperature at which water starts to condense out of a particular air mass. The dew point temperature changes only when the moisture content of the air changes.

8. Jet stream

9. Measures humidity levels

10. It’s Spanish for “The male (Christ) child.” The warm Pacific current typically appears at Christmastime.

11. Aurora Borealis

12. Cumulonimbus

13. Gale Storm

14. Alberta Clipper

15. How’s the weather up there?

Bonus: No atmosphere