Weather and Climate Quiz 

  1. Which one of these revolving weather systems is the smallest: hurricane, typhoon, tropical cyclone, tornado?
  2. Aside of the amusing reference popularised by Frank Zappa, what is the usual cause of a large-scale 'yellow snow' weather effect seen in certain parts of the world?
  3. What is the line on a weather chart which joins points of equal pressure?
  4. What colour of a single rainbow is on the inside of the rainbow's arc, given the generally defined seven-colour rainbow?
  5. Who invented the mercury thermometer?
  6. Okta is a unit of measurement of what?
  7. What common term refers to the amount of water vapour that is held in the air?
  8. Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson's father was responsible for what significant weather-related invention?
  9. What shipping forecast area lies immediately South of Forties off the British Isles?
  10. What common term refers to the movement of air from a high pressure to a low pressure zone?
  11. What is O3 (O followed by the number 3, usually shown in sub-script)?
  12. What wind speed limit applies for setting athletics sprinting and jumping records?
  13. What were all girls from 1953 to 1979, and thereafter alternating boys and girls?
  14. What is the circulating Atlantic ocean current which warms Western Europe?
  15. What's the more exotic name of the 'Northern Lights' visible under certain conditions in the Northern Hemisphere night sky?
  16. What is a haboob?
  17. What is the childlike name given to the significant weather activity linked to sea temperature rise in the Pacific Ocean?
  18. What are the narrow bands of strong winds called which move around the world between about six and twelve miles high?
  19. What is the unit of measurement of wind speed?
  20. What is the 'ology' term for the study or science of the weather (that's short-term weather systems and effects, not long-term climatology)?
  21. What was the name of the 1992 hurricane storm which caused massive damage to the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana?
  22. Towards which direction (North, East, South or West) is a rainbow normally seen in the afternoon?
  23. What cloud term means 'sheet' or 'sheetlike' or 'layer'?
  24. (Aside from a back and a front) how many sides or points does every snowflake have?
  25. The 'Inter-tropical Convergence Zone', where the trade winds meet near the equator to produce a band of relatively very still air, which can strand sailing ships, is known more prosaically as what?
  26. In the Northern hemisphere an area of low pressure produces what wind direction?
  27. What is the most common gas in the earth's atmosphere?
  28. What type of cloud is normally associated with thunderstorms?
  29. The heaviest recorded hailstones weighed (approximately) 25gms, 100gms, 500gms or 1kg?
  30. What number does 'storm' equate to on the Beaufort Scale of wind force?
  31. What is minus 40 degrees Farenheit expressed as degrees Centigrade?

Weather and Climate Quiz Answers

  1. Which one of these revolving weather systems is the smallest - hurricane, typhoon, tropical cyclone, tornado? Tornado
  2. Aside of the amusing reference popularized by Frank Zappa, what is the usual cause of a large-scale 'yellow snow' weather effect seen in certain parts of the world? Pollen
  3. What is the line on a weather chart which joins points of equal pressure? Isobar
  4. What colour of a single rainbow is on the inside of the rainbow's arc, given the generally defined seven-colour rainbow? Violet
  5. Who invented the mercury thermometer? Daniel Gabriel Farenheit
  6. Okta is a unit of measurement of what? Cloud cover
  7. What common term refers to the amount of water vapour that is held in the air? Humidity
  8. Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson's father was responsible for what significant weather-related invention? The Stevenson Screen
  9. What shipping forecast area lies immediately South of Forties off the British Isles? Dogger
  10. What common term refers to the movement of air from a high pressure to a low pressure zone? Wind
  11. What is O3 (O followed by the number 3, usually shown in sub-script)? Ozone
  12. What wind speed limit applies for setting athletics sprinting and jumping records? Two metres per second
  13. What were all girls from 1953 to 1979, and thereafter alternating boys and girls? Names of tropical storms or hurricanes
  14. What is the circulating Atlantic ocean current which warms Western Europe? The Gulf Stream
  15. What's the more exotic name of the 'Northern Lights' visible under certain conditions in the Northern Hemisphere night sky? Aurora Borealis
  16. What is a haboob? A sandstorm
  17. What is the childlike name given to the significant weather activity linked to sea temperature rise in the Pacific Ocean? El Nino
  18. What are the narrow bands of strong winds called which move around the world between about six and twelve miles high? Jet Streams
  19. What is the unit of measurement of wind speed? Knot
  20. What is the 'ology' term for the study or science of the weather (that's short-term weather systems and effects, not long-term climatology)? Meteorology
  21. What was the name of the 1992 hurricane storm which caused massive damage to the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana? Andrew
  22. Towards which direction (North, East, South or West) is a rainbow normally seen in the afternoon? East
  23. What cloud term means 'sheet' or 'sheetlike' or 'layer'? Stratus
  24. (Aside from a back and a front) how many sides or points does every snowflake have? Six
  25. The 'Inter-tropical Convergence Zone', where the trade winds meet near the equator to produce a band of relatively very still air, which can strand sailing ships, is known more prosaically as what? The Doldrums
  26. In the Northern hemisphere an area of low pressure produces what wind direction? Anti-clockwise
  27. What is the most common gas in the earth's atmosphere? Nitrogen
  28. What type of cloud is normally associated with thunderstorms? Cumulonimbus
  29. The heaviest recorded hailstones weighed (approximately) 25gms, 100gms, 500gms or 1kg? 1kg
  30. What number does 'storm' equate to on the Beaufort Scale of wind force? 10
  31. What is minus 40 degrees Farenheit expressed as degrees Centigrade? minus 40, the same (Thanks R Partis for this excellent question.)

 

More detailed answers and trivia

  1. Which one of these revolving weather systems is the smallest - hurricane, typhoon, tropical cyclone, tornado? Tornado (a tornado is a funnel of violently circulating air connected from the ground to a large storm cloud. A tornado has a diameter of anything between a few metres and 2 miles in extreme cases. Tornadoes generally travel no more than a few miles before dissipating, and can occur in most parts of the world. Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones are all terms from different parts of the world for a big revolving tropical storm, typically several hundred miles wide, emanating from the tropical ocean areas, and which incidentally can contain tornadoes when the storm moves over land. Hurricane activity peaks when the difference between sea temperature and upper atmospheric temperature is greatest, which to a certain extent produces predictable repeating storm seasons according to the regions in which they occur.)
  2. Aside of the amusing reference popularized by Frank Zappa, what is the usual cause of a large-scale 'yellow snow' weather effect seen in certain parts of the world? Pollen(typically from cypress pine trees)
  3. What is the line on a weather chart which joins points of equal pressure? Isobar (the term first appeared around 1864, and is from the Greek word isobares meaning 'of equal weight')
  4. What colour of a single rainbow is on the inside of the rainbow's arc, given the generally defined seven-colour rainbow? Violet (The traditionally defined colours of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. A single rainbow displays these colours from red on the outside of the arc to violet on the inside of the arc. In a double rainbow the second outer rainbow displays the colours in reverse the order. A rainbow in fact contains infinitely more than seven colour variations, but the seven colour system is the most widely used, which can be traced back to Isaac Newton's studies of prisms and light refraction in the 1670's. The seven-colour system probably persists partly due to the mnemonic aids used to remember them, notably 'Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain', or the more obscure 'Roy G Biv'.)
  5. Who invented the mercury thermometer? Daniel Gabriel Farenheit (1714 - Farenheit was German but worked mostly in the Dutch Republic. Galileo Galilei actually first devised the thermometer principle using water in 1593.)
  6. Okta is a unit of measurement of what? Cloud cover (according to the UN's weather and climate agency, the World Meteorological Organization, an Okta is a "Fraction equal to one eighth of the celestial dome, used in the coding of cloud amount." The scale is actually made of nine parts because there is a zero, and ranges from 0 okta - clear sky, to 8 oktas - completely overcast. The steps are typically interpreted as: 0-2 oktas are 'Fine', 3-5 oktas are 'Partly Cloudy', 6-7 oktas are 'Cloudy', and 8 is 'Overcast'. The derivation - thanks P Lubbers - is related to Latin 'octo' meaning eight, as in octopus and October, and more exactly the word okta is Greek for eight, and 'oktas' is Greek for 'a group of eight'.)
  7. What common term refers to the amount of water vapour that is held in the air? Humidity (Hotter air holds more moisture, or water vapour. Water vapour is a 'greenhouse gas'. Greenhouse gases cause temperatures to rise because they absorb energy. The hotter air holds still more moisture.)
  8. Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson's father was responsible for what significant weather-related invention? The Stevenson Screen (the strange white wooden box on legs for protecting weather instruments and increasing the consistency of measurements)
  9. What shipping forecast area lies immediately South of Forties off the British Isles? Dogger (the full list is: Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight, Humber, Thames, Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth, Biscay, FitzRoy, Trafalgar, Sole, Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Shannon, Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey, Fair Isle, Faeroes, South-east Iceland)
  10. What common term refers to the movement of air from a high pressure to a low pressure zone? Wind (not surprisingly a very old word indeed, first recorded in this form in AD725 in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, and traceable along with similar sounding foreign equivalent words for wind back to the earliest languages of European settlers)
  11. What is O3 (O followed by the number 3, usually shown in sub-script)? Ozone (also called activated oxygen, allotropic oxygen, triatomic oxygen or pure air; ozone is a fascinating gas: it is created from oxygen by ultraviolet radiation and thunderstorms; you can smell ozone by sniffing the air close to a spark-marking gas oven lighter, which in a tiny way replicates the ozone-creating effect of lightning in the atmosphere; it's a powerful disinfectant; it can purify water and preserve fruit and vegetables; it is refreshing in small doses and poisonous in large doses; it makes the sky blue; and in a warm temperature it reverts back to oxygen, O2, after just a few minutes)
  12. What wind speed limit applies for setting athletics sprinting and jumping records? Two metres per second (regardless of direction)
  13. What were all girls from 1953 to 1979, and thereafter alternating boys and girls? Names of tropical storms or hurricanes (as named by the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami Florida, which administers the lists of names to identify Atlantic tropical storms; names are English, Spanish or French and used on a six year rotating basis, unless belonging to a paricularly disasterous storm, in which case the name is removed from the list)
  14. What is the circulating Atlantic ocean current which warms Western Europe? The Gulf Stream (emanating from the Gulf of Mexico, and responsible for giving Western Europe warmer weather than would likely be experienced without the effect of the Gulf Stream. Climatologists continue to debate whether the Gulf Stream will be affected by global warming - some say that the Gulf Stream is threatened by melting ice from the North, with the ironic effect of reducing temperatures in Western Europe, despite the warming going on everywhere else in the world)
  15. What's the more exotic name of the 'Northern Lights' visible under certain conditions in the Northern Hemisphere night sky? Aurora Borealis (the Southern Hemisphere equivalent is the Aurora Australis - both North and South phenomena result from atoms colliding in the upper atmosphere, becoming energised and then giving off their energy as light, the colour of which varies according to the atomic gases and altitudes involved.)
  16. What is a haboob? A sandstorm (a haboob is a big sandstorm, most common in the Sahara and Arabian peninsula, but also occurring in Arizona, typically following thunderstorms)
  17. What is the childlike name given to the significant weather activity linked to sea temperature rise in the Pacific Ocean? El Nino (properly 'Niño' and pronounced 'neenyo' - it means 'the little boy', or 'Christ child', and causes severe weather of various sorts notably in South America and the Western Pacific region) (thanks R Hannah)
  18. What are the narrow bands of strong winds called which move around the world between about six and twelve miles high? Jet Streams (Airlines make use of jet streams to optimise travel times, although this has nothing to do with the word jet in this context, which derives ultimately from the Latin root jectare, to throw forth, which gave us the words project and projectile, and came to English via the French jeter, to throw)
  19. What is the unit of measurement of wind speed? Knot (1 knot equals approximately 1.15 miles per hour - the word knot is derived from the original method of measuring a vessel's speed though the water by counting over a given time the number of spaced knots on a length of rope dragged over a ship's stern by a specially shaped piece of wood on the end of the rope)
  20. What is the 'ology' term for the study or science of the weather (that's short-term weather systems and effects, not long-term climatology)? Meteorology (from the Greek 'things high up' added to 'logos' meaning knowledge)
  21. What was the name of the 1992 hurricane storm which caused massive damage to the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana? Andrew (Until Katrina, hurricane Andrew was the most destructive in US history, causing damage then estimated at $26bn. Andrew was replaced by Alex in the rota of hurricane names)
  22. Towards which direction (North, East, South or West) is a rainbow normally seen in the afternoon? East (because sunlight is usually from behind the viewer - so morning rainbows are normally in the West - sun rises in the East and sets in the West)
  23. What cloud term means 'sheet' or 'sheetlike' or 'layer'? Stratus (aside from which, cirrus means 'fibre', and cumulus means 'heap', and these with stratus are the three main cloud types established by London meteorologist Luke Howard when he set up the cloud name system published in 1803 and still in use today, albeit slightly increased from his original seven-cloud structure. It is said that when the World Meteorological Organisation added the ninth cloud type, cumulonimbus, to the structure in 1896 this gave rise to the expression 'on cloud nine')
  24. (Aside from a back and a front) how many sides or points does every snowflake have? Six (and every snowflake is different, although how they can be absolutely sure of that I really don't know..)
  25. The 'Inter-tropical Convergence Zone', where the trade winds meet near the equator to produce a band of relatively very still air, which can strand sailing ships, is known more prosaically as what? The Doldrums (the same convergence also creates heavy rainfall which on land is partly responsible for the rain forests)
  26. In the Northern hemisphere an area of low pressure produces what wind direction? Anti-clockwise (and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere. An area of low pressure - also called a depression or cyclone - is typically associated with clouds and wet and stormy weather. An area of high pressure - an anticyclone - is normally associated with fair dry weather and blue skies. Wind direction around an anticyclone is clockwise in the Northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the Southern hemisphere. Air movement, or wind, is logically towards low pressure and away from high pressure, but the rotation of the Earth causes the movement to spiral. This is known as the Coriolis Effect, which forces the cyclone or anticyclone along a curved path, and thus makes it spin.)
  27. What is the most common gas in the earth's atmosphere? Nitrogen (accounting for about 78%, followed by about 20% Oxygen, and relatively far smaller amounts of other gases including Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Neon, Methane, Helium, Ozone and water vapour)
  28. What type of cloud is normally associated with thunderstorms? Cumulonimbus (each towering cumulonimbus thundercloud takes an average of about an hour to form and to dissipate, from start to finish, during which it will dispense a maximum of about 30 minutes thunder and lightning - according to the UK Met Office)
  29. The heaviest recorded hailstones weighed (approximately) 25gms, 100gms, 500gms or 1kg? 1kg (that's one kilogram - among various reports of unfeasibly large hailstones, the heaviest recorded - according to the UK Met Office and Guinness Book of Records - are the 1kg hailstones that fell on Gopalanj in Bangladesh on 14 April 1986 and killed 92 people. The heaviest recorded hailstone in the UK was apparently 142gms, in Horsham West Sussex in 1958.)
  30. What number does 'storm' equate to on the Beaufort Scale of wind force? 10. The Beaufort Scale was published in 1805 by Irish hydrographer (navigable waters expert) Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort but he was not the first to devise such a scale. The UK Met Office has records of similar definitions appearing on much earlier representations of wind force scales, notably including the 'Table of Degrees' recorded in 1703 by writer and adventurer Daniel Defoe, who is better known for his books Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders.

    Here is the Beaufort Scale:

    0 - calm 
    1 - light air 
    2 - light breeze 
    3 - gentle breeze 
    4 - moderate wind 
    5 - fresh wind 
    6 - strong wind 
    7 - very strong wind or near gale 
    8 - gale 
    9 - severe gale 
    10 - storm 
    11 - severe storm or violent storm 
    12 - hurricane
  31. What is minus 40 degrees Farenheit expressed as degrees Centigrade? minus 40, the same (Thanks R Partis for this excellent question.) To convert Farenheit to Centigrade first subtract 32, then multiply by 5 and divide by 9. To convert Centigrade to Farenheit, apply the formula in reverse, i.e., divide by 5, multiply by 9, then add 32



Last modified: Wednesday, 12 December 2018, 3:52 PM