thumbnail

Meteorology True or False

There are some surprising truths among these "facts".
Quiz by krynser
Rate:
Last updated: March 14, 2022
First submittedMarch 14, 2022
Times taken349
Average score60.0%
Rating3.50
Report this quizReport
3:00
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
Scoring
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your fastest time is
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
1. Waterspouts turn into tornadoes when they reach land.
True
False
Fair-weather waterspouts will not, but atmospheric conditions beneficial to tornadic activity can sustain a waterspout over land.
2. Overpasses are safe places to shelter under during a tornado.
False
True
This myth was propagated by a survivor who attributed their success to this maneuver. In reality, it was a combination of luck and is a great example of survivorship bias.
3. Heat lightning produces no thunder and can happen without a cloud.
False
True
Heat lightning is no different than ordinary lightning. The difference here is that the observer is usually too far away to hear thunder and that it often occurs in the evenings when light scattering can hide the clouds in haze.
4. You can tell which direction lower pressure is by putting your back to the wind and pointing left in the northern hemisphere.
True
False
See Buys Ballot's Law. The opposite is true in the southern hemisphere. Technically, it's not at a right angle to your torso, you need to add about 30° to make it accurate due to friction.
5. You can determine how far away lightning is by counting the seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder.
False
True
This can differ based on the state of the atmosphere, but generally every 5 seconds between the flash and thunder is 1 mile.
6. Wet air is less buoyant than dry air.
True
False
A water vapor molecule has at atomic weight of 18 and atmospheric oxygen is 32, meaning that all else being equal, the more saturated air is less dense.
7. Lightning doesn't strike the same place twice.
True
False
This is why lightning rods were invented. otherwise, once your building was struck once, you would never need another one.
8. If the sky is red at sunset, then you can expect fair weather. If it is red at sunrise, you can expect poor weather.
True
False
High pressure is synonymous with fair weather, usually, and causes are to sink and become stable. Because pollutants can no longer escape, the setting sun has more molecules to refract off of when the high pressure is from the west. The opposite is true in the morning where a red sky means that the high pressure has passed to the east.
9. Lightning can be generated in ash clouds from a volcano.
True
False
The clouds are called pyrocumulus or flammgenitus.
10. Opening your windows before a tornado can equalize the pressure and prevent your house from exploding.
True
False
Unless your house is a vacuum, this isn't going to make a difference. Always seek shelter first, and don't stop to open your windows.
11. Water swirls in your toilet one way in the northern hemisphere, and the opposite in the southern hemisphere due to the Coriolis Force.
True
False
This is often attributed to the Coriolis Force but the Coriolis Force only has appreciable changes over very long distances. The angle of the jets of your toilet have far more impact.
12. You can tell the temperature based on a cricket's chirps.
False
True
Known as Dolbear's Law, count the amount of chirps in 14 seconds and add 40 for the temperature in Fahrenheit.
13. Large cities prevent tornadoes because the terrain is not flat enough.
True
False
There are plenty of examples of tornadoes in large cities. Three touched down in New York City in 20120.
14. The most dangerous part of a hurricane or typhoon is the wind.
True
False
While the wind can be dangerous, most deaths and damage occur due to flooding.
15. Wind doesn't make a sound until it contacts an object.
True
False
Weird to think about, huh?
+6
Level 67
Mar 21, 2022
I didn't know New York would get hit with 3 tornadoes is 20120. That's some pretty bold fortune telling.
+2
Level 75
Mar 21, 2022
Pretty amazing New York will still exist for another 18,000 years though
+1
Level 63
Mar 21, 2022
Good catch! Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed.
+1
Level 60
Mar 21, 2022
Guess I shouldn't have went for majoring in Geography
+1
Level 50
Mar 29, 2022
This quiz has far too many questions on tornadoes, and not enough on tropical cyclones.