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139 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

What is the largest and most locally intense storm on the planet?

EF5 tornado

What are the wind speeds of an EF5 tornado?

Windspeeds more than 322 km/h

What is the average EF5 tornado is in the United States per year?

One per year

Where did the first documented EF5 tornado occur in Canada?

Eli, Manitoba in 2007

How wide was tornado in Eli, Manitoba? How long was it on the ground for?

300 m wide, stayed on the ground for 35 minutes

Who ranks first in the world for most tornadoes ?Who ranks second?

U.S; Canada

Where do storms derive their energy from?

1.Solar heating of the earth surface

2.condensation of water vapour in the atmosphere (latent heat)

Direct relationship between ____&____ of atmospheric systems

Size; duration



What’s the average length of time that synoptic and global atmospheric systems last?

Weeks to months

What is a thunderstorm?

Cumulonimbus clouds that produce lightning and thunder

What latitude are thunderstorms most frequent in?

Thunderstorms are most frequent in the tropics Overland

What is the estimated amount of thunderstorms that occur at worldwide?

16 million per year

Why is there increase thunderstorm activity for central Colorado in northern New Mexico?

Orographic lifting over the southern Rocky Mountains increases thunderstorm activity

Why is there an increase thunderstorm activity in Southern eastern United States?

The warm golf of Mexico and Atlantic ocean Rattalee evaporator increase atmospheric moisture. This moisture increases thunderstorm frequency in southern eastern United States

What is the definition of an air mass?

A large region of air, extending over thousands of kilometers, that his uniform and temperature and moisture characteristics

How are air mass types referred to?

Air mass types are referred to using abbreviations. Humidity characteristics come first, followed by temperature characteristics

What does the latitudinal position of the air mass indicate?


What does the underlying surface continent or ocean indicate for the air mass?


What are five different air mass type that effect North America?

1.Continental Arctic

2.continental polar

3.maritime polar

4.continental tropical

5.maritime tropical

What are the three types of thunderstorms?

1.Single cell thunderstorms

2.multi cell thunderstorms

3.supercell thunderstorms

what are the two most important factors that determine thunderstorm type?

1.Atmospheric humidity

2.wind shear

What is windshear?

Changes in wind speed and direction with altitude

What are single celled thunderstorms?

Relatively mild, short-lived thunderstorms that last up to an hour

Where do single celled thunderstorms often form?

They form within MT air masses where windshear is weak

Single celled thunderstorms typically experience predictable sequence of____,______and _____

Growth; Maturation; dissipation;

What are the three stages of a single cell thunderstorm?

1.Cumulus stage

2.mature stage

3.disappearing stage

What is the Cumulus stage of a single cell thunderstorm?

A cumulonimbus cloud forms in warm, upward flowing currents of air called up drafts. Air in updrafts rises and cools to it do. Period as condensation occurs, latent heat is released into the cloud, warming the interior and causing it to rise more vigourously

What is the mature stage of a single cell thunderstorm?

Strong updrafts develop, and rain drags air downwards as it falls, forming downdrafts. The upper region of the clouds are so cold that the liquid cloud droplets become glaciated and freeze into ice. At this stage, lightning, thunder, heavy rain, and hail are possible.

What is the dissipating stage of a single cell thunderstorm?

Following the mature stage, downdraft and net evaporation cause the storm to weekend. The following downdraft block the updraft and feed moisture to the cloud. Once up dress or weekend, the cloud quickly evaporates.

What are multi-cell thunderstorms?

A type of thunder storm that forms under conditions of Moderat windshear, is organized in squall lines or clusters, and often produces severe weather.

what are characteristics of multi celled thunderstorms?

Multi so thunderstorms sometime severe and typically last several hours

What is a squall line?

A line of multi self thunderstorm cells that typically form along a cold front

What is a gust front?

A cold surge of air at ground level

What is a derecho?

A gust front with wind speeds in excess of 93 km an hour over 400 km swat

Where do multi cell thunderstorms often form?

Form along friends rather than within air masses

What is a severe thunderstorm?

Defined as one that produces either hail 2.5 cm in diameter, a tornado, or when gusts of 93 km/h or greater.

Multi self under storm systems are arranged in clusters called what?

Mesoscale scale convective systems

What is a supercell thunderstorm?

A thunderstorm with the rotating cylindrical updraft that usually produces severe weather.

Where do you SuperCell thunderstorms usually form?

Form over land where there is humid air and strong wind shear

What type of thunderstorm produce a severe tornadoes?

Supercell thunderstorms

What is the mesocyclone?

The rotating cylindrical up draft with a super cell thunder storm

Explain the formation of a supercell thunderstorm in three steps (figure 5.7)?

1. windshear: windshear creates a horizontal rolling cylinder of area near the ground

2. Updraft and thunderstorm: an updraft in a thunderstorm tilts the cylinder vertical

3. mesocyclone: the rotating air create some mesocyclone. The mesocyclone it’s self is not a tornado, although it may cause a tornado to form.

What is a wall cloud?

A cylindrical cloud that pertunes from the base of a supercell thunderstorm

What is lightning?

Electrical discharge produced by thunderstorms

What is lightning discharged between cumulonimbus clouds called?

Cloud to cloud lightning

What is lightning called what it is discharged between a cumulonimbus cloud and the ground?

Cloud to ground Lightening

What is the diameter of a bolt of lightning?

2.5 cm in diameter

What is thunder?

Acoustic shockwave produce one lightning rapidly heats and expands the air around it

When lightning strikes the ground, it falls channels of ____resistance


What is a Fulgurite?

A grassy hollow tube forms were lightning strike sand

What causes lightning?

Lightning is formed as cumulonimbus clouds develop a separation of electrical charges

Generally, earth surface has a _____charge, and upper atmosphere has a _____charge

Negative; positive

How is a bolt of lightning discharged?

Two oppositely charged regions develop an electrical connection, and a bolt of lightning is discharged

Lightning heats the immediate air to what degree Celsius?

30,000°C (five times hotter than the surface of the sun)

What percent of the strikes of lightning are from cloud to ground?


A current of lightning is how many amperes?

60,000 to 100,000 amperes

How many times is Roy Sullivan struck by lightning?

Seven times

What is a tornado?

A violently rotating column of air that descendents from a cumulonimbus cloud and touches ground

Where do most tornadoes form from?

Supercell thunderstorms, hurricanes and cold fronts

What is a Funnel cloud?

A rotating column that the sense from a cumulonimbus cloud but is not in contact with the ground

What months of the year are tornadoes most commonly found in?

April to July

What time of day are tornado most commonly found in?

4 to 6 PM

How are tornadoes formed?

A powerful rotating updraft called a meso cyclone is pushed out words. one side has a cyclonic flow opposite side has anti-cyclone close

What is a hook echo signature?

A hook echo pattern reflective of rotation of the mesocyclone.

Where are tornadoes more frequent and violent?

North America

What percentage of tornadoes are rated from EF zero to EF one?


What type of tornadoes cause the majority of death?

EF4 and EF5 cause 2/3 of death

What city in the United States experiences the second highest frequency of tornadoes and what is the city often referred to?

Kansas, on the great plains referred to as tornado alley

Strong instability, high humidity ,and wind shear or create what type of thunderstorm?

Supercell thunderstorm

How are tornadoes ranked?

Using the enhanced Fujita scale (EF scale)

Damage done to the landscape

Damage done to the landscape

What is a tornado watch?

Alert issued by national weather service (and WS) when conditions are favourable for tornadic thunderstorms

What is a tornado warning?

Warning issued by NWS after tornado has been seen and called into work authorities or is suggested by Doppler radar hook echo signature

Where is the safest place to hide from the tornado?

The interior part of the basement or an inside room, without windows on the lowest floor

What is a hurricane?

Intense travelling cyclone of tropical and subtropical latitudes, accompanied by Highwinds and heavy rain for

What is a hurricane?

Intense travelling cyclone of tropical and subtropical latitudes, accompanied by Highwinds and heavy rain for

What are three different names for a tropical cyclone?




Where are hurricanes found?

Western hemisphere

Where are typhoons found?

Western Pacific in Asia

Where are cyclones found?

Indian Ocean

According to world meteorological organization (WMO) What characteristics must be seen to be classified as a hurricane?

-119 km/h

-accompanied by torrential rains

-Minimum surface pressure of 95 kPa

Which we do hurricanes rotate in the northern hemisphere?


What temperature does the ocean have to be for hurricanes to originate?

Greater than 26°C

What ladder to do hurricanes usually originate at?

7 to 15 N. and South degrees latitude

Between what month is hurricane season in the north Atlantic?

-June to November

Peak activity:August-October

What is the eye of the hurricane?

The eye has the lowest pressure of the storm. Within the centre of the eye, air gently sinks

What is the eye wall of the hurricane?

Eye wall is a region of tightly rotating air. Airflow spirals upward vertically to the trouble pause. The fastest wins in the heaviest rain of the storm are found in the eye wall.

What are rain bands of the hurricane?

Rain bands are regions of uplift that wrap around the storm and spiral in word into the storms eye

what does a hurricane need to persist and strengthen?

-A hurricane must have ample supply of warm water (26°C) that readily evaporates

-Little to no wind shear which tears hurricanes a part

What type of feedback occurs when condensation releases late and he into the storm?

Positive feedback

What are the four stages of hurricane growth?

1.Tropical disturbance

2.tropical depression

3.tropical storm


What is a tropical disturbance?

A massive thunderstorms form on a tropical wave

What is a tropical depression?

Winds increase and closed rotation begins because of Coriolis force

What is a tropical storm?

Winds exceed 63 km an hour and the storm begins to become organized

What is a hurricane?

Winds exceed 119 km/h. Strong close rotation with well defined rain bands develops.

What is the Saffir Simpson scale?

A hurricane ranking system based on measured wind speeds

The Saffir-Simpson scale uses what three characteristics to rate a hurricane?

1.Central pressure

2.storm surge

3.mean wind speed

What four things to meteorologist use to monitor hurricanes?

1.Aircraft reconnaissance and dripsomdes

2. satellites

3.marine buoys

4.Doppler radar

What are aircraft reconnaissance and dropsounds?

As hurricanes approach US Shores, aircraft drop small instrument platforms called dropsondes into the storms. These devices provide measurements of wind speed, pressure, humidity and air temperature. These data or radio back to the plane by the dropsondes as it descends to the storm.

What are marine buoys?

Buoys are floating meteorological stations anchored to the seafloor. They record see water temperature at the surface and at depth. They also record meteorological conditions just above the water.

What are satellites?

Satellite such as NASA Tara provide early detection and tracking of hurricanes. But they cannot provide enough detail to develop accurate forecasts and warnings.

What is a Doppler radar?

When a hurricane comes within 320 km of sure, Doppler radar can begin imaging it, providing detailed information on when strength, rainfall intensity, and direction of movement. Meteorologists use this data to develop wind speed and precipitation forecast as a storm comes ashore.

Why do hurricanes not occur within 7° latitude of the equator?

Lack of Coriolis effect

Where is the number one hotspot for typhoon?

Western Pacific

What is the cause of 90% of hurricane related deaths?


What is the storm surge?

A rise in sea level called by the strong winds and low atmospheric pressure of a hurricane

What is the key factor to how much damage hurricane will cause?Second factor? Third factor?

Storm size; physical configuration of landscape; population size and density

Rise in sea level is caused by____ and _____of a hurricane

Strong winds; low atmospheric pressure

Where does the majority of storm surge come from?

Strong winds

What international committee maintains an update tropical storm names?


How many names are there on the tropical storm name list?

21 names

What is a mid latitude cyclones?

Large travelling atmospherics a clonic storms up to 2000 km in diameter with centres of low atmospheric pressure

Most mid latitude cyclones are composed of a ___front and a ___fromt

Warm; cold

What is a warm front?

A region where warm air advances on and flows over cooler, have your air; not associated with severe weather

What is a cold front?

A region where cold air advances on relatively warm air; sometimes associated with severe weather

Warm fronts are usually associated with _____clouds that bring_____

Nimbostratus ( Stratus); steady precipitation

Cold fronts are usually associated with _____clouds that bring

Cumulonimbus clouds; potentially severe weather

What is the open wave stage?

Open wave stage of a mid latitude cyclones see strengthening windflow and the formation of distinct warm and cold fronts

What direction do mid latitude cyclones often flow towards? Hurricane flow towards?

East; West

What is the life length of a mid latitude cyclones?

1 to 2 weeks

Explain the development of a mid latitude cyclones. (Five steps)

1.Stationary front

2.stationary wave

3.mid-latitude cyclones

4.occluded front dissipation

What is the stationary front?

Called polar air and warm subtropical air move parallel to one another. A stationary front is symbolized with alternating red half circles and blue triangles.

What is a stationary wave?

A wave in the stationary front can develop from mountain ranges, surface temperature contrast, or changes in location and strength of upper level raspy waves. For the storm to strengthen, there must be an upper level trough creating divergence.

What is the mid latitude cyclones stage?

As the wave develops, warm air pushes north and creates a warm front. Cold air pressure south and creates a cold front. Because the cold front moves faster, it overtakes a warm front. This is the strongest stage of the storm.

Describe the occluded front stage

An occluded front forms as the cold front overtakes a warm front. The occluded stage of a storm can result in breeze but heavy precipitation

Explain the dissipation stage of mid latitude cyclones.

The cold front has overtaken the warm front and moves the warm front aloft. At this point, there is no more horizontal Temperature or pressure gradient. The air is stable, and the storm dissipates.

What is the nor’easter?

Intense mid latitude cyclones the tracks of the east coast of North America

Between what months is the nor’easter strongest and most frequent?

September and April

What is the lake affect snow?

Heavy snowfall that results as cold air moves over large, relatively warm bodies of water, such as Great Lakes.

What hurricane resulted in the greatest loss of death in the US?

Hurricane in Galveston, Texas

-death toll 6000 to 12,000 people

What is the El Nino?

A periodic change in the state of earths climate caused by the slackening and temporary reversal of Pacific equatorial Tradewinds and increases surface temperatures of coastal Peru

Hurricane Katrina is steered by _____winds


Hurricane Katrina covered what percent of New Orleans with water?


Hurricane Katrina covered what percent of New Orleans with water?


What’s the most costly US hurricane and how much did it cost?

Hurricane Katrina(2005); 160, billion

What are the largest metro area is at risk for hurricane disaster in the United States?

New Orleans and Miami

Has there been a trend observe for climate change and hurricane activity?

No trends have been observed up to date

Where is the most deadly hurricane worldwide located? And how many deaths occurred?

West Bengal/Bangladesh; 500,000 Deathd