Essentials of Meteorology An Invitation to the Atmosphere 7th Edition by C. Donald Ahrens test bank

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Essentials of Meteorology An Invitation to the Atmosphere 7th Edition by C. Donald Ahrens test bank


1. A weak trough of low pressure found in the tropics and along which hurricanes occasionally form is called a(n) ____.
a. tropical wave (or easterly wave)
b. oceanic wave (or easterly wave)
c. isobar
d. streamline

2. Hurricane energy comes from the latent heat of ____.
a. evaporation
b. condensation
c. fusion
d. melt

3. The skies in the center of a hurricane are often cloud free. This is because the air in the eye is ____.
a. sinking
b. very cold
c. dry
d. expanding

4. Pressure at the center of a hurricane is ____ than the surroundings at the surface and ____ than the surroundings aloft.
a. higher; lower
b. lower; higher
c. lower; lower
d. higher; higher

5. As surface air rushes in toward the eye of a hurricane, the air expands and should cool. The main reason the surface air is not cooler around the eye is because ____.
a. the sinking air near the eye warms the air
b. friction with the water adds heat to the air
c. the warm water heats the air
d. sunlight heats the air

6. The vertical structure of the hurricane shows an upper-level ____ of air, and a surface ____ of air.
a. outflow; inflow
b. outflow; outflow
c. inflow; outflow
d. inflow; inflow

7. During a hurricane, the heaviest rainfall occurs in the ____.
a. eye
b. eyewall
c. spiral rain band
d. storms periphery

8. At the periphery of a hurricane, the air is ____.
a. sinking and warming
b. sinking and cooling
c. rising and warming
d. rising and cooling

9. Typhoons and hurricanes ____.
a. cannot occur at the same time
b. are different types of storms
c. never appear in the same hemisphere
d. are the same type of tropical storm

10. By international agreement, what is the general term for all hurricane-type storms that originate over tropical waters?
a. typhoons
b. hurricanes
c. tropical storms
d. tropical cyclones

11. The skies in the center of a hurricane are often cloud free and surface air pressure is very low. This area is referred to as the ____.
a. eye
b. eyewall
c. rainfree area
d. streamline

12. During a hurricane in the Northern Hemisphere, surface winds increase in speed as they blow ____ and ____ the center.
a. clockwise; inward toward
b. clockwise; outward from
c. counterclockwise; inward toward
d. counterclockwise; outward from

13. The strongest winds in a hurricane are found ____.
a. at the center of the storm
b. in the eye wall
c. at upper levels, above the center of the hurricane
d. near the periphery of the hurricane

14. Hurricane winds rotate in a clockwise direction in ____.
a. the Northern Hemisphere only
b. the Southern Hemisphere only
c. both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres
d. neither hemisphere

15. Storms that form in the tropics are given names when ____.
a. they reach tropical storm strength
b. they become fully developed hurricanes
c. they approach to within 250 miles of land
d. rotation becomes visible on a satellite photograph

16. As a northward-moving hurricane passes to the east of an area, surface winds should change from ____.
a. NW to N to NE
b. W to SW to S
c. NE to N to NW
d. S to SW to W

17. Suppose the eye of a hurricane passed directly over you, and you survived the experience. If winds were from the northeast as the eyewall first approached you, from what direction did the winds blow when the eyewall reached you the second time?
a. NW
b. NE
c. SE
d. SW

18. The main reason hurricanes dont develop over the south Atlantic Ocean adjacent to South America is because the ____.
a. Coriolis force is too small there
b. pressure gradient force is too weak in that area
c. surface water temperatures are too cold
d. air at the surface is always diverging

19. Which region of the United States will most likely experience thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes during the course of one year?
a. Pacific Coast states
b. New England states
c. Gulf Coast states
d. Great Plains states

20. Which environmental conditions are most favorable for hurricane formation?
a. Winds are light, humidity high, and surface water temperature is warm.
b. Winds are light, humidity low, and surface water temperature is cool.
c. Winds are high, humidity high, and surface water temperature is cool.
d. Winds are high, humidity low, and surface water temperature is warm.

21. Hurricanes do not form ____.
a. along the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)
b. along the equator
c. with an easterly wave
d. when the trade wind inversion is weak

22. Hurricanes cannot form along the equator because ____.
a. there isnt much water along the equator, its mostly land
b. the Coriolis force is too small along the equator
c. there are no feedback mechanisms along the equator
d. its too humid for the ocean water to evaporate

23. The main source of energy for a hurricane is the ____.
a. upper-level jet stream
b. rising of warm air and sinking of cold air in the vicinity of weather fronts
c. warm ocean water and release of latent heat energy by condensation
d. ocean currents and tides

24. Hurricanes dissipate when ____.
a. they move over colder water
b. they move over warmer water
c. surface inflow of air is less than upper-level outflow of air
d. water temperatures below the eyewall increase

25. The three stages of a developing hurricane (from the first stage to the third) are ____.
a. tropical disturbance, tropical storm, and typhoon
b. tropical depression, tropical disturbance, and tropical storm
c. tropical disturbance, tropical depression, and tropical storm
d. cyclone, typhoon, and tropical storm

26. Just before a storm is classified as a fully developed hurricane, it is in the ____ stage.
a. tropical depression
b. tropical disturbance
c. tropical storm
d. tropical cyclone

27. The main feature distinguishing a hurricane from an ordinary tropical storm is that ____.
a. hurricanes are larger
b. tropical storms are more than 500 miles from the U.S. mainland
c. winds speeds are greater in a hurricane
d. hurricanes have a clearly defined eye on satellite photographs

28. A tropical storm is classified as a hurricane when ____.
a. a clear eye becomes visible on a satellite photograph
b. the central pressure drops below 950 mb
c. the winds exceed 64 knots (74 MPH)
d. it reaches Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale

29. Which statement accurately describes hurricane naming conventions?
a. Hurricanes are given only male names.
b. Hurricanes are given only female names.
c. Hurricanes are alternately assigned male and female names.
d. Atlantic hurricanes are given male names and Pacific hurricanes are given female names.

30. Climate models predict that, as the world continues to warm, sea-surface temperatures in the tropics will rise. This may in turn ____.
a. increase global circulation
b. increase the amount of time between hurricane formations
c. increase the strength of hurricanes
d. decrease the strength of hurricanes

31. Most of the overall destruction caused by a hurricane is due to ____.
a. high winds
b. flooding
c. lightning
d. tornadoes

32. Along a coastline, most hurricane damage is caused by ____.
a. the pressure gradient force
b. the storm surge
c. wind shear
d. release of latent heat

33. On the Saffir-Simpson scale, a category 5 storm would indicate ____.
a. a weak hurricane
b. a moderately strong hurricane
c. a very strong hurricane
d. nothing in particular, as the Saffir-Simpson scale applies to tornadoes

34. On the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, a hurricane with winds in excess of 155 mi/hr (135 knots) would be classified as a category ____ hurricane.
a. 1
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5

35. The term storm surge refers to ____.
a. the leading edge of a hurricane
b. a higher-than-average incidence of tropical storm occurrence
c. a rise in ocean level of several meters or more
d. the increasing speed of a hurricane as it moves in the middle latitudes

36. The strongest winds in a hurricane heading westward toward Florida would most likely be found on the ____ side.
a. northern
b. southern
c. eastern
d. western

37. Hurricane Katrina was classified as a Category 5, but as it moved towards the coast its rainbands near the center of the storm converged towards the eye, the storm weakened, and Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane. This weakening was primarily due to the phenomenon called ____.
a. trade-wind inversion
b. rainband disintegration
c. eye replacement
d. eyewall replacement

38. A hurricane warning ____.
a. gives the exact location where a hurricane will make landfall
b. is usually issued several days ahead of a hurricanes arrival
c. gives the percent chance of a hurricanes center passing within 65 miles of a community
d. is issued when a hurricane approaches to within 500 miles of the U.S. mainland

39. Which event indicates that a hurricane will likely strike your area within 24 hours?
a. A hurricane watch issued by the National Hurricane Center
b. A hurricane warning issued by the National Hurricane Center
c. Easterly or northeasterly winds with speeds in excess of 30 knots
d. A rapid drop in pressure and heavy rains

40. Scientists have tried to modify hurricanes by ____.
a. placing an oil slick over the ocean water and igniting it
b. seeding the hurricanes with silver iodide
c. igniting large smoke bombs in the eye of the storm
d. seeding the hurricanes with hair-thin pieces of aluminum called chaff

41. Despite there being many differences in structure, if a weakening hurricane links up with an upper-level trough, it may actually become a mid-latitude cyclone.
a. True
b. False

42. The terms typhoon and cyclone refer to the initial weaker stages in the development of a hurricane.
a. True
b. False

43. Most hurricanes develop in warm tropical waters at the Equator even though the Coriolis force is zero there.
a. True
b. False

44. Hurricane development is more likely when the trade wind inversion is well developed.
a. True
b. False

45. There is a reduction in the number of Atlantic hurricanes during a major El Nio event.
a. True
b. False

Instructions: Choose one answer from each pair of selections.

46. In most tropical regions the seasons are marked by differences in TEMPERATURE | PRECIPITATION.

47. Hurricanes are WARM | COLD core lows.

48. In a hurricane are the fastest winds and strongest thunderstorms found closer to the CENTER or the outer EDGE of the storm?

49. Tropical cyclone development is most likely in a region where surface winds CONVERGE | DIVERGE.

50. A hurricanes intensity will INCREASE | DECREASE when the storm moves from the ocean onto land.

51. Hurricane development is more likely when preexisting upper-level winds are STRONG | WEAK.

52. Does the temperature difference between the ocean and cloud top determine the maximum strength of a storm in the HEAT ENGINE or the ORGANIZED CONVECTION representation of a hurricane?

53. As westward-moving Atlantic hurricanes approach the east coast of the United States, they turn toward the NORTH | SOUTH

54. In a hurricane moving northward along the Atlantic coast of the United States, the strongest winds will be on the EAST | WEST side.

55. Cloud seeding has been used in attempts to INCREASE | DECREASE the diameter of the eye wall and thereby weaken hurricanes.

56. What do forecasters use in place of isobars on ocean weather maps and why?
ANSWER: Because the variation of sea-level pressure is normally small, drawing isobars on an ocean weather map provides little useful information. Instead, forecasters typically analyze streamlines that depict wind flow. These are useful because they show where surface air converges and diverges.

57. In the vertical, where are winds the strongest in a hurricane versus in mid-latitude cyclones?
ANSWER: Hurricane winds are strongest near the surface, whereas the strongest winds of a mid-latitude cyclone are found aloft in the jet stream.

58. Compare a hurricanes eye to its eyewall.
ANSWER: The eye of a hurricane is its center -within the eye, winds are light,clouds are mainly broken, and the surface air pressure is very low. The eyewall is adjacent to the eye and is a ring of intense thunderstorms that whirl around the storms center. The heaviest precipitation and the strongest winds are found within the eyewall.

59. Describe what a trade wind inversion is.
ANSWER: In the region of the trade winds (especially near latitude 20) the air is often sinking in association with the sub-tropical high-pressure area. The sinking air warms and creates an inversion above the surface known as the trade wind inversion that, when strong enough, can inhibit formation of intense thunderstorms and hurricanes.

60. About one-fourth of the hurricanes that strike the United States produce tornadoes. Where do these tornadoes most often form in relation to the hurricane?
ANSWER: Tornadoes associated with hurricanes tend to form in the right front quadrant of an advancing hurricane, where vertical wind speed shear is greatest.

61. Compare and contrast hurricanes and mid-latitude cyclones.
ANSWER: Tropical cyclones, called hurricanes, are similar to middle-latitude cyclonic storms in that, at the surface, both have central cores of low pressure and winds that spiral counterclockwise (in the Northern Hemisphere) about their respective centers. However, there are many differences between these two storm systems. A hurricane derives its energy from the warm water and the latent heat of condensation, whereas a mid-latitude storm derives its energy from horizontal temperature contrasts. The vertical structure of a hurricane is such that its central column of air is warm from the surface upward (i.e., they are warm-core lows). A hurricane weakens with height. Mid-latitude cyclones, however, are cold-core lows that usually intensify with increasing height. A hurricane usually contains an eye where the air is sinking, while mid-latitude cyclones are characterized by centers of rising air. Hurricane winds are strongest near the surface, whereas the strongest winds of the mid-latitude cyclones are found aloft in the jet stream. Even though hurricanes weaken rapidly as they move inland, their circulation may draw in air with contrasting properties and if the hurricane links with an upper-level trough, it may actually become a mid-latitude cyclone.

62. Has the frequency and intensity of hurricanes have increased in recent years? Why or why not? Why might these patterns continue?
ANSWER: The number and intensity of hurricanes, especially in the Atlantic Basin, has increased over the last several decades. Hurricanes are fueled by warm tropical water the warmer the water, the more fuel available to drive the storm. An increase of only 0.6C (1F) can increase sea-surface temperature, which can in turn increase the maximum winds of hurricanes by about 5 knots (almost 6 miles/hr). Sea-surface temperatures have increased across the tropical North Atlantic since the mid-1990s. At least some of this warming may be attributed to an overall temperature rise throughout the worlds oceans. Climate models predict that, as the world continues to warm, sea-surface temperatures in the tropics will continue to rise, even by about 2C (3.6F) by the end of this century. Should these predictions prove correct, future hurricanes could have much more intense wind speeds. There is debate, however, whether hurricanes will be more frequent.

63. Explain the various aspects of hurricanes that can allow them to be so devastating.
ANSWER: Although the high winds of a hurricane can inflict a great deal of damage, it is usually the huge waves and the flooding associated with the storm surge that cause the most destruction and loss of life. The flooding is due, in part, to winds pushing water onto the shore and to the heavy rains. The combined effect of high water, which is usually well above the high-tide level, high winds, and the Ekman transport (bending or movement of water influenced by the surface winds), produces an abnormal rise of several meters in the ocean level that can inundate low-lying areas. Extreme flooding can even occur with relatively weak storms. Hurricane-spawned tornadoes can also cause considerable damage.

64. Hurricane Sandy lost its hurricane status about three hours before making landfall. Why, then, is it so historically significant?
ANSWER: Although it lost its hurricane status about three hours before making landfall, Hurricane Sandy, often called Superstorm Sandy, brought the most deadly and damaging storm surge in more than 70 years to coastal areas of New Jersey and New York. The answer may also include a description of the path Sandy followed and include the other nations that were touched. In addition, answers may mention that in the aftermath of Sandy, the National Hurricane Center changed its policy so that hurricane warnings can now be issued and kept in place up to landfall even if a hurricane is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone (i.e., no longer technically a hurricane) before it strikes land because coastal residents were not placed under a hurricane warning for Sandy.

65. Why may the ancient sailors of the sea knew what they were doing when they would dump oil into the sea during stormy weather?
ANSWER: Some sailors, even in ancient times, would dump oil into the sea during stormy weather, claiming it reduced the winds around the ship. Recent mathematical studies have shown that ocean spray has an effect on the winds of a hurricane. Apparently, the tiny spray reduces the friction between the wind and sea surface. Therefore, with the same pressure gradient, the more ocean spray, the higher the winds. So, limiting ocean spray from entering the air above by dropping oil onto the ocean water may reduce the storms winds. Without knowing the mathematical reasons, the ancient sailors, by dumping oil into the sea, may have actually been preventing very strong winds and even hurricanes.

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