Wild Weather Adventure

For every player's turn in the Wild Weather Adventure Game, the player must answer either a multiple choice or true or false question. Each question is rated as easy, medium, or hard. Players choose which level to answer. Questions come up in random order.

Below are all the questions, answer choices, and correct answers—with short explanations. Questions are listed in easy, medium, and hard categories.

Note: Some questions are about world geography. A reference map is included with the game, and these questions allow extra time to refer to the map.

Easy Questions | Medium Questions | Hard Questions

Easy Questions

Question: If Greenland were named for its true color most of the time, it would be called

Possible Answers:

  1. Blueland
  2. Redland
  3. Whiteland
  4. Yellowland

Answer: C, Greenland is covered with ice and snow, so might be called "Whiteland."

Question: How many sides does a snowflake have?

Possible Answers:

  1. Three
  2. Four
  3. Five
  4. Six

Answer: D, A snowflake always has six sides.

Question: In Earth's atmosphere, air moving from a high pressure area to a low pressure area is the cause of

Possible Answers:

  1. Wind
  2. Rain
  3. Hail
  4. Blue sky

Answer: A, Wind is air moving from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure.

Question: The World Meteorological Organization gives men's and women's names to this type of storm:

Possible Answers:

  1. Blizzards
  2. Hurricanes
  3. Tornadoes
  4. Thunderstorms

Answer: B, Hurricanes are given names.

Question: In this weather event, a cloud sends a rapidly rotating column of air down to the ground.

Possible Answers:

  1. Hurricane
  2. Dust devil
  3. Blizzard
  4. Tornado

Answer: D, A tornado is a rotating column of air that touches the ground.

Question: Hurricanes form over the ocean. Which city is most likely to be in the path of a hurricane:

Possible Answers:

  1. Miami, Florida
  2. St. Louis, Missouri
  3. Paris, France
  4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Answer: A, The North Atlantic Ocean is a favorite birthplace for hurricanes, and Miami is sometimes right in their path.

Question: A shelter made of ice built by the Inuit people in Greenland is called

Possible Answers:

  1. a condo
  2. a tee pee
  3. a yurt
  4. an igloo

Answer: D, The Inuit people make igloos out of ice and snow.

Question: When pieces of ice fall from the clouds, we call it

Possible Answers:

  1. rain
  2. hail
  3. fallout
  4. frost

Answer: B, Hail stones are ice balls that form in clouds.

Question: Which of the following carries instruments that take pictures of Earth's weather from space?

Possible Answers:

  1. Airplane
  2. Satellite
  3. Meteor
  4. Truck

Answer: B, Weather satellites take pictures and other measurements of Earth's weather.

Question: The center of a hurricane is called its

Possible Answers:

  1. eye
  2. nose
  3. navel
  4. hub

Answer: A, The center of a hurricane is called its eye.

Question: In which of these places is it most likely to snow in December?

Possible Answers:

  1. Bismarck, North Dakota
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. Sydney, Australia
  4. Nairobi, Kenya

Answer: A, Bismarck, ND, is farther from the equator than the other cities, so is more likely to have cold weather.

Question: Visible air pollution is often called

Possible Answers:

  1. Fog
  2. Wind
  3. Smog
  4. Clouds

Answer: C, The word "smog" blends the words "smoke" and "fog;" smog usually just means air pollution.

Question: The places on Earth that are very hot and dry are called

Possible Answers:

  1. Deserts
  2. Forests
  3. Mountains
  4. Swamps

Answer: A, Deserts get little rainfall and are often very hot in the summer.

Question: The blanket of air around Earth is called the

Possible Answers:

  1. Ocean
  2. Atmosphere
  3. Thunder
  4. Coastline

Answer: B, The atmosphere is Earth's protective blanket of air.

Question: Clouds are made of air and

Possible Answers:

  1. Milk
  2. Sugar
  3. Smoke
  4. Water

Answer: D, Clouds are made of air and water droplets (sometimes frozen as ice and snow).

Question: Lightning is

Possible Answers:

  1. Electricity
  2. Water
  3. String
  4. Hail

Answer: A, Lightning is electricity, jumping from cloud to cloud or cloud to Earth.

Question: Thunder is the sound of

Possible Answers:

  1. Clouds banging together
  2. Lightning heating the air
  3. Earthquakes
  4. Hail stones banging together

Answer: B, A lightning bolt heats the nearby air very hot; thunder is the sound of the surrounding cold air masses banging back together.

Question: What acts like a big blanket over the earth, holding in the warmth and reflecting it back to earth?

Possible Answers:

  1. The atmosphere
  2. The sea ice
  3. The oceans
  4. The forests

Answer: A, Like a blanket, the atmosphere helps to keep Earth warm.

Question: What are we likely to see curving across the sky when the Sun comes out in the late afternoon after a rain storm?

Possible Answers:

  1. A flock of geese
  2. A rainbow
  3. A cumulonimbus cloud
  4. A bolt of lightning

Answer: B, A rainbow appears when water droplets in the air bend sunlight into all its different colors.

Question: If you could look at Earth from above the North Pole in winter, you would think Earth was

Possible Answers:

  1. Blue
  2. White
  3. Green
  4. Brown

Answer: B, The arctic area around the North Pole is white in the winter because of sea ice.

Question: Bombay, India, lies on which sea?

Possible Answers:

  1. Mediterranean Sea
  2. Red Sea
  3. Black Sea
  4. Arabian Sea

Answer: D, Bombay is on the Arabian Sea.

Question: Which is farthest north?

Possible Answers:

  1. Cuba
  2. Japan
  3. England
  4. Australia

Answer: C, England is at a higher latitude (farther north) than Cuba, Japan, or Australia.

Question: Which is farthest north?

Possible Answers:

  1. Bering Sea
  2. Arabian Sea
  3. South China Sea
  4. Gulf of Mexico

Answer: A, The Bering Sea touches the southwest part of Alaska, much farther north than the other choices.

Question: Which is farthest north?

Possible Answers:

  1. Butte, Montana USA
  2. Beijing, China
  3. Hilo, Hawaii USA
  4. San Francisco, California USA

Answer: A, Butte, Montana, is farther north than Beijing, Hilo, or San Francisco.

Question: Which is farthest south?

Possible Answers:

  1. Sydney, Australia
  2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  3. Nairobi, Kenya
  4. Hilo, Hawaii USA

Answer: A, Sydney, Australia, is farther south than Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, or Hilo.

Question: Which is farthest south?

Possible Answers:

  1. Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Miami, Florida, USA
  3. Mexico City, Mexico
  4. Tazmania

Answer: D, Tazmania is farther south than Cape Town, Miami, or Mexico City.

Question: Cape Horn is at the very southern tip of

Possible Answers:

  1. Africa
  2. South America
  3. India
  4. Australia

Answer: B, Cape Horn is at the southern tip of South America.

Question: In the United States of America, the days are longest (most hours of sunlight) during

Possible Answers:

  1. December
  2. October
  3. June
  4. March

Answer: C, In the U.S., summer solstice—the day with the most hours of sunlight—comes in June.

Question: In the United States of America, the days are shortest (fewest hours of sunlight) during

Possible Answers:

  1. December
  2. October
  3. June
  4. March

Answer: In the U.S., winter solstice—the day with the fewest hours of sunlight—comes in December.

Question: At sea level and at a temperature of 212 °F (100 °C), water

Possible Answers:

  1. Freezes
  2. Boils
  3. Condenses
  4. Turns to a solid

Answer: B, Water boils at 212 °F (100 °C) at sea level. At higher altitudes, it boils at a cooler temperature.

Question: True or False: The Caribbean Sea is north of the equator.

Answer: True, the Caribbean Sea is northeast of Central America, north of the equator.

Question: True or False: The Philippine Islands are north of the equator.

Answer: True, the Philippine Islands are southeast of China, north of the equator.

Question: True or False: The United States of America is bordered by just two countries.

Answer: True, the U.S. is bordered only by Canada on the north and Mexico on the south.

Question: True or False: The equator passes through South America and Africa.

Answer: True, the equator passes through the north part of South America and the central part of Africa.

Question: True or False: The equator passes through Europe and North America.

Answer: False, North America and Europe lie far north of the equator.

Question: True or False: The Black Sea lies north of the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Answer: True, the Black Sea is north of Turkey, while the Mediterranean Sea is south of Turkey.

Question: True or False: Norway is east of Sweden.

Answer: False, Norway is Sweden's neighbor to the west.

Question: True or False: The United States of America is in the continent of North America.

Answer: True, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are in North America.

Question: True or False: The Hawaiian Islands are south of the equator.

Answer: False, the Hawaiian Islands are north of the equator.

Question: True or False: Sri Lanka is an island just south of Japan.

Answer: False, Sri Lanka lies off the southern tip of India.

Question: True or False: A weather forecast for one week from now is more likely to be accurate than a forecast for tomorrow.

Answer: False, weather forecasts become less certain the farther into the future they predict.

Medium Questions

Question: In 1900, before weather satellites were on duty to warn of coming storms, in what U.S. city were around 7,000 people killed by an intense and expected hurricane?

Possible Answers:

  1. Galveston, Texas
  2. Omaha, Nebraska
  3. Portland, Oregon
  4. Phoenix, Arizona

Answer: A, Galveston, TX, is on a low-lying barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico. People knew a storm was coming, but not how severe it would be.

Question: Each year, December 21 is one day the Sun never comes up in this location:

Possible Answers:

  1. Florida
  2. San Francisco
  3. Bolivia
  4. North Pole

Answer: D, The North Pole is most tilted away from the Sun on December 21, such that the Sun is never seen there on that day.

Question: A slowly flowing river of ice is called

Possible Answers:

  1. An iceberg
  2. A glacier
  3. An icicle
  4. An igloo

Answer: B, A glacier is a slowly moving river of ice.

Question: Which one of the following conditions is unlikely to happen to someone because of very cold weather:

Possible Answers:

  1. Frostbite
  2. Hypothermia
  3. Shivering
  4. Freckles

Answer: D, In very cold weather people can get frostbite, shivering, and hypothermia (the body's temperature drops dangerously). Freckles are unrelated to cold.

Question: Sometimes people who exercise in very hot, humid weather and don't drink enough water may suffer

Possible Answers:

  1. Hypothermia
  2. Heatstroke
  3. Anemia
  4. Euphoria

Answer: B, A person may have a dangerous heatstroke from being too hot and not getting enough water to drink.

Question: Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the Sun causes all of these problems to humans EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:

  1. Sunburns
  2. Arthritis
  3. Skin cancer
  4. Wrinkling

Answer: B, The ultraviolet rays of the Sun can cause sunburns, skin cancer, and early wrinkles, but not arthritis.

Question: The hottest day ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere was in Death Valley, California, on July 10, 1913, when the temperature reached

Possible Answers:

  1. 71.1 °C (160 °F)
  2. 56.7 °C (134 °F)
  3. 49.4 °C (121 °F)
  4. 46.1 °C (115 °F)

Answer: B, The temperature in Death Valley reached 56.7 °C (134 °F) that day.

Question: Because Earth is tilted on its axis of rotation, when it's baking in Boise, Idaho, during July, it's mild and cool in

Possible Answers:

  1. Melbourne, Australia
  2. Phoenix, Arizona
  3. Paris, France
  4. Tokyo, Japan

Answer: A, Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so is having winter when it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere (where Boise is located).

Question: If you are caught outside in a lightning storm, the worst thing you could do is

Possible Answers:

  1. Run into a building
  2. Hop into a parked car
  3. Run and hug an isolated tree on a hill
  4. Crouch on the ground in a ditch

Answer: C, Lightning usually seeks the highest point on the ground, so you should stay away from trees.

Question: When a very intense thunderstorm stalls over one area for a long time, the result can be

Possible Answers:

  1. Drought
  2. Flash floods
  3. Tsunamis
  4. Mesopause

Answer: B, Flash floods can happen when a storm keeps dumping rain in one location for a long time.

Question: Water's three phases are

Possible Answers:

  1. Ice, liquid water, and water vapor
  2. Rain, snow, and hail
  3. Dry, damp, and wet
  4. Infancy, childhood, and adolescence

Answer: A, Phases of water are ice, liquid water, and water vapor. Phases (states of matter) depend on temperature and pressure.

Question: Of the following cities, which gets the least annual rainfall?

Possible Answers:

  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  2. Phoenix, Arizona
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Answer: D, At less than 10 inches of rain per year, Las Vegas, NV, is usually the driest of the cities listed.

Question: The high-altitude, high-speed jet stream that blows from west to east across the U.S. is used

Possible Answers:

  1. By Canadian geese
  2. By airplanes heading east to fly faster and save fuel
  3. By the salmon bird heading for the west coast to spawn
  4. By weather forecasters to predict tornadoes

Answer: The jet stream usually blows west to east, and is often at an altitude where jet planes fly, so helps them save fuel when heading east.

Question: Named because of its similarity to a battlefield, the area where air masses clash is called a

Possible Answers:

  1. High
  2. Low
  3. Front
  4. Storm

Answer: C, Where air masses of different densities and temperatures come together is called a front.

Question: An instrument that measures atmospheric pressure is called a

Possible Answers:

  1. Thermometer
  2. Barometer
  3. Odometer
  4. Spectrometer

Answer: B, A barometer measures atmospheric pressure.

Question: If you see lightning and 5 seconds later you hear thunder, the lightning has struck the ground

Possible Answers:

  1. 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) away
  2. 8 kilometers (5 miles) away
  3. 15 meters (about 50 feet) away
  4. 80 kilometers (50 miles) away

Answer: A, It takes sound about 5 seconds to travel 1.6 kilometers (1 mile).

Question: The images of clouds and storms over the U.S. that are shown on TV weather reports are usually made by

Possible Answers:

  1. Cameras on airplanes
  2. Space Shuttle
  3. International Space Station
  4. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)

Answer: D, The GOES can take pictures of the whole western hemisphere at one time, they can track the movement of weather systems.

Question: A hurricane's size and movement can best be seen from

Possible Answers:

  1. A ship in the ocean near the eye of the hurricane
  2. A plane flying through the hurricane
  3. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)
  4. Clinging to a tree as the hurricane blows past

Answer: C, The GOES are so high and their imagers so good they can see storms forming out in the oceans and "watch" their changes and movements.

Question: A scientist who studies weather is called a

Possible Answers:

  1. Geologist
  2. Biologist
  3. Meteorologist
  4. Astrologer

Answer: C, A meteorologist is a scientist who studies weather.

Question: The tilt of Earth's axis of rotation is the reason for

Possible Answers:

  1. Wind
  2. Blue sky
  3. Ocean waves
  4. Seasons

Answer: D, Earth has seasons because of the tilt of its axis of rotation as it orbits the Sun.

Question: When the temperature outside drops below 32 °F or 0 °C, something special happens. What is it?

Possible Answers:

  1. Water turns into steam
  2. Wind stops blowing
  3. Tulips bloom
  4. Liquid water turns into solid ice

Answer: D, At 32 °F or 0 °C, water freezes into ice (at sea level).

Question: The amount of water in the air is called

Possible Answers:

  1. Salinity
  2. Humidity
  3. Evaporation
  4. Condensation

Answer: B, Humidity is the amount of water in the air.

Question: A thermometer measures

Possible Answers:

  1. Air pollution
  2. Wind direction
  3. Temperature
  4. Rainfall

Answer: C, A thermometer measures temperature.

Question: In January, it is winter in Earth's

Possible Answers:

  1. Northern Hemisphere
  2. Southern Hemisphere
  3. Eastern Hemisphere
  4. Western Hemisphere

Answer: A, In January, Earth's Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun, thus making it the coldest part of the year, winter.

Question: In June, the Sun never sets on

Possible Answers:

  1. The South Pole
  2. The equator
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. The North Pole

Answer: D, Earth's axis of rotation is tilted, and the North Pole tilts farthest toward the Sun in June, making for a few days of 24-hours of sunlight.

Question: The two Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) perform the following services:

Possible Answers:

  1. Provide data for 3- to 5-day weather forecasts
  2. Monitor animal migration patterns
  3. Detect forest fires
  4. All of these

Answer: D, The POES do all these jobs, gathering data for predicting weather, tracking animals wearing special transmitters, and spotting forest fires.

Question: Frozen raindrops tossed around inside a cloud, are coated with water, then frozen again, and finally get too heavy and fall to the ground as

Possible Answers:

  1. Rain
  2. Snow
  3. Hail
  4. Frost

Answer: C, Hail stones are formed inside clouds and can vary from the size of peas to the size of golf balls—and larger.

Question: Which of these bodies of water does not touch the United States of America?

Possible Answers:

  1. Gulf of Mexico
  2. Gulf of Alaska
  3. Black Sea
  4. North Pacific Ocean

Answer: C, All except for the Black Sea touch the USA. The Black Sea is in eastern Europe.

Question: Which of these is the largest body of water?

Possible Answers:

  1. North Atlantic Ocean
  2. South Pacific Ocean
  3. Indian Ocean
  4. Caspian Sea

Answer: B, The South Pacific is by far the largest of these areas of water. It covers nearly one-quarter of the planet!

Question: The Sun rises in the east (except very close to the North and South Poles) because

Possible Answers:

  1. Earth rotates from west to east
  2. Earth rotates from east to west
  3. The Sun moves around Earth from east to west
  4. The Moon sets in the west

Answer: A, Earth rotates west to east, so the Sun appears to "rise" on the eastern horizon as your location on Earth turns toward the Sun.

Question: Which of these countries is closest to the United States?

Possible Answers:

  1. Jamaica
  2. Greenland
  3. Iceland
  4. Cuba

Answer: D, Cuba is closest to the U.S., about 90 miles (150km) from Florida.

Question: Where and in what direction do the trade winds blow?

Possible Answers:

  1. Along the equator, from west to east
  2. Along the equator, from east to west
  3. Near the North and South Poles, from east to west
  4. In the South Pacific Ocean, counterclockwise

Answer: B, The trade winds blow near the equator, east to west. They are the result of persistent high pressure areas.

Question: Which direction do the prevailing westerlies blow?

Possible Answers:

  1. From west to east
  2. From east to west
  3. From southeast to northwest
  4. From north to south

Answer: A, The prevailing westerlies are predominant winds that blow west to east.

Question: The polar easterlies blow from

Possible Answers:

  1. West to east
  2. East to west
  3. Along the equator
  4. From the North Pole to the South Pole

Answer: B, The polar easterlies are predominant winds that blow east to west.

Question: An anemometer measures

Possible Answers:

  1. Air pressure
  2. Wind speed
  3. Temperature
  4. Rainfall

Answer: B, An anemometer measures wind speed.

Question: For you to see a rainbow, the Sun must be

Possible Answers:

  1. Setting
  2. Overhead
  3. Behind you
  4. In front of you

Answer: C, To see a rainbow, you must have the Sun behind you.

Question: Water freezes at what temperature?

Possible Answers:

  1. 0 °F
  2. 32 °F
  3. 12 °C
  4. 100 °C

Answer: B, At sea level, water turns to ice at 32 °F (or 0 °C).

Question: True or False: In December, the North Pole is tilted away from the Sun.

Answer: True, Earth is tilted on its axis of rotation, with the North Pole tilted away from the Sun in December.

Question: True or false: Lightning kills more people each year than tornados and hurricanes combined.

Answer: True, on average, lightning kills over 90 people per year in the U.S., more than tornados and hurricanes combined.

Question: True or False: The Doldrums form along the equator.

Answer: True, the doldrums are areas along the equator where the winds blow lightly or not at all.

Hard Questions

Question: A continent-sized blast of icy cold air coming from the Arctic that can rapidly chill much of the United States is called a

Possible Answers:

  1. Polar surge
  2. Polar blast
  3. Typhoon
  4. Tornado

Answer: A, A polar surge is a huge mass of cold air blowing southward from the Arctic.

Question: What if all the glaciers and ice sheets in the world were to melt?

Possible Answers:

  1. Temperatures around the globe would be colder.
  2. There would be less rain.
  3. Most coastal cities would be under water.
  4. There would be fewer rainbows.

Answer: C, All this melting ice would raise sea levels so much that most coastal cities around the world would be under water.

Question: What is the highest temperature ever recorded in Fairbanks, Alaska?

Possible Answers:

  1. 10 °C (50 °F)
  2. 38 °C (100 °F)
  3. 27 °C (80 °F)
  4. 18 °C (65 °F)

Answer: B, On June 27, 1915, Fairbanks, AK, reached 38 °C (100 °F), still a record.

Question: Because Earth is tilted on its axis of rotation, which of these cities is least likely to have a white Christmas?

Possible Answers:

  1. Moscow, Russia
  2. Butte, Montana
  3. Beijing, China
  4. Cape Town, South Africa

Answer: D, In December, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, where South Africa is.

Question: Which of these reflects more of the Sun's energy back into space?

Possible Answers:

  1. Clouds
  2. Forest
  3. Ocean
  4. Farmland

Answer: A, White materials (such as clouds) reflect more energy than do darker materials, such as trees and oceans.

Question: How does hot weather affect airplanes taking off?

Possible Answers:

  1. They have to go faster to get off the ground.
  2. The runway must be cooled with water.
  3. They must climb at a steeper angle.
  4. The pilot must turn off the air conditioning.

Answer: A, Hot air is thinner than cool air. To lift off, planes need a certain density of air under the wings. To take off in less dense air, they need to get going faster.

Question: All the energy for making storms starts out from:

Possible Answers:

  1. The oceans
  2. Earth's rotation
  3. The Sun
  4. Earth's hot core

Answer: C, The Sun heats the oceans, the land, and the atmosphere. It is this heat energy that drives weather.

Question: Which of the following U.S. cities get the most annual rainfall?

Possible Answers:

  1. Pensacola, Florida
  2. Portland, Oregon
  3. Annette, Alaska
  4. Hilo, Hawaii

Answer: D, Annual rainfall in Hilo, HI, is around 325 cm (128 in); Portland, OR, 94 cm (37 in); Annette, AK, 292 cm (115 in); and Pensacola, FL, 178 cm (70 in).

Question: The world record for wind speed of 253 miles per hour (407 km/h) was set in 1996 at

Possible Answers:

  1. Miami, Florida
  2. Barrow Island, Australia
  3. Mt. Washington, New Hampshire
  4. Mt. Everest, Nepal

Answer: B, Barrow Island, Australia, holds the record as the windiest place on Earth.

Question: Tornados cause all of the following types of damage EXCEPT

Possible Answers:

  1. Roofs torn off buildings
  2. Collapsed walls of buildings
  3. Flying debris
  4. Storm surges

Answer: D, Tornadoes generally occur over land, and do not cause storm surges. Storm surges are abnormally high seas along the shoreline caused by strong winds.

Question: When cold winds blowing from the north and hot, humid winds blowing from the south meet over the plains in the middle of the U.S., which kind of weather is likely:

Possible Answers:

  1. Hurricanes
  2. Blizzards
  3. Drought
  4. Tornadoes

Answer: D, Tornados often result when a mass of cold air meets up with a mass of warm, humid air.

Question: The temperature at the surface of the Sun is about 6000 °C (11,000 °F). The temperature of a lightning bolt is about

Possible Answers:

  1. 28,000 °C (50,000 °F)
  2. 2,800 °C (5,000 °F)
  3. 260 °C (500 °F)
  4. 100 °C (212 °F)

Answer: A, At 28,000 °C (50,000 °F), a lightning bolt is much hotter than the surface of the Sun.

Question: Which country has the wildest weather—that is, the greatest variety of extreme weather conditions—in the world?

Possible Answers:

  1. Antarctica
  2. United States
  3. England
  4. Cuba

Answer: B, The United States has the wildest weather on Earth.

Question: In what state of the United States are the most people killed by lightning strikes each year?

Possible Answers:

  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. Florida
  4. Hawaii

Answer: C, Florida has by far the most lightning deaths, with an average of about 10 per year.

Question: If all the ice covering Greenland and the other smaller ice caps around the arctic (North Pole) were to melt, sea level around the world would rise by

Possible Answers:

  1. 10 inches (25 cm)
  2. 20 inches (50 cm)
  3. 50 inches (130 cm)
  4. 20 feet (6 m)

Answer: D, Sea level would rise by 20 feet (6 m) if all the ice in Greenland and other arctic ice were to melt.

Question: The National Weather Service is operated by which government agency?

Possible Answers:

  1. Central Intelligence Agency
  2. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  4. National Park Service

Answer: C, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates the National Weather Service.

Question: If it is 30 °F (-1 °C) outside, and the wind is blowing 25 miles per hour (40 km/h), how cold will it feel to you outside?

Possible Answers:

  1. 45 °F (7 °C)
  2. 1 °F (-17 °C)
  3. 70 °F (21 °C)
  4. 15 °F (9 °C)

Answer: B, When it's cold and the wind blows, your body feels colder than if the air is still. At 30 °F (-1 °C) and a 25-mph (40 km/h) wind, it would feel like only 1 °F (-17 °C).

Question: Saucer-shaped clouds that sometimes form over mountains and have been mistaken for UFOs are called

Possible Answers:

  1. Cumulus clouds
  2. Stratus clouds
  3. Lenticular clouds
  4. Cumulonimbus clouds

Answer: C, Clouds that are shaped by mountain tops are called lenticular clouds.

Question: Beautiful dancing curtains of colored light called the aurora can sometimes be seen in the night skies near

Possible Answers:

  1. The equator
  2. Walt Disney World, Florida
  3. Los Angeles, California
  4. The North and South Poles

Answer: D, The auroras (also called Northern Lights or Southern Lights) appear in the skies nearest the North and South Poles.

Question: The largest desert in the world is the

Possible Answers:

  1. Mojave Desert in California
  2. Sahara Desert in northern Africa
  3. Takla Makan (Desert in China
  4. Great Sandy Desert in Australia

Answer: B, The Sahara Desert in northern Africa is the largest desert in the world that isn't near the north or south pole.

Question: Which of the following gases is most abundant in Earth's atmosphere?

Possible Answers:

  1. Oxygen
  2. Carbon Dioxide
  3. Nitrogen
  4. Ozone

Answer: C, Air is 78% nitrogen. Oxygen is 21%. All the other gases make up only about 1% of the atmosphere.

Question: A psychrometer is used to measure

Possible Answers:

  1. Air pressure
  2. Relative humidity
  3. Wind speed
  4. Rain

Answer: B, A psychrometer [si-KROM-uh-ter] measures relative humidity by comparing the readings of wet and dry bulb thermometers.

Question: Water vapor in air condenses at its

Possible Answers:

  1. Relative humidity
  2. Isobar
  3. Dew point
  4. Freezing point

Answer: C, The dew point is the temperature at which water vapor turns back into liquid water (condenses).

Question: Mercury is 13.6 times heavier than water. If atmospheric pressure raises a column of mercury in a barometer about 30 inches (760 mm), how tall would a water barometer have to be?

Possible Answers:

  1. 34 feet
  2. 24 feet
  3. 13.6 feet
  4. 2 feet

Answer: A, Because 13.6 x 30 in (760 mm) = 408 in (10,336 mm), and 408 in ÷ 12 in = 34 feet, a water barometer column would have to be at least 34 feet (10 m) tall.

Question: Water vapor will condense from air when the air is

Possible Answers:

  1. Saturated
  2. Dry
  3. Humid
  4. Cold

Answer: A, Air is saturated when it can hold no more water vapor, so that's when water begins to condense (turn back into liquid water).

Question: If you saw cumulonimbus clouds forming in the sky above you, what kind of weather would you expect?

Possible Answers:

  1. A heat wave
  2. A thunderstorm
  3. A snowstorm
  4. A hurricane

Answer: B, Cumulonimbus clouds usually mean a thunderstorm is on the way.

Question: The boundary between two different air masses is called a

Possible Answers:

  1. Isobar
  2. Isotherm
  3. Air mass
  4. Front

Answer: D, As on a battlefield, where two different kinds of air masses meet (say, one cold and dry, the other warm and humid) is called a front.

Question: In experiments called cloud seeding, what material have humans dropped or shot into a cloud in order to increase the likelihood of rain?

Possible Answers:

  1. Silver iodide particles
  2. Sand
  3. Glass beads
  4. Dust

Answer: A, Silver iodide particles have been used to seed clouds.

Question: Meteorologists use information from all EXCEPT the following sources in making weather forecasts:

Possible Answers:

  1. Radar
  2. Satellites
  3. Weather stations
  4. Seismometers

Answer: D, Radar, satellites, and weather stations all provide information on weather. Seismometers measure earthquakes.

Question: The orbit of the newest Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) is at what altitude above Earth's surface?

Possible Answers:

  1. About 5080 km (3156 miles)
  2. About 870 km (540 miles)
  3. About 70 km (43 miles)
  4. About 2550 km (1584 miles)

Answer: B, The POES orbit is about 870 km (540 miles) above Earth's surface.

Question: Which of the following cloud types generally reaches the highest altitude?

Possible Answers:

  1. Cirrocumulus
  2. Cumulonimbus
  3. Altostratus
  4. Cumulus

Answer: B, Cumulonimbus clouds can sometimes reach up to 18 kilometers (over 11 miles). No other types of clouds are found that high in the atmosphere.

Question: If the actual amount of water vapor in the air remains the same, but the temperature of the air goes up, the relative humidity will

Possible Answers:

  1. Go up
  2. Go down
  3. Stay the same
  4. Evaporate

Answer: B, The relative humidity will go down, because warm air holds more water vapor than cooler air.

Question: An important greenhouse gas that humans are adding to the atmosphere is

Possible Answers:

  1. Helium
  2. Hydrogen
  3. Oxygen
  4. Carbon dioxide

Answer: Carbon dioxide levels are only about 368 parts per million of air, but it is the most significant greenhouse gas. Tiny changes have big effects.

Question: The latitude that receives the most direct rays of the sun year-round is

Possible Answers:

  1. 60° N
  2. 90°
  3. 30° S

Answer: D, The equator is at latitude 0°, which gets the most direct rays of the Sun year round.

Question: How fast must the winds be blowing inside a tropical storm for it to be "upgraded" to a hurricane?

Possible Answers:

  1. 35 mph (56 km/h)
  2. 150 mph (240 km/h)
  3. 74 mph (119 km/h)
  4. 99 mph (160 km/h)

Answer: C, By definition, to be called a hurricane, a storm must have winds of at least 74 mph (119 km/h).

Question: The GOES satellites keep an eye on the weather from their geostationary orbits, which are at an altitude how high above the equator?

Possible Answers:

  1. 200 miles (320 km)
  2. 22,300 miles (36,000 km)
  3. 1500 miles (2400 km)
  4. 950 miles (1500 km)

Answer: B, The geostationary orbits of the GOES are at about 22,300 miles (36,000 km) above Earth's surface, at the equator.

Question: True or False: In January, Earth is farthest from the Sun.

Answer: False, in January, Earth is at its closest point to the Sun. It is winter in the Northern Hemisphere because the North Pole is tilted away from the Sun.

Question: True or False: Latitude has much more affect on climate than does longitude.

Answer: True, latitude is a measure of distance from the equator. The higher a location's latitude (whether north or south), the less directly the Sun shines on it.

Question: True or False: Dallas, Texas, at latitude 33°N, get less solar radiation than does San Francisco at latitude 37° N.

Answer: False, the lower the latitude number, the more solar radiation, or sunshine, the location receives. (The equator is latitude 0° so gets the most.)

Question: True or False: The windward side of a mountain range generally gets more rain than does the leeward side.

Answer: True, the windward side faces the prevailing winds, so creates air turbulence and becomes an obstacle for clouds to "stack up" against.