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Which of the following areas might a meteorologist focus on for a career?
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You find yourself in Kansas City, Missouri (Links to an external site.) (Central Time Zone), on a business trip in mid-July. One night you are awakened in your hotel room by a tremendous thunderstorm (lightning, wind, hail... the works!). You glance over at the clock on the nightstand which reads 1:00 (a.m.), right before the power goes out...
The next morning (the power's back on), you log on to the Internet to a web site which has an archive of weather observations -- you want to check out the peak wind gust when the storm hit. The web site does in fact have all the observations from last night; however, they are all labeled with the times in UTC. If you were awakened at 1:00 a.m. on July 16, what is the time/date of the corresponding weather observation (in UTC) that you are searching for?
You are given the following chart of surface temperatures over the contiguous United States (and parts of Canada and Mexico) at 12Z on December 25, 2001. Isotherms are drawn at intervals of five degrees Fahrenheit and ribbons of temperature are shaded in color. The key to translate colors into temperatures is shown on the right. Focus your attention on the point labeled "P" (on the shore of Lake Ontario). The temperature at this point can be said to be...greater than 25 degrees (but less than 30 degrees)You are given the following chart of sea-level pressure over the contiguous United States (and parts of Canada and Mexico) at 10Z on March 2, 2017. Isobars are drawn at intervals of four millibars (mb). Focus your attention on the area of low pressure centered over northern Maine. The pressure at the center of the low (marked "L") can be said to be...less than 988 mb, but greater than 984 mbA __________ is the change in a variable over a certain distance.gradientOn a map of isotherms, an area with a small temperature gradient would appear as...an area with a loose packing of isothermsYou are given the following chart of surface pressures over the contiguous United States (and parts of Canada and Mexico) at 15Z on February 12, 2009. Isobars are drawn at intervals of four millibars (mb). Which of the following states had the smallest pressure gradient on this day?NebraskaThe term wavelength refers to:The distance between two successive wave crests.The proper ordering of electromagnetic radiation from the shortest wavelength to the longest wavelength is ________.infrared, microwaves, radio wavesAccording to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, the amount of energy emitted by an object (per unit area) is proportional to ________.the object's temperature raised to the fourth powerWhich of the following statement describes a practical example of the Wien's law?The sun radiates at shorter wavelengths and the earth radiates at longer wavelengths.When a beam of radiation passes through a medium unchanged, this is called __________.transmissionWhich of the following has the highest albedo (for visible light)?freshly fallen snowIf you create an "energy budget" for radiation, you're attempting to...account for all sources of radiation being absorbed and emitted by a surface.Consider the graph of downwelling solar and downwelling/upwelling infrared radiation (below) for a surface site. The relatively smooth appearance of the downwelling solar curve throughout the daytime period suggests that...skies were mostly clearConsider the graph of downwelling solar and downwelling/upwelling infrared radiation (below) for a surface site. An increase in surface temperature caused which of the following?the increase in upwelling infrared starting around 1400 UTCConsider the graph of downwelling solar and downwelling/upwelling infrared radiation (below) for a surface site. If the surface temperature trend was a function of only the surface radiation budget, characterize this trend during the period from 1900 to 2100 UTC.surface temperatures increasedIf humankind could figure out a means for completely eliminating the greenhouse effect, which of the following would best describe the planet?The planet would be too cold for life as we know itThe gases primarily responsible for the natural greenhouse effect are ________.carbon dioxide and water vaporConduction plays a role in forming a temperature profile on clear, calm nights, called a __________.nocturnal inversionFree ____________ results from positively buoyant air parcels rising from the earth's surface.convenctionClear nights are cooler than cloudy nights (all else being equal) because...clouds emit more infrared radiation than a clear skyWhich of the following best describes northern hemisphere summer?the sun strikes the northern hemisphere at a higher angle and has greater heating powerAstronomical spring in the northern hemisphere begins...on or around March 21 when the local midday rays of the sun shine directly on the equatorLiving close to a large body of water, you will experience ________ than if you lived farther inland.a smaller seasonal range in temperaturesAll else being equal, higher altitude locations tend to...have lower temperatures compared to lower altitude locationsWhat separates the troposphere from the stratosphere?the tropopauseThe lapse rate in a layer of air in which temperature decreases with increasing altitude is:always positiveTemperature and moisture gradients within a single air mass are ________.small, relative to those gradients between two contrasting air massesSummer weather along the Gulf Coast would be dominated by ________ air masses.maritime tropical (mT)Which of the following phrases best describes a front?Boundary between two contrasting air massesA front is considered a warm front if ____________ along the frontal boundary.cold air is retreatingWhen the wind is blowing from a region of higher temperatures toward a region of lower temperatures, this is an example of _______________.warm air advectionAssume that particular location has a current temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit and is experiencing a temperature advection of 1 degree Fahrenheit per hour. If no other factors affect the local temperature, what will the temperature be in four hours?39 degrees FahrenheitAll else being equal, in which situation would a meteorologist typically forecast the highest nighttime temperature?cloudy skies and high dew pointsAll else being equal, which of the following tends to keep both days and nights cooler than they otherwise would be?snow coverWhich of the following is most likely to provide an accurate and meaningful temperature measurement?a thermometer mounted five feet above ground in an open, shaded areaWithin the context of the hydrological cycle, water enters the atmosphere through ________ and ________.evaporation, transpirationWhen ice makes a transition directly from the solid phase to the vapor phase, this is called ____________.sublimationCondensation warms the surrounding air because:energy is released as chemical bonds form between water moleculesWhy do temperatures often decrease just before and after rain arrives at your location?evaporation of falling rain dropsA decrease in the number of water vapor molecules present results in...a decrease in condensation ratesAt equilibrium...the condensation rate equals the evaporation rateThe statement "warm air holds more water vapor than cold air"...is a poor description for what's really happening when net condensation causes liquid water drops to form and growThe basic recipe for making a cloud consists of moisture, aerosols (condensation nuclei), and ___________.coolingIf a bit of matter is considered hygroscopic, then it...attracts water vaporA contrail is an example of a(n) _______________.mixing cloudOrographic lifting results in...clouds and precipitation on the windward (upslope) side of mountain ranges.Higher dew points mean that there's more water vapor in the air, which means that...condensations rates are higherWhich of the following air masses would tend to have the highest dew points?maritime Tropical (mT)If the amount of water vapor in the air remains constant, and temperature increases from morning to afternoon, relative humidity will _____________.decreaseThe lifting condensation level marks _____________ when air is lifted from the surface to form clouds.the cloud baseWhich of the following is an example of an observation from an active remote sensor?the detection of precipitation from a weather radar.Which of the following satellites orbit the earth at the same rate that the planet rotates, providing them with fixed views?Geostationary satellitesYou are given the following infrared satellite image of Europe and Africa. Which type of satellite likely generated this image?a geostationary satelliteWhich of the following is a layered cloud, which produces precipitation?nimbostratusVisible satellite imagery relies on ___________.rejected visible lightOn visible satellite imagery, thicker clouds tend to ___________ than thinner clouds.have higher albedos and appear brighterInfrared satellite images are useful for judging the temperatures of cloud tops (or the earth's surface) based on the principle that...the amount of radiation emitted by an object is related to its temperature.On infrared satellite imagery, warmer cloud tops are typically...located at lower altitudesOn a water vapor image, a warm effective layer signals...a dry upper troposphere.Radar reflectivity is primarily used for identifying...areas of precipitationThe number, size, and composition (raindrops vs. snowflakes, etc.) of targets are the primary determining factors for...radar reflectivityAssuming comparable sizes, the intensity of the radar return signal from raindrops is approximately __________ the return signal from snowflakes.five times greater thanAmong the benefits of Doppler velocities is that they help forecasters...identify areas of rotation within thunderstormsA dual polarized radar...transmits (and eventually detects) pulses of microwave energy in both horizontal and vertical dimensions.Which type of satellite imagery is most useful for tracing air motions in the middle and upper troposphere?water vaporThe weight of the air in a column that extends from a fixed area on the ground to the top of the atmosphere is approximately equal to...the surface pressureMeteorologists commonly work with pressure expressed in units of ___________.millibarsThe station pressure at high-elevation cities is much lower than sea-level pressure because...pressure always decreases with increasing height in the atmosphere.The sea-level pressure field on a station model contains the digits "973". If we assume that the station's sea-level pressure is within the typical range, what is the station's sea-level pressure?997.3 mbThe pressure-gradient force acts...from higher pressure to lower pressure.Which of the following is the pressure-gradient force responsible for?causing the air to move (creating the wind).The Coriolis force results from ________.the rotation of the earthWhich of the following would result in the strongest Coriolis force?fast moving air at high latitudesFriction acts to...reduce the wind speed near Earth's surface.When the wind is geostrophic in the Northern Hemisphere...it blows parallel to local isobars with low pressure on the left of the direction of motion.Because friction disrupts geostrophic balance near the surface of the earth, winds flow...counterclockwise around low pressure in the Northern Hemisphere, crossing local isobars in toward lower pressure.In a region of high pressure, the general vertical movement of air is ________.downwardThe process of air spreading apart is called ___________.divergenceElongated areas of low pressure are called ________.troughsAfter a front passes through your city, you should typically expect...pressure to increasethe jet stream is...a relatively narrow channel of fast winds that blows generally from west to east in the upper troposphere over the middle latitudes.When the jet stream is in a meridional pattern...areas of divergence aloft tend to be strong, which favors strong mid-latitude cyclones."Steady-state" highs and lows (meaning that their sea-level pressure remains constant) have...equal amounts of divergence and convergence in their central air columns.A mid-latitude cyclone is born when ___________________ moves over a large surface temperature gradient (a stationary front) and reduces sea-level pressure.a source of upper-level divergenceIn a developing mid-latitude cyclone in the Northern Hemisphere, the strongest warm advection typically occurs...north of the warm frontThe passage of a cold front is typically followed by...cold advection and a decrease in dew points.While most cold fronts are katafronts, occasionally a cold front is an anafront, which means that...air rises on the cold side of the front.Warm fronts and stationary fronts are classified as anafronts; therefore,...air rises on their cold sides via overrunning.A large area of light to moderate stratiform precipitation often occurs on the cold side of which type(s) of front?warm fronts and stationary frontsIn a mature Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude cyclone, the _____________ travels under the warm conveyor belt and is responsible for the transport of cool, moist air north of the warm front and back into the cold air west of the low.cold conveyor beltThe cold conveyor belt...helps create the clouds in the comma head of a mid-latitude cyclone.Which precipitation type consists of supercooled raindrops that freeze on contact with cold surfaces, creating a dangerous, slippery glaze?freezing rainWhich type of precipitation results when a "warm-air sandwich" exists and the layer of cold air near the ground (less than 0 degrees Celsius) is thick enough and cold enough to re-freeze falling raindrops before they hit the ground?sleetIn order to formally qualify as a blizzard, sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 miles per hour or more along with visibility of _____________ must occur for at least three consecutive hours.1/4 mile or lessLower temperatures and faster wind speeds result in...lower (and potentially dangerous) wind-chill values.Hydrostatic equilibrium (the approximate balance between the upward directed pressure-gradient force and gravity), results in...vertical air motions that are typically slow.When an object is submerged in a fluid, it is said to be negatively buoyant if ____________________.the object is more dense than its surroundingsIn an unstable layer of the atmosphere, a parcel nudged upward from its initial position will be less dense than its surroundings and will...accelerate upward because of positive buoyancy.The slower rate of cooling in "moist" air parcels (parcels in which net condensation is occurring)...tends to extend positive buoyancy for a longer time on ascent.If you hear a weathercaster mention that stratus clouds will be present tomorrow, what can you conclude about the stability of the layer of air where clouds will form?it will be stableWhich of the following best describes the appearance of stratiform precipitation on radar?a large area of fairly steady precipitationIf you're indoors during a thunderstorm, which of the following is a safe activity?sitting in an interior room, away from doors and windowsThe regular presence of warm, moist maritime-Tropical air in the ___________ makes it the region of the United States with most frequent thunderstorms.southeastWhich is not true about the sea breeze?Its leading edge is a region of surface divergence and fair weather.In the dissipating stage of a single-cell thunderstorm, the cloud consists mainly of ________.downdraftsThe part of the thunderstorm that is made up of positively buoyant parcels is called the _______________.updraftWhich of the following is true about multicell thunderstorms?New thunderstorms are repeatedly initiated along the gust frontThunderstorms that produce nearly all of the strongest tornadoes and largest hail are __________.supercell thunderstormsHaving temperatures around 5,000 feet that are at least 13 degrees Celsius lower than the temperature of the lake surface is important to the development of lake-effect precipitation because...such a rapid decrease in temperature with increasing height helps air parcels remain positively buoyant.One reason that snow squalls are so dangerous is that...visibility can quickly drop to near zero (whiteout conditions) with heavy snow and gusty winds.Which of the following weather features is most likely to be associated with flash flooding?training thunderstorms along a slow-moving front___________ forms when ice crystals collect supercooled cloud drops and raindrops, which freeze on contact.GraupelA strong downdraft of air that causes an outflow of damaging, straight-line winds at or just above the ground is called a...downburst______________ can create straight-line wind gusts strong enough to easily down trees, damage buildings, and pose tremendous danger to aircraft landing (or parked) at airports.downburstsWhich of the following would not classify a thunderstorm as "severe" according to the National Weather Service definition?it produces frequent lightningYou should take shelter and other necessary precautions immediately if which of the following is issued for your area?a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warningA ___________ is a cluster of thunderstorms that has a prominent, relatively linear signature on images of radar reflectivity.squall lineA long-lived group of thunderstorms that causes a concentrated area wind-damage reports at least 400 kilometers (250 miles) long is called a...derechoA rapidly rotating column of air descending from a cloud that's not in contact with the ground often appears as a ______________.funnel cloudThe presence of a mesocyclone in a supercell doesn't guarantee that a tornado will form because the spinning air column must _______________, causing the column to spin more rapidly.stretch verticallyThe ____________ of a supercell involves precipitation wrapping around the mesocyclone to form the hook echo.rear-flank downdraftConsider the radar reflectivity image of a supercell below. Where is the most likely location of a tornado?Point EThe Enhanced Fujita Scale ranking of a tornado's wind speed is...based on a visual assessment of the damage.If you are in a car and find yourself in a tornado's path you should...first, determine if you can drive out of the tornado's path. Otherwise get out of the car and seek shelter in a building (if possible) or outdoor low spot.Small, transient whirlwinds that sometimes spin up along gust fronts, occasionally causing damage, are called _____________.gustnadoesUrbanization tends to decrease local albedo, which leads to...increased absorption of solar radiation.Deforestation increases water runoff into streams and rivers, which locally...reduces the amount of water that re-enters the atmosphere via evaporation and transpiration.Precession and changes to Earth's tilt on its axis can dramatically change ______________.contrasts between winter and summer on Earth.Over the course of a century or more, atmospheric warming or cooling from ocean cycles...tends to be minimal, because shorter-term warming and cooling cancel each other out.A major anthropogenic component to climate change is global warming, which refers to a gradual warming of the earth caused by...a human-induced increase in the strength of the greenhouse effect.Increased sulfur aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources favors...a slight cooling of the planet because more solar radiation gets scattered back to space.The largest reservoir of carbon is...the oceansAn unbalanced carbon cycle, in which more carbon dioxide is being emitted into the atmosphere than is being removed, causes...atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to increase.Which of the following does NOT add complications to the analysis of the surface, thermometer-based temperature record?most of the observation sites are in the Southern HemisphereDuring a long-term anthropogenic warming trend, the shorter-term ups and downs in Earth's temperature indicate that...natural climate-change drivers can either add to, or counteract, the warming trend for short periods.oceans are...warming and becoming more acidic.As the world has warmed, _______________ overall.episodes of extremely hot weather have increased, while episodes of extremely cold weather have decreasedOne difference between GCMs and the computer models used to predict short-term weather is that...GCM projections are much less sensitive to the initial state of the atmosphere.Ozone located in the lower troposphere...is toxic to humans and contributes to a variety of respiratory problems.In addition to destroying stratospheric ozone, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are also...greenhouse gasesSurplus energy in the tropics...gets transferred poleward by the oceans and atmosphere.The region where the opposing trade winds in each hemisphere converge is called the ________________.Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) drifts north and south throughout the year along with ________________.the belt of maximum solar heatingThe __________________ connects all the points that have the highest annual mean temperatures compared to other locations at their longitude.thermal equatorThe belt of subtropical high-pressure systems exists because...mass convergence in the upper branches of the Hadley Cells increases column weight near 30-degrees latitude.Persistent sinking air over the subtropics leads to...the formation of desertsThe formation of the Subtropical Jet Stream is mainly because of...the conservation of angular momentumIn winter, the occasional interaction of the mid-latitude jet stream and the subtropical jet stream can favor...rapid development of mid-latitude cyclones.In the Southern Hemisphere, the trade winds generally blow from the ____________.southeastMeteorologically speaking, monsoons are defined by...seasonal wind shiftsThe North American monsoon...has a much less prominent wind shift than the Indian and Southeast Asian monsoon.Stronger trade winds and colder waters over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean is likely indicative of ______________.La Niña conditionsThe warmer-than-normal surface waters near the Pacific coast of South America during El Niño negatively impact sea life in the region because...fewer nutrients are available near the surface of the ocean.During El Niño, the Walker Circulation reverses, which means...air rises over the central and eastern Pacific and sinks over the western Pacific.During El Niño conditions, which of the following tend(s) to be stronger?the subtropical jet streamOnce a tropical cyclone attains maximum sustained wind speeds of 39 miles per hour...it is classified as tropical storm.Complete this statement: The Saffir-Simpson scale is a means for categorizing...hurricane intensity based on maximum sustained wind speed.Peak hurricane months in the Atlantic basin are ________.August, September, and OctoberThe active tropical season in the Northeast Pacific basin...begins a couple of weeks earlier than the North Atlantic.If a tropical storm in the Northeast Pacific or Atlantic basin has a name that begins with "C", then...it's the third named storm of the year.Typically, tropical cyclones do not form within _____________ of the equator.5 degrees latitudeGlobally, two common sources of seedling disturbances for tropical cyclones are clusters of thunderstorms associated with...monsoon troughs and easterly waves.Which process is responsible for the formation of the eye in a mature hurricane?sinking and warming air over the center of a hurricane_______________ is detrimental to the formation and development of tropical cyclones because it pushes thunderstorms away from the center of circulation.Strong vertical wind shearWithin an intense hurricane, the eye sometimes takes on the shape of a __________.stadium (it's wider at the top than at the bottom)Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) storms in the Atlantic are often steered by...mid-tropospheric winds around the Bermuda High.The National Hurricane Center's forecast cone of uncertainty is intended to send the message that...the exact future path of the tropical cyclone's center is not certain.The weather in spiral bands of a hurricane can best be described as...squalls of heavy, fitful rains and strong gusty winds.Most tornadoes that occur in tropical cyclones develop in...spiral bands in the right-front quadrant (with respect to the storm's direction of motion).All else being equal, tropical cyclones with larger wind fields tend to do more damage because...more severe wind damage is spread out over a larger area and storm surge is worse.Before the era of satellites, which of the following challenges did weather forecasters face?They had to make forecasts using relatively few weather observations______________ is a technique that compares historical weather patterns to current conditions, and is still used today in making long-range forecasts.analog forecastingThe creation of weather forecasts using a computer is formally called _______________.numerical weather predictionA computer model's initialization is...the computer's representation of the state of the atmosphere at the time the computer model run begins.Imperfections in a computer model's initialization lead to...errors in the forecast that grow larger with time.The fact that computer models perform their calculations at fixed time steps, and skip calculations at the times in between introduces...computational errors into the model forecast.Some atmospheric processes are so complex that they must be oversimplified in computer models, which introduces error into their forecasts. Formally, these oversimplifications are called ____________.parameterizationsA set of different computer model forecasts all valid at the same time is called...an ensemble forecast.The main advantage of ensemble forecasting is that ensembles allow forecasters to...see a range of possibilities in a forecast as a way to assess the forecast uncertainty.Which of the following best describes probability of precipitation?the likelihood that a given point in a forecast area will receive measurable precipitation (at least 0.01 inches) in a certain time period.Which of the following forecasts is likely to be the least accurate?a forecast for a specific amount of precipitation 10 days into the futureSurveys suggest that people most commonly get their weather forecasts from...mobile apps, websites, and television.Which of the following is a shortcoming of weather apps or websites that use only an icon (image) to communicate the weather forecast on a given day or night?They can be misleading because the icons sometimes don't tell the full weather story.Scenarios in which small-scale weather processes play important roles in the forecast are more uncertain than usual in part because...the relevant processes are not measured well by the network of weather observation sites, and computer models often struggle to simulate them properly.Trustworthy and reliable sources of weather information will typically...account for the increasing uncertainty in the communication of longer range forecasts (and avoid overly specific longer range forecasts).