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CHAPTER 12

TROPICAL WEATHER SYSTEMS
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MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS

1. A hurricane differs from an extra-tropical cyclone in that a hurricane
a. has no fronts.
b. develops within a uniform warm and humid air mass.
c. is more intense but smaller.
d. is a warm-core system.
e. All of the above are correct.

2. The eye wall of a hurricane is
a. a ring of intense thunderstorms.
b. the least dangerous part of the storm.
c. an area of calm winds.

3. Sustained surface winds in a hurricane are
a. greater than 250 km (155 mi) per hour.
b. 119 km (74 mi) per hour or higher.
c. strongest in the eye of the system.
d. typically stronger than the winds produced by a F5 tornado.
e. weakest in the eye wall.

4. Fair skies and light winds are typical of
a. the eye wall.
b. the eye of the hurricane.

5. The diameter of a hurricane is typically ______ that of an extra-tropical cyclone.
a. greater than
b. about the same as
c. less than

6. The eye of a hurricane typically
a. shrinks in diameter as the hurricane intensifies.
b. features subsiding air.
c. is surrounded by a ring of cumulonimbus clouds (the eye wall).
d. All of the above are correct.
e. None of the above is correct.

7. A tropical storm or hurricane develops in __________ air.
a. continental tropical
b. continental polar
c. arctic
d. maritime polar
e. maritime tropical

8. A hurricane is approaching you from the east. The wind changes from very strong northerly to calm. This means that
a. the eye is overhead and it is safe to leave your shelter.
b. the eye is overhead and the other half of the system is yet to come.
c. the hurricane has dissipated and only light showers remain.
d. a tornado spawned by the hurricane just missed you.

9. Cold surface ocean water prevents hurricanes from forming north of
a. 30 degrees N
b. 10 degrees N
c. the equator

10. Hurricanes do not form at the equator because
a. sea-surface temperatures typically are too low.
b. there is no Coriolis Effect.
c. fronts are present.
d. All of the above are correct.
e. None of the above is correct.

11. The source of energy that sustains a hurricane circulation is
a. sensible heat.
b. latent heat.
c. infrared radiation.
d. ultraviolet radiation.
e. None of these is correct.

12. Hurricane formation requires a sea-surface temperature of at least 26.5 °C through a depth of at least ______ meters.
a. 100
b. 15
c. 45
d. 25

13. Ultimately, the rate of evaporation of seawater is governed principally by
a. air pressure.
b. cloud cover.
c. sea-surface temperature.
d. whether it is raining or snowing.
e. the tides.

14. Force(s) operating within a hurricane:
a. Coriolis Effect
b. friction
c. pressure gradient force
d. centripetal force
e. All of the above are correct.

15. The minimum latitude where the Coriolis Effect is strong enough to sustain a hurricane circulation is about ______ degrees.
a. 0
b. 5
c. 10
d. 20
e. 23.5

16. Hurricanes and tropical storms are least likely to affect
a. New England.
b. North Carolina.
c. the west coast of South America.
d. coastal California.
e. New Jersey.

17. A tropical cyclone breeding ground:
a. the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar
b. the Arabian Sea
c. the Bay of Bengal
d. the Gulf of Mexico
e. All of the above are correct.

18. Hurricanes rarely form off the coast of South America primar­ily because of
a. shear produced by strong winds in the middle and upper troposphere.
b. a weak Coriolis Effect.
c. persistent cloud-cover.
d. relatively low sea-surface temperatures.
e. None of the above is correct.

19. Most Northern Hemisphere hurricanes occur
a. in winter.
b. from June through November.
c. from November through March.
d. in spring.
e. in early summer.

20. At latitude 10 degrees N, Atlantic basin hurricanes generally
a. drift slowly toward the east.
b. drift slowly toward the west.
c. move rapidly toward the northeast.
d. move rapidly southward.

21. The first sign that a hurricane may be developing over tropical seas is the appearance of
a. high, thin cirrus clouds.
b. a warm anticyclone.
c. strong winds aloft.
d. altocumulus lenticularis clouds.
e. an organized cluster of cumulonimbus clouds.

22. A tropical disturbance may be triggered by
a. the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ).
b. a trough in the westerlies intruding into low latitudes.
c. an easterly wave.
d. Any of the above is correct.
e. None of the above is correct.

23. ______ convective cloud clusters that appear over the tropical Atlantic develop into full-blown hurricanes.
a. Most
b. About half
c. Very few

24. Easterly waves originate in
a. Europe
b. North Africa
c. South Africa
d. the U.S. East coast

25. The Sahara air layer (SAL)
a. inhibits tropical cyclone development.
b. is a mass of dry, dusty stable air.
c. originates over the Sahara Desert.
d. All of the above are correct.

26. When winds in a tropical disturbance reach 37 km per hr or higher, the storm is called
a. a tropical depression.
b. a tropical storm.
c. a hurricane.
d. a severe thunderstorm.

27. The horizontal air pressure gradient is ______ in a hurri­cane than in a typical extra-tropical cyclone.
a. steeper
b. less steep

28. The horizontal air pressure gradient is ______ in a hurri­cane than in a F4 tornado.
a. steeper
b. weaker

29. The major source of energy in a hurricane is the
a. downdraft in the system’s "eye."
b. polar front jet stream aloft.
c. strong temperature contrast across fronts.
d. release of the latent heat of vaporization.
e. None of the above is correct.

30. A(n) __________ is often situated above a hurricane.
a. polar jet stream
b. subpolar low
c. anticyclonic air flow
d. All of the above are correct.
e. None of the above is correct.

31. Historically, the most destructive aspect of a hurricane striking a low-lying coastal area:
a. strong winds.
b. heavy rains.
c. hail.
d. wind shear.
e. storm surge.

32. The storm surge of Hurricane Ike tested the seawall of
a. Miami, FL
b. Galveston, TX
c. Ocean City, MD
d. Pensacola, FL

33. Tornadoes______ accompany hurricanes that make landfall on the U.S. East coast.
a. rarely
b. often

34. The heavy rains of a hurricane
a. are almost always confined to coastal areas.
b. are triggered by subsidence within the eye.
c. often persist as the system tracks well inland.
d. seldom produce flooding.
e. None of the above is correct.

35. Full-blown hurricanes ______ strike New England.
a. never
b. often
c. occasional­ly

36. The SLOSH (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) model is used by weather forecasters to predict
a. the devastation that will be caused by storm surge.
b. the strength of the hurricane.
c. the location and height of storm surge.

37. Hurricanes dissipate when
a. they move over colder ocean water.
b. they move over land.
c. surface inflow of air exceeds upper-level outflow of air.
d. All of the above are correct.
e. None of the above is correct.

38. In the United States over the 30-year period from 1970 to 1999, the majority of tropical cyclone-related fatalities was due to
a. tornadoes.
b. lightning.
c. storm surge flooding.
d. inland freshwater flooding.
e. high winds.

39. Hurricane winds
a. weaken rapidly once the system makes landfall.
b. typically cause extensive property damage thousands of kilometers inland.
c. are usually stronger than the winds in a violent torna­do.
d. strengthen as the system moves from over the ocean to over land.
e. None of the above is correct.

40. As a hurricane tracks from sea to land,
a. surface winds weaken and shift toward the eye.
b. surface winds weaken and rains end abruptly.
c. the threat of tornadoes ends.
d. surface winds shift toward high pressure.
e. None of the above is correct.

41. As a hurricane tracks inland, its
a. winds diminish.
b. central pressure rises.
c. rains continue and may be heavy.
d. horizontal pressure gradient weakens.
e. All of the above are correct.

42. The highest wind speeds in a hurricane occur
a. between spiral bands.
b. in the spiral cloud bands.
c. in the eye wall.
d. in the eye.

43. The following condition(s) would inhibit development of tropi­cal storms and hurricanes over the tropical eastern Atlan­tic:
a. subsidence of air on the eastern flank of the Bermuda-Azores high
b. strong vertical wind shear
c. low vapor pressure in the middle troposphere
d. unusually low sea-surface temperatures
e. Any of the above is correct.

44. Overall, category 5 hurricanes are __________category 2 and 3 hurricanes.
a. less destructive than
b. much more common than
c. more frequent than
d. much less frequent than

45. Each year the United States experiences ___________ hurricanes than tornadoes.
a. more
b. far fewer

46. By convention, major hurricanes rate ______ or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale.
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5

47. The hurricane threat to the Southeast United States is serious because
a. most residents have never experienced a hurricane.
b. of rapid population growth in coastal areas.
c. of the vulnerability of low-lying coastal areas to a storm surge.
d. All of the above are correct.
e. None of the above is correct.

48. The most hurricane-prone location in the United States is
a. New England.
b. Florida.
c. Chicago, IL.
d. San Diego, CA.
e. Tucson, AZ.

49. When a hurricane threatens low-lying coastal areas, the most prudent strategy for residents is to
a. seek shelter in the basement.
b. purchase flood insurance and wait out the storm at home.
c. hide under a sturdy table or bench.
d. evacuate to an inland shelter.
e. ride out the storm on a boat.

50. The only year on record in which major hurricanes were present in all 6 months of the Atlantic hurricane season was
a. 2003
b. 2005
c. 2008
d. 2001