Ask Scoopy: Wind
04/15/2010 11:05 AM
04/15/2010 12:13 PM
Q: From 1950 to 2004, how many tornadoes formed in Sacramento County?
A: Four tornadoes. The strongest was an F2.
Q: From 1950 to 2004, what California county experienced the most tornadoes?
A: Los Angeles County experienced 41 tornadoes.
Q: What was the country's deadliest tornado?
A: The Tri-State Tornado killed 695 people.
Q: How many tornadoes form in California annually?
A: An average of four.
Q: How many tornadoes rotate clockwise?
A: About 1 in 100.
Q: Most tornadoes rotate which direction?
Q: Which month spawns the most tornadoes?
A: The month of May. June is second.
Q: Tornadoes have not occurred on which continent?
Q: Why do most tornadoes form in the afternoon and early evening?
A: Because they form from thunderstorms, a lot of solar heating is needed.
Q: Most tornadoes occur during which time of the day?
A: Most form in the afternoon and early evening.
Q: What percentage of the country's tornadoes are considered violent?
A: Actually, only about 5 percent are violent (EF3 or higher).
Q: Where is "Tornado Alley?"
A: Roughly from central Texas through eastern South Dakota.
Q: What is a gust front?
A: A boundary separating cool thunderstorm air and surrounding air.
Q: How much water escapes Earth each day due to the polar wind?
A: About 1,000 gallons escape each day.
Q: What is the polar wind?
A: Charged plasma that travels into space from the upper atmosphere.
Q: The Enhanced Fujita scale (EF) ranks what weather phenomenon?
A: The EF scale ranks tornadoes by wind estimates based on damage.
Q: What are tornadoes that form over water called?
Q: What is a veering wind?
A: A wind that turns clockwise with height.
Q: Are veering winds associated with warming or cooling?
A: They are associated with warm air advection.
Q: What is the opposite of veering?
A: Backing winds that shift counterclockwise.
Q: The average tornado moves in which direction?
A: From southwest to northeast.
Q: What state sees the most tornadoes?
Q: What is considered the windiest place on Earth?
A: Winds at Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica reach 74 mph every three days.
Q: 16,000 windmills provide power to how many homes in California?
A: Windmills provide power to 300,000 homes (1% of the state's power).
Q: The National Weather Service issues a wind advisory at what speed?
A: Sustained wind speed of 30 mph.
Q: How strong are the winds in a Category 5 hurricane?
A: 156 mph and greater.
Q: On a weather chart, what is stream line?
A: Steam line shows wind direction and trajectory
Q: What does chinook wind mean?
A: It means "snow eater" because of the warm nature of the wind.
Q: What is the term used for "foehn winds" in the lee of the Rockies?
Q: Should planes take off with a tail or head wind?
A: A head wind helps the plane get airborne.
Q: What wind reverses its direction seasonally?
A: The monsoon.
Q: A wind advisory requires that winds be how strong?
A: Wind advisories are for winds 31 to 39 mph.
Q: What is a multiple vortex tornado?
A: A tornado with mini-tornadoes inside it. This is different from multiple tornadoes.
Q: What is Beaufort Scale?
A: It is a system used to report wind speeds.
Q: What Beaufort wind scale is equivalent to hurricane force winds?
A: 12 to 17, which represents winds above 74 miles per hour.
Q: What is Katabatic Wind?
A: A wind that is created by air flowing downhill.
Q: In terms of wind, what is a knot?
A: 1.15 miles per hour, or 0.5 meters per second.
Q: What is a jet stream?
A: Relatively strong winds concentrated in a narrow stream in the atmosphere.
Q: Which center issues hurricane watches and warnings?
A: National Hurricane Center.
Q: What is a dust devil?
A: A tornado-like swirl of air that picks up dust off the ground.
Q: What U.S. city has been hit by the most tornadoes?
A: Oklahoma City.
Q: Where did the deadliest recorded tornado in the world occur?
A: Bangladesh. Estimates put the death toll at more than 1,300 people.
Q: Where do typhoons occur?
A: Typhoons occur in the western Pacific Ocean.
Q: What is the Fujita Scale?
A: It is a system of rating the intensity of tornadoes.
Q: What is the strength of a super typhoon?
A: It has maximum sustained winds of 130 knots (150 mph) or greater.
Q: What is upslope flow?
A: It is air that moves from lower terrain to higher terrain.
Q: What is a willy-willy?
A: A tropical cyclone of hurricane strength near Australia.
Q: What is a gust front?
A: The leading edge of gusty winds from thunderstorm downdrafts.
Q: Atlantic hurricane names recycle how often?
A: Hurricane names recycle every six years
Q: How many knots is a 10 mph wind?
A: 8.69 knots.
Q: What is the minimum wind in a hurricane?
A: 64 knots (74 mph).
Q: What is the range of wind speeds in a tropical storm?
A: 34 to 63 knots (39 to 73 mph).
Q: What is the maximum sustained wind in a tropical depression?
A: 33 knots (38 mph).
Q: What did Hurricane Ivan set a record for in 2004?
A: Most tornadoes spawned; Ivan unleashed 117 tornadoes.
Q: If chimney smoke descends rather than rises, what does this indicate?
A: Warm air aloft.
Q: What is the name of the scale to measure hurricane intensity?
A: The Saffir-Simpson scale.
Q: On average, how often do hurricanes hit Hawaii?
A: About once every 15 years.
Q: What is wind shear?
A: A variation of wind with height.
Q: Does wind shear help hurricane development?
A: It actually discourages it.
Q: What was Hurricane Rita's minimum central pressure?
A: Data indicate a pressure of 897 millibars on Sept. 22, 2005.
Q: Hurricane Katrina made landfall as what category storm?
A: It hit as a Category 3 storm.
Q: What was Hurricane Katrina's minimum central pressure?
A: A central pressure of 902 millibars was recorded on Aug. 28, 2005.
Q: What was the smallest recorded tropical cyclone?
A: Tropical Cyclone Tracy, which hit Darwin, Australia, in 1974, measured only 60 miles across.
Q: What is the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane?
A: Sustained wind speeds. Tropical storm: 39-73 mph; hurricane, 74 mph or greater.
Q: What is the lowest wind speed a hurricane can have?
A: 74 mph.
Q: Hurricanes can't form within how many degrees of the equator?
A: They can't form between the equator and roughly 5 degrees north latitude.
Q: Why can't hurricanes form within 5 degrees of the equator?
A: The Coriolis effect is too weak close to the equator.
Q: What causes a storm to spin counter-clockwise?
A: The Coriolis effect pushes motion to the right in the northern hempishere.
Q: Which solar phenomenon produces the aurora?
A: The solar wind.
Q: From where is the term "hurricane" derived?
A: From Huracan, the Carib god of evil.
Q: When does the North Pacific hurricane season begin?
A: It officially begins May 15.
Join the Discussion
The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.