Fun Facts About Weather

Fun Facts About Weather!

Temperature

-Listening to the chirps of crickets can give you a rough estimate of what the temperature outdoors is on the Fahrenheit temperature scale. Count the amount of chirps you hear in fifteen seconds and add 37!

-Death Valley, California's temperature has the U.S. temperature record: 134 degrees Fahrenheit recorded at Greenland Ranch. 

-Prospect Creek, Alaska holds the U.S. temperature record for the coldest temperature: minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit!

-The hot and cold temperature extremes ever recorded on earth is over 260 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Hot weather makes the human body sweat to cool itself off. It is called evaporative cooling.

-Temperature and wind in the winter create wind chills. In the summer, they create heat indices.

Precipitation

-Every winter around one septillion snowflakes fall from the sky! That's a one with 24 zeros following it!

-Hilo, Hawaii is the wettest city in the United States with an average annual precipitation of 128 inches! To put that into perspective, one inch of rain falling over one acre of land is over 27,000 gallons of water or over 226,000 pounds of water.

-It takes approximately one million drops of water to make one raindrop.

-The largest hail stone ever discovered was found in Nebraska and its circumference was that of a soccer ball!

-Hail causes about one billion dollars worth of damage per year to crops and property such as homes and cars.

Wind

The Mount Washington Observatory recorded the greatest wind gust speed ever recorded on earth: 231 miles per hour in 1934 during a severe storm. 

Persia went "green" before being environmentally conscious was a concern. The first windmills were found there, although electricity wasn't invented as we know it until the1800s.

A light wind is called a "zephyr." Many poets use the term to describe the gentlest of breezes.

Wind doesn't pollute like electrical power can, so wind turbines are being developed to light up cities.

Breaking wind doesn't just mean passing gas. Trees are used in landscaping as windbreaks to keep wind from harming property.

 Lightning

-A lightning bolt travels up to 60,000 miles per second and can reach temperatures as high as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Florida has the highest instance of lightning fatalies; however, over 8,300 people have been killed by lightning from 1940 to 1991 in the United States. 

-Bad family genes? A woman gets struck by lightning in 1995. Three weeks prior her nephew was struck and suffered temporary blindness. Years before in 1970 her cousin was zapped when lighting hit her umbrella, but this wasn't the first time, she was also struck once before in 1965. Her grandfather was killed by lightining in 1921 and his brother struck and killed in the 1920's!

-The best chance to be fatally struck by lightning is before you see the storm as lightning can travel horizontally over six miles!

-Contrary to popular belief, lightning does strike twice in the same place. Tall buildings such as the Sears Tower in Chicago are struck repeatedly.

Tornadoes

-The largest tornado in the United States was around two and a half miles wide. It happened in Nebraska in 2004. Although tornados have been reported worldwide, most happen in the United States!

-The Enhanced Fujita Tornado scale measures wind speeds of tornados from EF0 to an EF5. The tornado that wiped out the center of Greensburg, Kansas measured EF5. Only 51 EF5 tornadoes have been recorded since 1953 and just two since 2007. The wind speed of an EF5 tornado is over 200 miles per hour.

-Texas gets about 110 tornadoes each year, the most of any U.S. state.

-Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms, but they can pick up people and debris and set them down unharmed. One tornado near Decatur County, Indiana, sent a piece of straw into the bark of a large tree unbent in 1974.

-Dust devils look like tornadoes, but are simply well formed whirlwinds of dust.

Hurricanes

-Did you know that hurricanes have an eye in the center of its spiral that is calm and even sunny? However, the arms of the hurricane have a destructive force that can decimate entire coastlines and towns.

-Hurricane Katrina was a category four hurricane that hit the southern coastline of the United States in 2005. Hurricane Camille, a category five hit the same area less than forty years earlier.

-Hurricanes are called hurricanes if they develop in the Atlantic Ocean. If they develop in the Pacific Ocean, they are called typhoons.

-The worst hurricane in U.S. history happened in 1900 in Galveston, Texas, where 8,000 people died.

-Hurricane Andrew cost Florida and Louisiana over $26 billion in 1992. A category five, it was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sites

The NOAA sites are an invaluable collection of resources for weather education.

General Weather Sites