Sunday, November 11, 2012

Strange But True Facts About Weather

In ten minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined!

 The word hurricane comes from the Taino Native American word, hurucane, meaning evil spirit of the wind.

The first time anyone flew into a hurricane happened in 1943 in the middle of World War II.

A tropical storm is classified as a hurricane once winds goes up to 74 miles per hour or higher.

 Most people who die in hurricanes are killed by the towering walls of sea water that comes inland, not high winds.

Hurricane season is from June to November when the seas are at their warmest and most humid, which are ripe conditions for a hurricane to develop.

 Hurricane Katrina was the most costly hurricane in history. It flooded 80 percent of New Orleans and destroyed more than 100,000 homes. Katrina killed almost 2,000 people.

The winter of 1932 in the US was so cold that Niagara falls froze completely solid!

 The Earth sees about 760 thunderstorms every hour, scientists have calculated.

Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1

Odds of being killed by lightning: 2,320,000 to 1 

9 out of 10 lightning strike victims survive! 

Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women!

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 fatalities

Lightning does strike twice in the same place. Tall buildings such as the Sears Tower in Chicago are struck repeatedly

 Oak trees are struck by lightning more than any other tree.

The Tri State Tornadoon March 18, 1925, is known to be the single most deadly tornado in history. With 625 confirmed deaths to its name, even the second deadliest tornado pales in comparison to this blustery beast. Stretching from Missouri to Southern Illinois, this funnel traveled over 200 miles from point of origin and ranks at the top as an F5 on the scale of destruction.

A tornado can last from a few seconds to more than an hour. On average, they persist for about 10 minutes.

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

 A tornado WATCH means that conditions are ripe for a tornado; a tornado WARNING means that a storm has been spotted on the ground or via radar and you should take cover immediately.

 A tornado that struck Washington, D.C. on August 25, 1814, is credited with driving the British invaders out of the city and preventing them from carrying out further destruction. They had burned the White House and much of the city the day before.

 Tornadoes have occurred on every continent, except for Antarctica.

About 1,000 tornadoes hit the United States every year.

Most of these touch down in America’s Plains states, an area known as Tornado Alley, which is generally considered to be Oklahoma, Kansas, the Texas Panhandle, Nebraska, eastern South Dakota, and eastern Colorado. Tornadoes, however, can occur almost anywhere in the United States, including west of the Rockies and east of the Appalachians.

Supercell tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3:00 and 9:00 in the evening.

Current tornado warnings have a 13-minute average lead time and a 70% false alarm rate.

Tornadoes have been known to destroy houses, but leave light objects like plates, glasses, lamps, and even paper undisturbed on tables.

Tornadoes have also been known to pluck the feathers from chickens.

 The speed of a typical raindrop is 17 miles per hour.

  Rain contains vitamin B12.

 The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in seventeenth-century England. During heavy rainstorms, many homeless animals would drown and float down the streets, giving the appearance that it had actually rained cats and dogs.

 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.

More people are killed by heat stroke than all other natural disasters combined.  (More than 400 each year)

The term “dog days of summer” was coined by the ancient Greeks and Romans to describe the hottest days of summer that coincided with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius.

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

 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.

The old saying that ten inches of fresh snow contains one inch of water is only occasionally true. In reality, ten inches of new snow can contain as little as 0.10 inches of water to nearly four inches. 

 The fastest wind ever recorded by Doppler radar was 301 mph, in a tornado near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 3, 1999.

 Umiat, Alaska is the coldest place in the United States, with an average temperature of only 10.1°F.

The windiest city in the United States is Mt Washington, NH with an average wind speed of 35 mph. The least windy city is Oak Ridge, TN with an average wind speed of 4 mph.

For more about Tornadoes

For more about Hurricanes

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