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Meteorology Final Exam Review Sheet
All chapters in textbook. Please visit to view all class Power Points.
Chapters 1 and 2
1. What is the difference between a direct death and an indirect death in a natural disaster?
Give an example of each.
2. Describe the electromagnetic spectrum. Give 2 examples of electromagnetic radiation.
3. What is refraction? How does this form a rainbow?
4. Why is the sky blue? Why does the sky turn reddish/orange during sunset?
5. The Sun burns brightly because it is going through _________________. This is when the
Sun converts 2 atoms of __________________ into one atom of __________________.
6. The Sun gives off its light primarily as __________________________,
____________________________________ and ______________________________
7. What is Earth’s “energy budget”? What does it mean to say that “what’s going in must come
8. Briefly describe the difference between radiation, conduction and convection. Give an
example of each.
9. What is the difference between the greenhouse effect and global warming?
10. What causes Earth to have seasons? On what day does each season start in the Northern
11. The North Pole receives 24 hours of sunlight during the Summer, yet it still remains cold. Why
is this?
12. Explain why San Francisco, CA has a fairly steady temperature throughout the year, while a
place such as Indianapolis, IN experiences extreme temperature fluctuations during the
different seasons.
13. Name two harmful things that can happen to the Earth if we experience a Geomagnetic Storm
Chapters 3 and 4
14. Why does warm air rise and cold air sink?
15. Compare and contrast high pressure and low pressure. What sort of weather does each
cause? Is the air rising or sinking? What direction do the winds blow in each type of pressure
in the Northern Hemisphere?
16. Briefly describe the Coriolis force, and what it does to Earth’s wind patterns.
17. What is the jet stream?
18. Briefly explain how Earth’s wind patterns are related to Earth’s ocean currents.
19. What is upwelling? What is a benefit of this?
20. Why does water have such a high specific heat (meaning it takes water a long time to warm up
or cool down)? (i.e. think of chemistry and molecular bonds here)
21. What is the definition of humidity? What does it make you “feel” like?
22. It would never rain if we didn’t have condensation nuclei. What are these, and list 2
substances that could be used as condensation nuclei.
23. Explain why many people need to use lotion and chapstick during the winter, but not the
24. Briefly explain the steps to cloud formation.
25. Give the correct scientific name of each cloud:
High and wispy:
Middle-level and flat:
Low and puffy:
Chapters 5, 6 and 7
26. What is the difference between El Nino and La Nina? How is weather in the United States
affected by both?
27. What is a Hadley Cell? Where is this located?
28. In the United States, weather systems move from the ____________ to the ______________.
29. How does India’s monsoon season work? Why is it rainy during monsoon season, and dry
the rest of the time?
30. What is the weather like during a cold front? A warm front? Draw the symbol for each.
31. What is a mid-latitude cyclone? What sort of weather occurs with this system?
32. How did WWII help weather forecasters? Describe 2 ways that meteorological science
advanced because of the war.
33. What is chaos theory? How does this relate to the “butterfly effect”?
34. Why are long-term forecasts not very useful?
35. Where do meteorologists get their data? List at least 4 sources of data (such as an automated
weather station).
36. A ___________________ measures humidity and a _______________________ measures
air pressure.
37. Briefly describe how Doppler Radar works.
Chapters 8, 9 and 10
38. What is the difference between a watch and a warning? What safety measures should you
take in each?
39. What is the difference between the cumulus stage and the dissipation stage of a
thunderstorm? In what stage do updrafts/downdrafts occur?
40. Why is some hail incredibly small, while others can grow to be baseball sized?
41. What causes lightning to form? What is the difference between a steeped ladder and a return
42. What is Tornado Alley? List 5 states in Tornado Alley.
43. List 3 major differences between tornadoes and hurricanes.
44. What sort of weather does the Santa Ana winds bring? What region of the United States is
primarily affected by these winds?
45. List two ways weather can cause a fire, and list 2 ways weather can help to put a fire out.
46. Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst weather-related disasters our country has ever seen.
Briefly describe the strength of Hurricane Katrina, how many lives were lost and the
devastation caused by this terrible storm.
47. What would you call a tropical cyclone in each of the following oceans:
Northern Pacific:
48. What is latent heat? How does this serve to “fuel” a hurricane?
49. Draw a t-chart and compare/contrast the eye and the eyewall in a tropical cyclone.
50. Describe several ways a hurricane can cause damage, besides strong winds creating debris.
51. Why is a Category 2 hurricane sometimes more deadly than a Category 5?
Chapters 11 and 12
52. What is the “cap and trade” policy regarding pollution? How does this help to control how
much pollution can go in to the air?
53. How does a temperature inversion help to cause air pollution?
54. Who are the most vulnerable to cold/heat waves? Why?
55. What is the difference between the hole in the ozone layer and global warming? What causes
56. What is the Montreal Protocol? What was its purpose?
57. Briefly explain how the chlorine in CFCs attacks the ozone layer.
58. What is a positive feedback loop? Give an example.
59. If global warming continues, list 3 global effects that could happen by the year 2050.
60. List 2 carbon sinks and 2 carbon emitters.