Treasure Coast Trivia- Fall 2022

The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season began on June 1st and runs through November 30th.

As we head into the peak months of the Atlantic hurricane season, test your knowledge of Florida’s most formidable foe!

How many named storms are predicted for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season?

a. 14-20

b. 6-10

c. 3-5

d. None

The answer is A

NOAA’s update to the 2022 outlook — which covers the entire six-month hurricane season that ends on Nov. 30 — calls for 14-20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 6-10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater). Of those, 3-5 could become major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.


How many named storms have already occurred in the Atlantic basin this year?

a. Two

b. Five

c. Three

d. None

The answer is C

This year's first named storm, Tropical Storm Alex, developed five days after the start of the season, making this the first season since 2014 not to have a pre-season named storm. About a month later, Tropical Storm Bonnie formed and quickly made landfall along the Costa Rica–Nicaragua border. It then crossed over into the Pacific basin a day later, becoming the first to survive the crossover from the Atlantic to the Pacific since Hurricane Otto in 2016. The same day as Bonnie's crossover, Tropical Storm Colin unexpectedly formed inland over coastal South Carolina. It quickly weakened and dissipated the next day after moving into coastal North Carolina.


What percentage of hurricanes occurring the United States hit Florida?

a. 90

b. 75

c. 40

d. 30

The answer is C

Nearly 40 percent of all hurricanes that made landfall in the United States between 1851 and 2020 hit Florida. The state was hit by 120 hurricanes in the period, of which 37 were major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). Texas and Louisiana were the second and third most hit states in the country, with 64 and 62 hurricanes, respectively.


The collision of two hurricanes is known as:

a. Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability

b. The Novaya Zemlya Effect

c. The Fujiwhara Effect

d. Crow Instability

The answer is C

In August, of 2020, two different tropical storms were tracking to approach similar areas on the Gulf Coast. During this time, many began asking “What happens if 2 hurricanes collide?” This can occur, and it’s called the Fujiwhara Effect, named after the meteorologist Sakuhei Fujiwhara, who first described the phenomenon. The Fujiwhara Effect is when the 2 cyclones of similar strength come within approximately 900 miles of each other; they begin spinning around a common center point. If one cyclone is larger than the other, the smaller one will orbit around the larger one before merging into a single hurricane.


A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when wind speeds reach:

a. 39 miles per hour

b. 59 miles per hour

c. 110 miles per hour

d. 74 miles per hour

The answer is D

Hurricanes are differentiated from tropical storms by their wind speeds. Tropical storms carry winds that travel 35-50 miles per hour. Hurricane’s wind speeds are double and travel for at least 74 miles per hour. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale defines hurricane strength by categories. Hurricanes are categorized into 5 types, depending upon wind speed.


The Coriolis effect is the reason for which of the following hurricane facts?

a. They rarely produce thunder or lightening

b. They never form near or cross the equator

c. Their centers are often calm and clear

d. Their eye walls contain the most energy

The answer is B

Coriolis force is the self-rotation of the Earth which causes deflection in air and moving objects. Cyclones, including hurricanes, need this force in order to spin. The Coriolis effect refers to the lack of Coriolis force at the equator and its increased force in opposite directions toward each pole. This is also the reason why hurricanes spin counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.


The most dangerous aspect of a hurricane to people and property is:

a. High winds

b. Tornadic activity

c. Storm surge

d. Flying debris

The answer is C

Strong winds and flying debris generate the most buzz around a hurricane but, more than half of all death or destruction resulting from a landfalling hurricane is caused by storm surge, and flooding. Most storm surges are relatively small and only impact the immediate coast, but in a larger storm like Katrina or Sandy, wind can push deep water so far inland that it completely submerges homes many miles from the coast.


What is the strongest part of a well-organized Atlantic hurricane?

a. The right quadrant

b. The left quadrant

c. The feeder bands

d. The eye wall

The answer is D

While the right quadrant of a northward Atlantic hurricane, known in meteorology as the “dirty side” causes the majority of destruction, the eye wall is the most powerful because the air within it moves faster than any other part of the storm. The eyewall consists of a ring of tall thunderstorms that produce heavy rains and usually the strongest winds. Changes in the structure of the eye and eyewall can cause changes in the wind speed, which is an indicator of the storm's intensity. The eye can grow or shrink in size, and double (concentric) eyewalls can form. In large, intense, land falling hurricanes, the eye wall is the most devastating region of the storm.


Hurricanes benefit the earth in which of the following ways?

a. Reduction of red tide and bacteria

b. Replenishment of barrier islands

c. Balancing global heat

d. Ending droughts

e. All of the above

The answer is E

Hurricanes break up bacteria and red tide. As they move over the ocean, winds and waves break up patches of bacteria that can end persisting red tides as we often see on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The winds also oxygenate the surface water, allowing life to return to areas previously affected by red tide.

Tropical cyclones have enough power to pick up substantial amounts of sand, nutrients and sediment on the ocean floor and push it toward barrier islands, increasing these important land masses. Without hurricanes and artificial restoration, these islands would eventually disappear into the ocean.

One of the most important functions of hurricanes around the world is temperature balance between the poles and the equator. Because the equator receives more solar energy, the planet needs a way to spread this warmth and hurricanes do just that. Without them, the equator would be much warmer and the poles significantly colder.

Of course, tropical cyclones often produce significant rainfall, making them efficient drought busters. Though flooding is the greatest danger to people and property, this is usually a result of storm surge so, don’t “blame it on the rain!”