ERAU Meteorology Weather & Hurricanes Discussion

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  1. Choose TWO questions – one from each question set below – to answer*.
  2. Use mainly course resources – textbook readings and module lesson content – to develop your answers, vs. doing an internet search. Regardless of the source, provide references for the information used in formulating your answers.
  3. Place your answers within a separate document that includes your name at the top. Number each answer to clearly indicate which question is being answered. (e.g., Question A1). DO NOT include the question statements in the document.

*This is NOT an essay assignment. Your answers will be scored on completeness, correctness, clarity, and conciseness, and the degree of synthesis and application of the related concepts, not on how many words they contain. More is not necessarily better!*


Question Set A: Weather Applications in Everyday Life

  1. Swinging in a hammock in your backyard on a warm, humid Saturday afternoon in late spring, you observe a towering cumulonimbus cloud building in the sky not more than a couple of miles from your home. Fifteen minutes later, you hear thunder, and a minute after that, experience a strong gust of wind, the smell of dirt, and a significant temperature drop. After another minute, you are out of the hammock and running into your house as a heavy downpour of rain begins. Synthesize and apply related concepts from Module 8 regarding thunderstorm structure, characteristics, and stages of development, to explain the reasoning behind each aspect of the experience described in the scenario.
  2. You are in the living room of your two-story wood-framed home in Moore, Oklahoma (in the central United States), on a warm, humid evening in the late spring. Suddenly you receive a tornado warning on your weather radio, and within another minute, you hear the city’s tornado sirens blaring, prompting you to immediately retreat to your home’s underground tornado shelter in the backyard. After the tornado passes, you emerge from the shelter to discover that your home has been significantly damaged. A few days later, it is determined that the tornado that struck your home was rated EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. Synthesizing and applying related concepts from Module 8:
    1. Describe the structure and characteristics of the specific type of thunderstorm that formed this tornado.
    2. Describe some details of the type of damage your home likely received based on the given information.

    Question Set B: Weather Applications in Aviation

    1. Suppose that you are a United States Air Force pilot attached to a squadron based near the coast of Florida’s panhandle, which runs east-west along the Gulf of Mexico. Your friend is a pilot attached to another squadron based on the panhandle located 25 miles east of your squadron’s base. The center of a northward-moving hurricane with a 23 mile-wide eye is forecast to make landfall exactly halfway between the two bases (It may help to make a sketch of the scenario.). Qualitatively (i.e., with descriptive words, not numerical values) describe the differences between the wind direction, wind speed, and storm surge that the coastline near your squadron’s base will experience versus that of your friend’s when the hurricane makes landfall. Synthesize and apply related concepts from Module 9 regarding hurricane structure and characteristics to support your answers.
    2. You are the pilot of a hurricane reconnaissance aircraft, on a mission to retrieve data from within a Saffir-Simpson category 3 hurricane located in the Gulf of Mexico. Part of the mission entails flying a straight-line path across the hurricane from one edge of the storm, through its center (passing directly through the eye), to the opposite edge, at 6,000 feet above the ocean surface. Synthesize and apply related concepts from Module 9 regarding hurricane structure and characteristics to qualitatively (i.e, with descriptive words, not numerical values) describe:
      1. The changes in pressure and wind speed that the data will reflect along this entire path.
      2. The changes in wind direction, turbulence, and visibility experienced by the crew along this entire path.


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