Winds, Weather, and Deserts

Practice exam questions written by Timothy H. Heaton,
Professor of Earth Sciences, University of South Dakota

Click the circle by an answer with the mouse, then click on the Submit button to get a response. You will be told if your answer is correct or not and will be given some comments.

  1. What consequence does the coriolis effect have, relative to the Earth's surface, on masses of air or water that are changing latitude?
    The results are unpredictable; currents can veer right or left in either hemisphere.
    They veer to the left in the northern hemisphere and to the right in the southern hemisphere.
    They veer to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
    They veer to the right in both hemispheres.
    They veer to the left in both hemispheres.

  2. What phenomenon does the Coriolis effect arise from?
    Curvature of the earth's surface.
    Rotation of the earth around its axis.
    Rotation of the earth around the sun.
    Effect of winds high in the atmosphere.
    Motion of the oceans in their basins.

  3. At what latitude are prevailing westerly winds typically found?
    0º.
    15º.
    30º.
    50º.
    70º.
    85º.

  4. Match each latitudinal circulation zone with the type of prevailing winds it generates.
    Circulation zone Prevailing winds
    Ferrel cell.
    Hadley cell.
    Polar cell.
    Intertropical convergence zone.
    Doldrums.
    Easterlies.
    Westerlies.

  5. Match each latitude of convergence or divergence with the type of climatic conditions found there.
    Latitude Climate
    0º (equator).
    25º.
    50º.
    90º (poles).
    Desert.
    Forest.

  6. At what boundary cell boundaries are Rosby waves found?
    Ferrel/Hadley boundaries.
    Ferrel/Polar boundaries.
    Hadley/Hadley boundaries.
    Polar/Polar boundaries.
    All of the above.

  7. Match each condition with the type of pressure center it is found in.
    Condition Pressure center
    Rising air.
    Falling air.
    Convergent surface winds.
    Divergent surface winds.
    Precipitation.
    Dry conditions.
    High pressure center.
    Low pressure center.

  8. Where do high pressure centers tend to develop during the summer?
    In cold air masses over continents.
    In cold air masses over oceans.
    In warm air masses over continents.
    In warm air masses over oceans.
    All of the above.

  9. Where do high pressure centers tend to develop during the winter?
    In cold air masses over continents.
    In cold air masses over oceans.
    In warm air masses over continents.
    In warm air masses over oceans.
    All of the above.

  10. Where do low pressure centers tend to develop during the summer?
    In cold air masses over continents.
    In cold air masses over oceans.
    In warm air masses over continents.
    In warm air masses over oceans.
    All of the above.

  11. Where do low pressure centers tend to develop during the winter?
    In cold air masses over continents.
    In cold air masses over oceans.
    In warm air masses over continents.
    In warm air masses over oceans.
    All of the above.

  12. What are hurricanes an example of?
    High pressure centers.
    Low pressure centers.
    Cold fronts.
    Warm fronts.
    All of the above.

  13. Where and when do hurricanes originate?
    Over the continents during the summer.
    Over the continents during the winter.
    Over the polar oceans during the winter.
    Over the tropical oceans during the summer.
    Over the tropical oceans during the winter.

  14. In what direction do hurricanes spin?
    Clockwise in both hemispheres.
    Counter-clockwise in both hemispheres.
    Clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
    Clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere.
    Spin direction is random and unpredictable.

  15. In what direction to high pressure centers spin?
    Clockwise in both hemispheres.
    Counter-clockwise in both hemispheres.
    Clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
    Clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere.
    Spin direction is random and unpredictable.

  16. In what direction do monsoon winds blow during the winter?
    Clockwise.
    Counter-clockwise.
    From land to sea.
    From sea to land.
    Parallel to the coast.

  17. On which side of mountains are deserts often found?
    Gently sloping side.
    Steep side.
    Downwind side.
    Upwind side.
    All equally likely.

Please report any problems or errors to Dr. Heaton.