Can you tell fact from fiction? Take the costly weather disasters quiz.

CORRECT ANSWERS: 0

Everyone likes talking about the weather, but how much do people really know about the stuff that falls out of the sky and makes the air swirl around us? Here are some statements about the weather that may or may not be true.

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Question 1 of 20

The U.S. has the worst weather in the world.

Fact
Fiction

... Subjected to hurricanes, flooding, drought, heat and cold waves, blizzards, and tornado activity, the United States experiences more weather disasters than any other nation.

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Question 2 of 20

Animals can predict an oncoming storm.

Fact
Fiction

... Biologists and other people who work with animals have noticed changes in animal behavior before a storm.

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Question 3 of 20

Experts recommend staying in your car if you're stuck in a blizzard.

Fact
Fiction

... Rather than getting out of your car and wandering off, possibly getting lost or freezing to death, it's always a better idea to remain in your vehicle. Call for help from your cell phone, make sure your car's exhaust pipe isn't blocked by snow or ice, run the car sporadically to keep warm and turn on your hazard lights to attract help.

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Question 4 of 20

Shouting can trigger an avalanche.

Fact
Fiction

... Loud noises can lead to avalanches, but they usually don't. In 90 percent of cases, an avalanche is caused by a person's body weight or that of a snowmobile or other vehicle sitting on top of unstable snow.

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Question 5 of 20

Cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes are the same thing.

Fact
Fiction

... Storms that occur in the Indian Ocean are called cyclones, those in the northwest Pacific Ocean are typhoons, and those in the Atlantic Ocean are hurricanes.

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Question 6 of 20

Hurricanes have always been named.

Fact
Fiction

... Beginning in 1950, the U.S. gave each hurricane a female name, in alphabetical order. In 1979, the World Meteorological Organization began alternating between male and female names.

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Question 7 of 20

A Category 5 hurricane is the strongest, according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Fact
Fiction

... The Saffir-Simpson scale also rates storms according to the amount of damage caused.

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Question 8 of 20

A storm surge is the same thing as a tsunami.

Fact
Fiction

... A storm surge is a sudden upswelling of ocean water caused by winds and pressure changes affecting the water's surface. A tsunami can be the result of an earthquake, landslide or volcanic eruption.

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Question 9 of 20

The eye of a hurricane represents the exact point the storm is predicted to hit.

Fact
Fiction

... The eye of a hurricane is the area of relative calm in the midst of the storm. Hurricane eyes range between 4 and 40 miles (6 and 64 kilometers) wide. The smaller the eye, the more intense the storm.

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Question 10 of 20

The damage from Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans was due to the storm's excessively high winds.

Fact
Fiction

... The initial cause of the disaster was Hurricane Katrina, which whipped up tides and seawater against the fragile levee system that protected New Orleans from the Gulf of Mexico. The city lies 49 percent below sea level; when the water breached the levees, it inundated much of the city.

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Question 11 of 20

Floodplains are an ideal place to live.

Fact
Fiction

... When rivers flood, nearby communities often are severely damaged and people suffer.

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Question 12 of 20

Experts recommend evacuation in the event of a coming flood.

Fact
Fiction

... If you know a flood's on the way, listen to the radio for instructions on when and where to evacuate. If you know a flood is coming and can't evacuate, move to higher elevation -- and never try to outrun or drive through the water.

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Question 13 of 20

Tornadoes are deadlier than lightning in the U.S.

Fact
Fiction

... Lightning strikes kill an average of 100 people annually, while approximately 80 people die each year in the United States during tornadoes.

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Question 14 of 20

Tornadoes are very intense wind storms that have little or no rain.

Fact
Fiction

... Tornadoes aren't wind storms -- they're actually spinning cloud systems that create vortices of wind. To be classified as a tornado, however, the tornado's vortex must make contact with at least one cloud and the ground below.

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Question 15 of 20

Tornadoes can act as vacuums, picking up objects and moving them.

Fact
Fiction

... On the Enhanced Fujita Scale that categorizes tornado strength, wind speeds can reach more than 200 miles per hour (323 kilometers per hour), severely damaging steel-reinforced buildings; objects the size of cars can be thrown distances of 300 feet (90 meters) or more.

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Question 16 of 20

Tornado Alley is a road that runs parallel to U.S. Route 66.

Fact
Fiction

... Tornado Alley refers to the central U.S. states (Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas, South Dakota and Colorado ) in which some 200 tornadoes form annually.

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Question 17 of 20

The states in Tornado Alley are more prone to twisters because they're flat.

Fact
Fiction

... Warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico moves northward and hits the dry air coming from the west as well as uplifting air currents, causing tornadoes to form.

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Question 18 of 20

More people have been killed by tornadoes in Massachusetts than in any other U.S. state.

Fact
Fiction

... Massachusetts, because of its population density, has actually seen more tornado-related deaths and severe injuries than any other U.S. state. However, it's still risky to live in Oklahoma, which sees more tornadoes than any other state.

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Question 19 of 20

Tornado-prone months are generally those that have the letter "r" in them.

Fact
Fiction

... The height of the tornado season in the United States is March through August; more tornadoes occur in May than in any other month.

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Question 20 of 20

If a tornado is coming, open the windows to equalize air pressure and take shelter.

Fact
Fiction

... Wind -- not air pressure -- causes most tornado damage. Keep the windows closed and seek shelter in the basement, if you have one, or in the strongest room in the house, which is usually the bathroom.

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