Trivia

Hard

A Heat Burst Is An Incredibly Rare Atmospheric Phenomenon Associated With?

Thunderstorms
Hail
Eclipses
Solar Flares
A storm being monitored and studied by VORTEX Southeast researchers.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Answer: Thunderstorms

Heat bursts are such a rare occurrence that there’s a very good chance that anyone reading this bit of atmosphere-focused trivia today will never experience one in their lifetime, and if they do, it likely won’t be (thankfully) one of the real record setters.

A heat burst, as the name implies, is an intense burst of heat that scientists believe are caused, in incredibly rare instances, by the decay of a thunderstorm. The theory goes that when rain evaporates into a pocket of cold dry air high above it in the atmosphere, the rapid change in air density causes the pocket of air to drop quickly, compressing the air beneath it. This rapid compression causes an increase in air temperature and if the mass of the now-dense high altitude air is enough to carry it down to the ground where we’re all milling about, then we get the joy of experiencing a significant spike in air temperature out of the blue.

On the low end of the scale, it can cause bizarre swings in temperature like a cold rainy day suddenly (and briefly) becoming unbearably hot. On the more extreme end of the scale, however, the ambient temperature can suddenly rise to well above a hundred degrees. While there have been dozens of examples of mild heat bursts recorded over the last two centuries (mild as in the temperature jumps from, say, 70F to 90F for an hour or so), there have been some extreme cases of the heat spiking well above 120F. In Cherokee, Oklahoma in 1909 and in Kopperl, Texas in 1960, for example, heat bursts pushed the temperature so high that it killed crops in the field like they had been left to bake in an oven.

Trivia

Hard

The Busiest Freeway Interchange In The World Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Cult Film?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Brands Is Named After A Real Person?

Trivia

Hard

In Addition To Corn And Rice, The Most Important Carbohydrate Source For Tropical Nations Is?

Trivia

Hard

The City Of Glasgow Spends $15,000 A Year Keeping What Off Their Most Famous Statue?

Trivia

Hard

The First Odometer Was Used In?

Trivia

Easy

The Po’ Boy Sandwhich Originated In?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Optical Illusions Can Be Enlisted To Aid In Weight Loss?

Trivia

Hard

Which Tech Company Maintained A Secret Nuclear Reactor For Over Thirty Years?

Trivia

Hard

In The MMORPG Ultima Online, One Of The Early Rare Items Sold For Real World Money Was?