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

Easy

The Invention Of What Paved The Way For Cheap And Accurate Watches?

Trivia

Hard

Which Actor Voiced The Joker In Batman: The Animated Series But Was Cut Because He Terrified Children?

Trivia

Hard

The McCollough Effect Can Alter What Perception For Months After Exposure?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Country In The World With Three Capital Cities Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Franchise Features Fan-Designed Bad Guys?

Trivia

Easy

In The Early 1980s, The U.S. Gaming Industry Lobbied For?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Foodstuffs Used To Include A DIY Dye Pack To Make It More Appetizing?

Trivia

Hard

Maryland Has An Official Holiday Celebrating Which Video Game Franchise?

Trivia

Hard

Which Pixar Film Was Simultaneously Their Last VHS Release And First Blu-Ray Release?

Trivia

Hard

What Did A Canadian Researcher Create To Combat Anemia In Cambodia?