Enter the Almanac weather trivia contest. New questions every season!
We pose a weather question. You guess an answer and see if you're correct. It's a fun way to learn about weather—and maybe even win a prize.
Fall 2014 Trivia Contest
Question: What is rime ice?
The winner receives a copy of The 2015 Old Farmer's Almanac—now available! We'll select the winner at random from all the correct entries. Deadline: End of autumn.
Summer 2014 Trivia Contest
Question: If wool shrinks in water, why don't sheep shrink when it rains, since they have a coat of wool?
Answer: Sheep don't shrink because they manufacture lanolin, a greasy secretion from the sebaceous glands. The lanolin collects in the wool and prevents it from drying out and shrinking. Once the wool is sheared, it passes through several water rinses designed to remove the lanolin.
Congratulations to Carmen Lemmon who won a copy of The 2015 Old Farmer's Almanac!
Spring 2014 Trivia Contest
Question: How fast does rain fall (mph)?
Answer: The speed of rain depends on the size of the raindrop. The smallest "drizzle" droplets—with diameters less than .02 inch—fall at 1 to 4 mph. Raindrops with diameters greater than 0.02 inch fall faster—from about 5 to 20 mph; the average fall speed is 14 mph.
Congratulations to Mark Graham who won a copy of The Old Farmer's Almanac!
Winter 2013 Trivia Contest
Question: What is the one major reason that tornadoes do not touch down that often in big cities?
Answer: If you picked any of these three reasons, your answer is correct: Plenty of wide open spaces for rotation to develop, vertical movement from thunderstorms, and a significant variation in both wind speed and direction within the thunderstorm or air mass.
Congratulations to Kennedy Bennett who won a copy of The 2014 Old Farmer's Almanac!
Fall 2013 Trivia Contest
Question: There's a saying, "Mare's tails and mackerel scales make tall ships take in their sails." A "mackerel sky" has a lot of what type of cloud?
Answer: A "mackerel sky" is one that has a lot of cirrocumulus clouds. This type of cloud often precede an approaching warm front which can bring veering winds and precipitation. This weather proverb is an apt way to describe how a sailor might respond if he saw "mackerel scales" approaching.
Congratulations to Catherine who won a copy of The 2014 Old Farmer's Almanac!
Summer 2013 Trivia Contest
Question: Is there a way to guess the height of clouds?
Answer: Sure. Here's the formula for doing so. Take the current temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, subtract the dew point, and multiply this number by 220. This calculation will give you the approximate height of the clouds in feet.
Congratulations to Christopher Roebuck, winner of a bundle of Almanac products!
Spring 2013 Trivia Contest
Question: What is a blackberry winter?
Answer: Blackberry winter is mainly a Southern term used to describe a brief period of cold weather that coincides with the time the blackberries are in bloom, (typically in early to mid May).
Congratulations to Lin Berda, winner of a bundle of Almanac products!
Winter 2012 Trivia Contest
Question: Which U.S. town has recorded the highest snowfall in a one year period? For a bonus, tell us when it occurred!
Answer: Mount Baker, Washington State received 1,140 inches (95 feet) of snow between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 1999. Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Topographic Laboratories.
Congratulations to Keith Norman! We'll contact you shortly about your prize.
Fall 2012 Trivia Contest
Question: Does the average hurricane blow west to east across North America or does it move east to west?
Answer: The average hurricane moves from east to west due to the tropical trade winds that blow near the equator (where hurricanes start). When a hurricane is still in the Caribbean, the tropical jet blows east to west, and the hurricane moves west to gain power. By the time a hurricane reaches North America, it generally curves into a northerly direction, as a result of the Coriolis force (which forces a counterclockwise rotation) and steering winds at higher levels. Normal storms, on the other hand, move west to east due to the strong jet stream.
Congratulations to Mark Sleger, Nathan Lench, and Jeremy Barlett who won The 2013 Old Farmer's Almanac Weather Watcher's Calendar!
August/September 2012 Trivia Contest
Question: Are cities generally warmer or cooler than the more rural areas near them?
Answer: Warmer. In the biggest cities, the temperature can be 18 degrees Fahrenheit higher than it would be if that land were undeveloped. Industrial manufacturing and air-conditioning actually create heat, plus the big buildings and roads absorb a lot of sunlight and store it efficiently. This causes the air to rise more over cities, which increases cloud formation, which in turn produces more rain and heavier thunderstorms.
Congratulations to Pat Kelley!
June/July 2012 Trivia Contest
Question: What is the average number of hurricanes along the Atlantic coast ?
Answer: The historical average is 6.5. We had many correct answers! Based on random selection, the winner is Joseph Danza!
April/May 2012 Trivia Contest
Question: Which state ranks the worst for tornadoes (in terms of damage)?
Answer: When you look at it in terms of dollars of damage, that honor goes to Texas, where tornadoes cause an average of $43 million in damage each year. Second place goes to Indiana, and Kansas ranks third.
Congratulations to all who answered Texas! Based on random selection, Rita Porter won the Weather Journal!
February/March 2012 Trivia Contest
Question: Is it true that Mount Washington, New Hampshire, is the windiest location in the world? What was the highest wind speed ever recorded?
Answer: The windiest place in the world is: Commonwealth Bay, George V Coast, Antarctica, where winds reach 200 mph.
The highest wind speed was recorded on Australia's Barrow Island during Cyclone Olivia in 1996 at 251 mph. Previously, 231 mph was recorded on top of Mount Washington, New Hampshire (on April 12, 1934).
We selected a random name from the correct entries. Congratulations to Jackie Lesan!
January 2012 Trivia Contest
Question: A reader asks if it snows a lot in the Antarctic. Tell us about how many inches it snows each year.
Answer: Oddly enough, the Antarctic is considered one of the driest places on Earth. It gets only an inch or two of snow each year, making it more or less a desert. Those two inches a year, however, have been piling up for centuries, and the snow cover there is thought to be about two miles deep, making it a glacier.
We selected a random name from the correct entries (and there were many!). Congratulations to Ann McDonald!