Fred Jaicks  Written and compiled by Fred Jaicks



-Listening to the sounds of crickets can give you an estimate of what the temperature is on the Fahrenheit scale. You can do this by counting the amount of chirps you hear in fifteen seconds and adding 37!

-Death Valley, California’s temperature has the U.S. temperature record: 134 degrees Fahrenheit recorded at Greenland Ranch. 

-Prospect Creek, Alaska holds the U.S. temperature record for the coldest temperature: minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit!

-The difference between the hot and cold temperature extremes ever recorded on earth is over 260 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Hot weather makes the human body sweat to cool itself off. This biological process is known as evaporative cooling.

-Temperature and wind in the winter create wind chills. In the summer, they create heat indices.


-Every winter approximately one septillion snowflakes fall from the sky! 

-Hilo, Hawaii is the wettest city in the United States with an average annual precipitation of 128 inches! To put that into perspective, one inch of rain falling over one acre of land is over 27,000 gallons of water, which has a weight of over 226,000 pounds.

-It takes approximately one million drops of water to make one raindrop.

-The biggest hail stone ever was found in Nebraska with a circumference equal to that of a soccer ball!

-Hail causes about one billion dollars’ worth of damage per year to crops and property such as homes and cars.


-In 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded the largest wind gust speed ever recorded on earth: 231 miles per hour during a severe storm. 

-Persia went “green” before being environmentally conscious was a concern. The first windmills were found there, although electricity wasn’t invented as we know it until the Nineteenth Century.

-A light wind is called a “zephyr.” Many poets use the term to describe the gentlest of breezes.

-Wind doesn’t pollute like electrical power can, so wind turbines are being developed to light up cities.

-Breaking wind doesn’t just mean passing gas. Trees are used in landscaping as windbreaks to keep wind from harming property.


-A lightning bolt can travel up to 60,000 miles per second and temperatures can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Florida has the most lightning fatalities; more than 8,300 people have been struck and killed by lightning from 1940 to 1991 in the US. 

– A woman is struck by lightning in 1995. Three weeks before, her nephew was hit and suffered temporary blindness. In 1970, her cousin was struck when lightning struck her umbrella. This wasn’t the first accident for the lady; she was also struck in 1965. Her grandfather was struck and killed by lightning in 1921 and his brother was struck and killed in the 1920’s as well!

-The best chance to be fatally struck by lightning is actually before you see the storm. Lightning has the ability to travel horizontally over six miles!

-Contrary to what most people think, lightning can strike twice in the same place. Tall buildings have a tendency to be struck multiple times.


-The largest tornado in the US was approximately two and a half miles wide. It tore through Nebraska in 2004. While tornados are reported worldwide, most happen in the United States!

-The Enhanced Fujita Tornado scale is used to measure wind speeds of tornados from EF0 to an EF5. The tornado that wiped out the center of Greensburg, Kansas measured EF5. Only fifty-one EF5 tornadoes have been recorded since 1953 and just two of them were since 2007. The wind speed of an EF5 tornado is over 200 miles per hour.

-Texas gets about 110 tornadoes each year, the most of any U.S. state.

-Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms, but they can pick up people and debris and set them down unharmed. One tornado near Decatur County, Indiana, sent a piece of straw into the bark of a large tree in 1971. The straw was unbent.

-Dust devils look like tornadoes, but are simply well formed whirlwinds of dust.


-Did you know that hurricanes have an eye in the center of their spiral that is sunny and calm? However, the arms of the hurricane have a destructive force that can decimate entire coastlines and towns.

-Hurricane Katrina was a category four hurricane that hit the southern coastline of the United States in 2005. Hurricane Camille, a category five hit the same area less than forty years earlier.

-Hurricanes only assume their title if they develop in the Atlantic Ocean. If a similar storm develops in the Pacific Ocean, it is instead called a typhoon.

-The worst hurricane in United States history occurred in Galveston, Texas, in 1900, and 8,000 people died.

-Hurricane Andrew cost Louisiana and Florida more than $26 billion in 1992. This was the costliest hurricane in in United States history and was a category 5.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sites

The NOAA sites are an invaluable collection of resources for weather education.

General Weather Sites

  • Ada City-County Emergency Management: Resource page for kids, teachers and parents.
  • CMOS: Project Atmosphere, Project Maury and other weather education websites.
  • WEC Weather Center: An electric cooperative located in Hartford, Alabama.
  • Disaster Safety: Enter your zip code and get general information for your area for flood, freezing weather, severe weather of all kinds.
  • Hueneme High: Earth Science and Biology links for high school students.
  • NAAEE: Environmental Education links and resources.
  • The Weather Underground: A comprehensive look at weather anywhere in the United States, includes NOAA satellite radio and hourly forecasts.
  • The Weather Channel: Check your local television or satellite listings for The Weather Channel on your TV. Online gives you not only your local forecast, but also travel weather anywhere in the world. Also explores how weather affects gardening, recreation, even people.
  • Weather Widgets for Techies: Weather graphics for your MacIntosh computer desktop.
  • Weather Map Symbols: Map symbols used in weather forecasting.