Reno-Lake Tahoe AMS Student Chapter
Weather Event Scavenger Hunt


The Weather Event Scavenger Hunt is an activity for late-spring and summer 2008, open to both members and non-members. Participating teams will attempt to find weather and climate observations satisfying the list of twelve items given below. Entries relying on missing or questionable data or stations which have been recently established or removed will not be considered valid, but some items will require more imagination to find an appropriate event. At least one event exists for every item, but there may be more than one correct answer for many.
  1. A skew-T, log-P diagram with a convective available potential energy (CAPE, calculated with virtual temperature) greater then 4500 J/kg.
  2. A rain gauge observation of a daily rainfall amount greater than the average annual rainfall for that station.
  3. Three (3) observations of present weather (or implied from accumulations) which are contained in the name of the observing station (modifiers such as rain gauge do not count).
  4. An NCEP surface analysis (or plot derived from this source) showing no surface fronts anywhere in the continental United States.
  5. Observations from the same surface station reporting a tornado, funnel cloud, or waterspout in five consecutive years.
  6. An observing station with an extreme temperature range (all-time high minus all-time low) of at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. A reanalysis plot of a hurricane (no typhoons or cyclones) whose name begins with IR and ends with IA.
  8. A photograph of a tornado taken prior to 1885.
  9. A storm report for a single day showing a tornado in the Pacific, Mountain, and Central time zones.
  10. Observations from a surface station for a particular date where precipitation less than one tenth of an inch (including zero inches) has not been reported in the past ten years.
  11. Four (4) reports of a weather event (severe or otherwise) which occurred on the same day as a North American release date for a film with a title containing the type of event.
  12. A visible satellite image showing cloud cover over the entire state of Texas (1-2 pixel areas of clear sky may be ignored).
Teams may compile either a collection of actual plots and text listings or a list of specific URL's, dates, and stations where the data can be found. The winner will be the team that submits the most valid entries by September 1, 2008 with ties being broken by a random draw. The winning team will receive $40 worth of merchandise from Sky-Fire Productions, while the first runner-up will receive a set of three NWA cloud charts. Submissions should be sent via e-mail (with subject line 'Weather Events Scavenger Hunt') to chapter president J.D. McAlpine, while questions regarding the contest can be directed to Brian Billings. Good luck!

Useful links to sites with archived data

National Climatic Data Center
National Weather Service
Plymouth State University
Storm Prediction Center
University of Utah MesoWest
University of Wyoming
Western Regional Climate Center