Quiz on storms

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on September 15, 2017


With Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hitting the US mainland, and Hurricane Jose expected soon, it’s the perfect time for a quiz on storms.

Forces of nature

1 What would you call a tropical cyclone occurring in the Northwest Pacific?

2 Which work of literature is widely believed to be inspired by the wreck of the 17th-century sailing vessel, the Sea Venture, in a hurricane near Bermuda in 1609?

3 What was first devised in 1805 by a Royal Navy officer and officially adopted first on Charles Darwin’s historic voyage on HMS Beagle in the 1830s?

4 The largest storm visible to humans is an anticyclone, which has an area greater than the size of Earth. Where can it be seen?

5 What storm-related incident in America was first described in The Pennsylvania Gazette on October 1752 and then described in detail by scientist Joseph Priestley in 1767 in England?

6 In 1997, which book did Sebastian Junger write about the disastrous last voyage of the fishing vessel Andrea Gail, which went down in a huge rogue wave in October 1991?

7 A hailstorm in Darjeeling on May 8, 1909 resulted in one of the strangest cases in Indian legal history. What specifically happened in that storm?

8 The deadliest-ever storm in recorded history killed around 5,00,000 people in 1970 in erstwhile East Pakistan and eastern India. Name this storm that shared its name with the lead character of a 1968 Hindi comedy film?

9 Hurricane Carmen in 1974 was one of the deadliest storms in US history. The plot of which hugely-popular film relies on a boat being the only shrimp-catching vessel to survive Hurricane Carmen, thus generating huge profits for the owners?

10 Name the storm which started off in the Bahamas in late August 2005 as a rogue wave, and is regarded to be the costliest storm ever in American history?


1. A typhoon. It would be called a hurricane if it started in the Atlantic or Northeast Pacific Ocean and a cyclone if it originated in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean

2. The Tempest by William Shakespeare

3. The Beaufort Scale. Francis Beaufort later went on to set up the first meteorological office in the UK

4. The Great Red Eye of Jupiter

5. Benjamin Franklin’s experiments to determine the electrical charge of lightning using a kite during a storm

6. The Perfect Storm, later made into a film in 2000 starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg

7. The body of the Raja of Bhawal was abandoned by pall bearers on the way to the cremation. Eleven years later, a sanyasi returned to Bhawal and claimed that he was the Raja. After 21 years of litigation, he finally won the case, but died within a few days of his victory. The story is immortalised in the film Sanyasi Raja

8. Cyclone Bhola, in November 1970

9. Forrest Gump

10. Hurricane Katrina, which claimed more than 1,254 lives and cost damages worth over $108 million

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup; Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

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Published on September 15, 2017
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