Did you know that it is Mark Twain who gets credit for saying that everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it? He also wrote that thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it's lightning that does the work.
Here's your chance to talk about some weather words, and see if yourlightning is bright enough to illumine the answers. We're predicting a 50% probability that at least one of our words will throw you off.
1. El Nino: (a) an irregularly recurring upwelling of unusually cold water to the ocean surface along the western coast of South America that disrupts typical regional and global weather patterns; (b) Peruvian dictator, 1917-1936; (c) an irregularly recurring flow of unusually warm surface waters from the Pacific Ocean toward and along the western coast of South America that prevents upwelling of nutrient-rich cold deep water and that disrupts typical regional and global weather patterns; (d) WWF heavyweight champion, 1996.
2. gossamer: (a) a film of cobwebs floating in air in calm, clear weather; (b) an adult male goose; (c) a machine-made net of cotton, silk, or nylon usually with hexagonal mesh; (d) a rich silk fabric with raised patterns in gold and silver.
3. havelock: (a) a lock for a gun or pistol having a flint in the hammer for striking a spark to ignite the charge; (b) a covering attached to a cap to protect the neck from the sun or bad weather; (c) a key designed to open several different locks; (d) a weather-proof box (as a post-office box, strongbox, or safe-deposit box) that locks.
4. Indian summer: (a) a period of warm or mild weather in late autumn or early winter; (b) a period of warm or mild weather in late winter or early spring; (c) the period between the autumnal equinox and the first day of winter; (d) the first ten days of summer.
5. meteorology: (a) a branch of astronomy that deals with the origin, structure, and timing of meteor showers; (b) a branch of astronomy that deals with the origin, structure, and space-time relationships of the universe; (c) a science that deals with the atmosphere and its phenomena and especially with weather and weather forecasting; (d) the study of constellations.
6. aweather: (a) on or toward the leeward side; (b) especially dangerous weather conditions; (c) becalmed conditions; (d) on or toward the windward side.
7. troposphere: (a) the lowest, densest part of the earth's atmosphere; (b) the highest, thinnest part of the earth's atmosphere; (c) a famous club in Boston's north end; (d) an octagonal weather cube containing sophisticated wind-measuring equipment.
8. wind tee: (a) a square-shaped golf tee used by golfers in exceptionally windy conditions; (b) a large weather vane shaped like a horizontal letter T on or near a landing field; (c) a brightly colored, water-repellent garment worn by hunters; (d) all the above.
9. haboob: (a) a chronically incorrect weather forecaster; (b) a funnel-shaped or tubular column of rotating, cloud-filled wind usually extending from the underside of a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud down to a cloud of spray torn up by the whirling winds from the surface of an ocean or lake; (c) (Arabic) a storm or system of winds that rotates about a center of low atmospheric pressure; (d) a violent dust storm or sandstorm, especially of Sudan.
10. shelter belt: (a) a heavy chain or strap used to secure a storm cellar to the ground; (b) a barrier of trees and shrubs that protects (as crops) from wind and storm and lessens erosion; (c) an area chiefly in the southern United States whose inhabitants are believed to hold uncritical allegiance to the concept of storm cellars; (d) a belt that unfolds into a sturdy, weather-proof shelter.