The National Weather Service: Did You Know Trivia Game

The National Weather Service (NWS) was founded on February 9, 1870. Now more than ever, the changing weather has an effect on the environment, health, property and the economy. The NWS was founded in order to provide information on the weather in the hopes of protecting life, property and the economy.


  • The NWS started as a crowdsourcing experiment by the Smithsonian.
  • The North American continent has some of the most violent weather on earth.
  • The first storm warning happened on November 8, 1870.
  • The first hurricane warning was on August 21, 1873.
  • On March 12, 1888, one of the worst blizzards hits the northeast US with 50 inches of snow.
  • The first river flood warning occurs in 1891 on the Ohio River.
  • On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers get help from the NWS for their first flight.
  • The first US weather balloons went up in 1909.
  • In 1934 the Dust Bowl causes drought in the South. The economy is hit hard. The drought ends in 1937.
  • In 1941, weather forecasts were censored after the attack on Pearl Harbor, so invading forces wouldn’t use them to their advantage.
  • The first tornado warning in the US was on March 25, 1948.
  • Storms move from west to east because of the jet stream.
  • The first weather satellite is launched on April 1, 1960.
  • In 1962, the NWS starts helping with NASA’s spaceflight program.
  • Up until October 1, 1970, the National Weather Service went by the name Weather Bureau.
  • On May 11, 1982, the first tornado warning is issued using Doppler radar.
  • A 5-day heat wave strikes Chicago in July of 1995.
  • On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hits Louisiana and Mississippi, causing damage and loss of life that makes it the costliest natural disaster in US history.
  • A record 216 tornados hit North America on April 27, 2011.
  • Hurricane Sandy hits New Jersey on October 29, 2012, followed by a blizzard.

Host a trivia-style game with your students, all about the weather. Use the information above, as well as any other interesting information you can find about the history of weather. Encourage students to find their own information, and include that in the game. For more weather-related science material, visit our FREE CONTENT page:

Cloud in a Jar Experiment
Seasons Tracker Graphic Organizer
Basics of Weather
All About Rain Gauges
What You Need to Know About Cyclones

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