Unformatted text preview: Weather Patterns
The Coriolis Force has a profound influence on weather patterns on Earth. The easiest way to see how this works is to look at Earth from above the North Pole. ' u e # FC e v e % % "! L On the diagram, the vector is out of the paper, so that the direction of rotation is anticlockwise. Imagine that there is a region of low pressure, marked L on the diagram. Air will flow towards this region, and if it flows from the North, with velocity v, the Coriolis Force FC = -2m v will be to the West. Similarly, if the flow is from the South, the Coriolis Force will be towards the East. From the East the air flows North, and from the West, South. s '$ L
&% The air circulation will therefore be anticlockwise: this is the predominant pattern for anticyclones in the northern hemisphere. In the Southern hemisphere, the circulation is in the opposite sense clockwise. The bath tub? Well, the Coriolis Force is very small, so other factors will dominate the "circulation" of water flowing down the drain. The direction of rotation is equally likely clockwise as anti-clockwise! ...
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