CORIOLIS "EFFECT"


1. Deflects all FRICTIONLESS MOVING objects to the RIGHT in the Northern Hemisphere.


Examples: airplanes, ocean currents, projectiles, the wind.

2. Is MAXIMUM at the Poles and ZERO at the Equator.

3. Is, for a given time interval and at a given latitude, GREATER the FASTER the speed of the moving object.

Example: Over a 1 hour interval, a plane moving 1000 mph is deflected more than a ship moving 20 mph.

4. Is, for a given speed and at a given latitude, GREATER the LONGER the time interval an object is in motion.

Example: a 5 mph ocean current acting over a month long period is deflected more than a plane moving 400 mph for three hours.

Important Result: An object moving 20 mph would have to travel over 100 miles before a noticable deflection would occur. Thus, Coriolis Effect is important in understanding air motion for:

jet streams (circle the globe)

extratropical storm systems (500 to 1000 miles diameter)

hurricanes (500 miles diameter)

Is less important in understanding air motion for:

thunderstorms (10 to 100 miles diameter)

Is hardly important at all in understanding air motion for:

tornadoes (10s of yards to 1/2 mile in diameter)

Is not important at all in understanding motion:

of water into a drain.