Why Do Hurricanes Have Such Peculiar Paths?
Hurricanes are enormously destructive, and sometimes seem to have a mind of their own.
Summary: Hurricanes are steered by global winds. These winds, called trade winds, blow from east to west in the tropics.
They carry hurricanes and other tropical storms from east to west.
After a hurricane crosses an ocean and reaches a continent, the trade winds weaken.
This means that the "Coriolis Effect" has more of an impact on where the storm goes.
In the Northern Hemisphere the Coriolis Effect can cause a tropical storm to curve northward.
The Coriolis effect describes the pattern of deflection taken by objects not firmly connected to the ground as they travel
long distances around and above the Earth.
The Coriolis effect is responsible for many large-scale weather patterns.
The key to the Coriolis effect lies in the Earth’s rotation.
Specifically, the Earth rotates faster at the Equator than it does at the poles.
Earth is wider at the Equator, so to make a rotation in one 24-hour period, equatorial regions
race nearly 1,674 kilometers per hour (1,040 miles per hour).
Near the poles, the Earth rotates at a sluggish .00008 kph (.00005 mph).
High pressure systems can also affect the path of storms.
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