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Coriolis effect

  • hugh
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hugh created the topic: Coriolis effect

Hi Bob,

I am currently working my way through CPL Met and I have a question about the Coriolis effect on wind.

I understand that wind in theory follows the pressure gradient from a high pressure to a low pressure area, and that these winds are turned by the Coriolis Force/effect.

What I am struggling to come to grips with, is that every drawing I have shows the high and low pressure systems sitting at different latitudes, so the wind is having to cross latitudes, therefore being subject to the Coriolis effect of the earths rotation.

My question is - What if the two pressure systems shared the same latitude - The winds will be traveling parallel with the earths rotation, not perpendicular as most drawings show. I can't find anywhere whether or not these winds would be somehow affected by a Coriolis effect.

Am I missing an important point?

Any help appreciated!


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bobtait replied the topic: Re: Coriolis effect


The Coriolis effect is very interesting. It is true that it varies with latitude and is greatest at the poles and zero at the equator. Often a simple experiment is a help because it sometimes seems to defy 'common sense'. If you travel to the north or south over the rotating earth you path over the surface of the earth will be deflected to the left in the southern hemisphere. However if you travel to the east or west the same deflection will occur. Coriolis effect applies no matter which direction you travel. See the little experiment on page 2.2 and 2.3 of the Met book.

Don't let it keep you awake at night!

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