coriolis effect

An Early End of Hurricane Season in Atlantic Basin?

Although Tropical Storm Tomas is still around after hitting Eastern Cuba, Haiti, and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the southern Bahamas – it is moving away and that should be the end of the hurricane season. Officially the season does not end till November 30th. Hopefully, Tomas will be very last of any tropical cyclones. At the moment, I see no models forecasting tropical development. It is way to early to even project or forecast what the season will be like next year. Will we have a very strong La Niña and how will the SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) fall into play?

IF this the last blog for the hurricane season, please be sure to continue to use the weather site The Coriolis Effect for both the winter and summer (Tropical) updates. For next hurricane season I hope to implement a daily tropical weather update screencast, a forum and anything I can come up with (or something users ask me to add if at all possible). This blog will continue, just with other categories.


Weather or Knot

Using a play on words the name of this blog just worked out perfectly. Since both the blog and the forum are based mostly for the world of weather (meteorology). The name of the main weather site but the blog is

I am sure one of the first question to be asked is what is the coriolis effect. That is a great question! In physics, the Coriolis effect is an apparent deflection of moving objects when they are viewed from a rotating reference frame. Unless you are a meteorologist or a scientist – it probably is nothing but word a bunch of words but no meaning.

In Meteorology, perhaps the most important instance of the Coriolis effect is in the large-scale dynamics of the oceans and the atmosphere. In meteorology and ocean science, it is convenient to use a rotating frame of reference where the Earth is stationary. The fictitious centrifugal and Coriolis forces must then be introduced. High pressure systems rotate in a direction such that the Coriolis force will be directed radially inwards, and nearly balanced by the outwardly radial pressure gradient. This direction is clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. Low pressure systems rotate in the opposite direction, so that the Coriolis force is directed radially outward and nearly balances an inwardly radial pressure gradient. In each case a slight imbalance between the Coriolis force and the pressure gradient accounts for the radially inward acceleration of the system’s circular motion.

Hopefully using an animation might give you a clearer idea of what the coriolis efffect is:

Now there still is the myth about the direction of rotation in a bathtub or toilet and that the Coriolis Effect was the cause. While theoretically the Coriolis Effect might affect the draining flow, it is stronger other factors (temperature distribution, turbulence and wall shape) that dominate.