Hurricanes and the Equator
If Coriolis force drives weather systems in one direction in the northern Observations show that no hurricanes form within 5 degrees latitude of the equator. The Coriolis effect describes the pattern of deflection taken by and the storm system—a hurricane—seems to rotate counter-clockwise. These two satellite photographs show hurricanes in the Northern and Southern Observations of the Coriolis effect in toilets and sinks cannot be counterclockwise around the low pressure zone (again, see the link below).
The Coriolis "force" is a maximum at the poles and zero at the equator.Coriolis - Why hurricanes spin
Observations show that no hurricanes form within 5 degrees latitude of the equator. People argue that the Coriolis force is too weak there to get air to rotate around a low pressure rather than flow from high to low pressure, which it does initially. If you can't get the air to rotate you can't get a storm.
- The Coriolis Effect
This is a reason why genesis does not occur at low latitudes but it does not explain why a developed hurricane does not cross the equator.
Could a hurricane cross? Yes, because a well developed storm has plenty of spin that would dominate the weak Coriolis force near there.
Coriolis Effect and Hurricanes
If it crossed the Coriolis force would be working against the initial direction of the spin, but it would be dominated by what we call the relative vorticity of the storm. Have we seen this happen?
Hurricanes can move south and get close to the equator but I cannot find an example of one crossing in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific. Tape it down so it does not slide off. Draw a dot in the center of the paper with a marker.
Coriolis Effect and Hurricanes | Science project | miyagi-marugoto2012.info
Try to draw a straight line from the center of the paper to the outside of the circle. Try spinning the platform in the other direction or at different speeds.
How does this affect the lines you try to draw? For the next activity, stand up and pick a spot towards the center of the room.
You are going to be air at high pressure. Slowly move toward the center of the room, this is the low pressure. This models how a hurricane spins in the Northern Hemisphere.
Can you guess how? Results As the platform spins, the lines drawn from the center will curve around the paper.
Wind is created by the rushing of air from high pressure to low pressure; the greater the difference in pressure, the faster the wind moves. Between these points is a straight line. However, due to the rotation of the Earth, the wind is deflected and curves, giving us the Coriolis Effect. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rotation of the Earth deflects wind to the right so that it spins clockwise.