BECAUSE EARTH SPINS on its axis, the Coriolis Force bends wind right or left from the direction of its flow. The Coriolis Force, therefore, causes wind to deviate from a straight path. If Earth did not spin on its axis, wind would blow following the Earths curvature, with no deviation. A wind blowing from south to north would not deviate northeast or northwest. In 1835, French mathematician Gustave Gaspard Coriolis discovered the force that bears his name, and derived the mathematical equations that describe the Coriolis Force.

The Coriolis Force is weak, compared to other meteorological phenomena. At the equator, the Coriolis Force is nonexistent because wind does not rotate at the equator as it does at the poles. At the equator, wind follows the Earths ...

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