Learn how Earth's rotation produces the Coriolis effect and the rotation of storms in this video excerpt from NOVA's Cloud Lab. Because points at Earth's equator rotate faster than points near the poles, fluids such as air or water tend to curve as they travel across Earth's surface. This phenomenon is known as the Coriolis effect; it is the reason why big storms, such as hurricanes and nor'easters, spin counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Animations show how the Coriolis effect causes an object moving northward or southward to appear to be deflected and how it causes storms to spin.
This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.
Visit the Cloud Lab here.