Time for a geeky curiosity question.
Anyone who has ever looked at an image of a hurricane knows it spins. Part of this is due to the center of low pressure — the “eye” — at the center of the storm. But it also has to do with physics.
In fact, tropical cyclones — the general name for the storms called typhoons, hurricanes or cyclones in different parts of the world — always spin counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and spin in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere.
The reason is something called the Coriolis effect, or Coriolis force, named for the French mathematician Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis, who published work on the effect in the 19th century. It works this way: Like a record on a turntable, the earth spins at a different speed at the equator than it does at the North Pole. The same is true of…
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