Weather Forces

1.7a  Coriolis Effect

The Coriolis Effect describes the turn of the wind to the right in the Northern Hemisphere caused by earth's rotation.

1.7b  What Drives Weather

Weather is ultimately caused by temperature differences due to variations in solar energy input.  These temperature differences cause pressure variations in the atmosphere.  The wind blows to try and correct these imbalances in pressure.  Regions of low and high pressure moving through an area cause changes in weather as different air masses pass by.

1.7c  Friction and Turbulence

Friction slows the wind and changes its direction.  This effect can cause turbulence in winds near the surface or boundaries between areas with different surface roughnesses.  Turbulence mixes the lower part of the atmosphere, stabilizing the temperature.  Turbulence causes eddies in the atmosphere, which are swirls of wind responsible for wind gusts and bumpy plane rides.

1.7d  Wind Shear

Wind shear is the change of wind speed and/or wind direction over a certain height.