This is a pretty easy week to call meteorologically as a strong ridge of high pressure will strengthen over the region, sending our high temperatures to near record levels (about 80 degrees) by the middle of the week. A weak and dry cold front drops our highs back into the mid-70s on Thursday, and we should see some breeze then, but clear skies should stay with us through the rest of the week.
Besides being tough to explain, the Coriolis Effect is also one of science’s most mis-taught effects.
For example, many of you were probably taught at one time or another that the water will always spin counter clockwise (in the northern hemisphere) as it drains out of a sink. Water does tend to spin as it goes down the drain, but it can spin either way. Because the Coriolis’ “spinning” motion is so slight (only one rotation per day… just like the earth’s), it is far too weak to affect the other forces on water as it goes down the drain. The shape of the drain basin, the location of the drain, and any microscopic initial movement of the water create far more potential for determining the direction of the eddy than does the Coriolis Effect.
The same goes for toilets, but that’s the fodder for another column.