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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.

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Cyclones and Anti-cyclones

The Earth's spin causes the wind to curve. This is called the Coriolis Effect. The wind in the northern hemisphere curves to the right and the wind in the southern hemisphere curves to the left.

When the wind swirls counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere or clockwise in the southern hemisphere, it is called cyclonic flow. When the wind swirls clockwise in the northern hemisphere or counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere, it is called anticyclonic flow. An example of cyclonic flow is the flow around a low pressure area while an example of anticyclonic flow is the flow around a high pressure area. A hurricane is a cyclone.

Last modified January 8, 2010 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF