Definition of Coriolis effect in US English:

Coriolis effect


  • An effect whereby a mass moving in a rotating system experiences a force (the Coriolis force) acting perpendicular to the direction of motion and to the axis of rotation. On the earth, the effect tends to deflect moving objects to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern and is important in the formation of cyclonic weather systems.

    • ‘The gyroscopes sense angular motion by measuring the Coriolis effect induced by rotation, using a vibrating MEMS structure.’
    • ‘The Coriolis effect explains why areas of high atmospheric pressure rotate clockwise, and low pressure areas counterclockwise, in the northern hemisphere.’
    • ‘This is known as the Coriolis effect and results in the formation of giant eddies (cyclones and anticyclones).’
    • ‘You might be wondering: If the Coriolis force turns winds to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, why do winds go counterclockwise around large systems, such as hurricanes, north of the equator?’
    • ‘The equation above shows that the Coriolis force becomes more important the further the wind is from the equator, since the sine of the latitude at the equator is zero.’


Early 20th century: named after Gaspard Coriolis (1792–1843), French engineer.


Coriolis effect

/ˌkôrēˈōləs iˌfekt/