BLOG: Like Tracking Storms? Track This!

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - NASA has just released it's first Global Rainfall and Snowfall map.  You'll enjoy this, go here and hit the play button:

You're watching a time lapse of storms crossing the planet Earth.  A couple things to note - watch how the storms move from west to east both in the northern and southern hemisphere.  Yet, all the action around the tropics is moving from east to west, the opposite direction.  The rotation of the earth is the primary influence for the mid-latitude jet streams blowing from west to east and carrying those storms along with them.

As the global wind patterns vent hot air away from the tropics at higher altitudes, the returning cooler air from the north (in the northern hemisphere) at lower and mid altitudes is also affected by the earth's rotation and curves to the right creating what are known as the Trade Winds. These winds blow from east to west and are the primary steering currents for tropical storm systems including hurricanes!