Science: Capricious Carol

One of the trickiest jobs in meteorology is predicting the path of a hurricane. As hurricanes drift northward, they become entangled in the "planetary wind," the broad, strong current of air that whistles around the earth in north temperate latitudes at heights between 10,000 and 40,000 ft. The planetary wind's general flow is toward the east, so when it captures a hurricane off the U.S. east coast, it generally pushes the spinner out over the Atlantic. But, as many a meteorologist has discovered to his grief, the wind is not constant in direction; it...

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