I live in Atlanta, GA well north of the airport and typically there is very few large, commercial aircraft that pass overhead. But there is an on-going security issue at the airport today and there are some really low-flying commercial jets passing from east-west over my house at altitudes that look like they would be on final approach (if they weren't 40 miles north of the runways anyway). There is a military airport near by and we frequently have C-130's landing but they don't come from that direction.
So I really have no idea what those planes were doing or where they were going, and in the 5 years I've lived here there have never been commercial planes that flew that pattern. At another place I hang out, close to the airport, I've noticed that air traffic passes over when there are storms at the airport.
I would imagine this is a "something is wrong at the airport" pattern as opposed to a normal operating pattern, and it may even be something that was specific to that particular aircraft for some reason.
Is there any way to look up what patterns would pass over a given location under what situations? Or more likely -- how can I look up what patterns are around an airport and how those patterns change with conditions (weather, emergency, traffic, etc)?