If you are a continual viewer that weather broadcasts, chances are you’ve heard the adhering to from your local TV meteorologist: “plenty of sunshine is in store today as high push is in manage over the area.” Or: “expect rain come spread into the area as a short pressure device approaches.” it is well created that high push is generally associated with pretty weather, when low pressure is generally connected with cloudy, rainy, or snowy weather. Yet have you ever before wondered why??


In stimulate to understand the varieties of weather conditions generally linked with high and low press systems, we must think “vertically.” The activity of wait in the atmosphere above our heads plays a big part in the weather we experience right here at earth’s surface. Basically, waiting cools together it rises, i m sorry can reason water vapor in the air come condense right into liquid water droplets, sometimes creating clouds and also precipitation. ~ above the various other hand, sinking air is connected with warming and also drying conditions. For this reason the first important allude to keep in mind is rising air = moistening, sinking waiting = drying.

You are watching: When air at the surface diverges, airflow above must _____.

So what go this need to do v high and low pressure? Well, high pressure is connected with sinking air, and low push is associated with climbing air. But why? The answer has to do with the typical air flow around high and also low pressure. Physically, it seems to make feeling to have actually air circulation from high pressure to short pressure. For reasons I won’t get into in this post, the air flow (due come the Earth’s rotation and also friction) is directed slightly inward towards the low pressure center, and also slightly exterior away from the high press center:


The contempt inward moving air in low pressure reasons air to converge and since that can’t relocate downward because of the surface, the wait is forced upward, leading to condensation and precipitation as discussed earlier. The opposite occurs v high pressure. Wait is relocating away indigenous the high pressure center at the surface ar (or “diverging”) so together a result, wait from over must sink to take it its place. The surface flow is add by the opposite behavior at top levels the the atmosphere, as illustrated in this schematic diagram:


Now there is much an ext to the than simply high push = pretty weather and also low push = bad weather (otherwise I would certainly be the end of a job!), however hopefully after reading this, you have a far better understanding that why meteorologists talk about pressure systems. Want to take the following step? Learn around warm and also cold fronts here.

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