Weather School: Pressure

Weather School: Pressure

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Earth is surrounded by an envelope of air known as the atmosphere. You can't really see it or feel it. We probably take for granted that it is even there at all, but the pool of air above us is about 60 miles high and is always pushing down on us. This is where we get air pressure.

At sea level, the average air pressure is around 15 pounds per square inch. That's like having a ton weight pushing down on your body. So why aren't we crushed by that force? Luckily, the air inside our bodies pushes back with the same force.

We may not notice changes in air pressure, but they do have an effect on our weather.

Rising air creates clouds and stormy weather. With less air in place, it also leads to lower air pressure. So, areas of low pressure typically bring unsettled weather.

Sinking air tends to dry out leading to calm weather. As the amount of air builds, it leads to higher pressure. That's why high pressure typically brings quiet weather.

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