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Bay Area Earth Science Institute (BAESI). Pressure San Jose State University, January 24, 2004 http://www.met.sjsu.edu/baesi/. *. Q: What drives the weather in the atmosphere? Q: What causes the weather to change? We must analyse the predominant forces in the atmosphere, namely:

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bay area earth science institute baesi
Bay Area Earth Science Institute (BAESI)

Pressure

San Jose State University,

January 24, 2004

http://www.met.sjsu.edu/baesi/

Weather and Climate

principle forces
Q: What drives the weather in the atmosphere?

Q: What causes the weather to change?

We must analyse the predominant forces in the atmosphere, namely:

pressure and pressure gradients,

gravity

rotation of the earth

friction

Principle forces

Weather and Climate

pressure
Pressure
  • Measured in millibars (mb) or inches of mercury
  • Surface Pressure:

Sea level pressure:

1012 mb or

29.9 in of mercury

Weather and Climate

what causes pressure to change
Temperature change

Density change

Formally, the equation of state describes this relationship:

p=RT

p-Pressure (Pa)

 - density (g m-3)

R - Gas Constant (287 J K-1 kg-1)

T - Temperature (K)

What causes pressure to change?

Weather and Climate

pressure differences
Determines the direction and speed of winds

Can help explain general circulation of atmosphere.

General guidelines:

High pressure: clear skies/fine weather

Low pressure: cloudy skies/changeable weather

Why is this?

Pressure Differences

Weather and Climate

slide13

Pressure Gradient Force

Weather and Climate

slide14
Coriolis Force

Weather and Climate

the rotation of the earth
The rotation of the Earth
  • Rockets, migrating birds, and large scale weather systems are all deflected due to the rotation of the Earth.
  • The Earth’s rotation causes
    • Rotational movement that deflects the winds.
  • The Coriolis Force is the name of this rotational force that deflects motion.

Weather and Climate

coriolis force
Coriolis Force
  • Affects direction, not speed of object
  • Maximum at the poles
  • Zero at the equator

Always acts to the right of the motion in Northern Hemisphere.

Always acts to the left of the motion in the Southern Hemisphere.

Weather and Climate

geostrophic wind
Geostrophic Wind

Northern

Hemisphere

Weather and Climate