Horizontal Air Pressure Gradients

Chapter 8:


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2.) Horizontal air pressure gradients are caused by changes in air pressure along the surface of constant altitude, creating a force that acts towards the low-pressure perpendicular to isobars, making the air parcels move towards the low pressure.


4.) The Coriolis effect makes the horizontal wind change its direction to the right of its initial direction when it reaches the northern hemisphere and to the left when it reaches the southern hemisphere.


6.) The roughness of the earth’s surface creates a frictional resistance that slows the wind and makes the wind blow directly across isobars and towards regions with low pressure.


8.) When the surface wind converges towards the center of the cyclone, air ascends, and it experiences expansion cooling increasing its humidity, and when the saturation process is achieved, the clouds may form, resulting in precipitation.

Critical Thinking:

2.) Gravity is the product of two forces working together: the object’s gravitational force and the object’s centripetal force, which accelerates the unit mass of an object directly towards the surface of the earth. Since Gravity acts directly downwards towards the earth’s surface, it has no effect on the horizontal winds.


4.) Geostrophic wind is an unaccelerated horizontal movement of air flowing in a straight path at an altitude above the atmospheric boundary layer. Geostrophic wind is a result of a balance between the horizontal pressure gradient force and the Coriolis effect. The gradient wind develops at high altitudes in the atmospheric boundary layer around anticyclones or cyclones.


6.) High pressure is denser, forcing air towards the surface of the earth, which makes air become dry, and with ow pressure, the density is low and lifts the air up, causing moisture to be formed.


8.) A developing cyclone upper-air support needs horizontal divergence as a result of the effect of the Coriolis force that opposes the pressure gradient acceleration makes the air change direction, and rather than the wind blowing directly from high to low pressure, the earth’s rotation makes the wind to deflect from its course.



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