Wednesday's Weather Word: High Pressure

How do high pressure systems affect weather?
Posted at 10:00 AM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 10:00:49-05

We've talked about high pressure A LOT lately. That's because a strong high pressure system has been in control of our weather causing hazardous water conditions and very gusty winds. High pressure systems that have set up off the east coast often affect south Florida in this way. Winds rotate around these systems in a clockwise direction and usually bring easterly or southeasterly winds to our area.

High pressure systems are generally associated with calm, pleasant weather. However, the easterly winds they sometimes bring south Florida can make for dangerous beach conditions. Dangerous rip currents are created by the system's easterly winds pushing Atlantic waters toward the east coast.

You'll usually hear your local meteorologist talking about two types of pressure...high or low. Most times high pressure will bring quiet weather while low pressure, like that associated with a cold front, will bring unsettled weather. Part of the reason for this is high pressure causes subsidence or sinking air. Sinking air will result in calm, nice weather.

So the next time you hear, "high pressure is taking over our weather," you'll know that probaly means some pretty nice days are ahead.