Movement of High Pressure Systems
Name: Yisell A.
Hi, I would like to know why do high pressure systems
move faster than low pressure systems?
Movement of weather systems at the surface is a function of how the upper
atmosphere is behaving. High level winds known as the Jet Stream steer
surface high and low pressure systems and affect their speed and direction
of movement. Sometimes the Jet Stream is very fast and strong with winds
of over 200 miles per hour which will move surface systems very quickly.
Other times the Jet Stream is only around 50 miles per hour which results
in slower movement. Also, bends in the flow of the Jet Stream will affect
how surface systems are moved or whether they remain stationary. I hope
National Weather Service
I am asking you refer to solids < liquids > gases. Sound (which is an
oscillating pressure distance) moves faster because the molecules has a
smaller distance to travel before they transfer their kinetic energy to its
neighbors. So the closer the molecules, the less time that takes.
Both high and low pressure systems can
move at a wide range of speeds. I would not
say that one normally moves faster than the
other. High pressure areas can sometimes be
very persistent; they can stay around for a
very long time. These are often called blocking
highs because they prevent or slow the movement
of trailing low pressure areas. A good example
of this is the "Bermuda high", which takes hold over
the western Atlantic Ocean in the summertime,
centered on or near Bermuda. It can persist for
weeks at a time, causing the buildup of air
pollutants to unacceptable levels and cause
record high temperatures in the western half
of the high.
David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: June 2012