Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Movement of High Pressure Systems
Name: Yisell A.
Status: student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001


Question:
Hi, I would like to know why do high pressure systems move faster than low pressure systems?


Replies:
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 this helps!

Sally Crean
Meteorologist
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.

Vince Calder


Yisell,

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


Click here to return to the Weather Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory