A barometer is a device that measures atmospheric pressure. It is one of the most widely used tools for predicting the weather. Simply by observing past weather, such as atmospheric pressure, rainfall data, cloud types and wind speeds, meteorologists have discovered that the barometer is an accurate way to predict future weather patterns. Here are a few guidelines to help you understand how a barometer works.

Air rising away from the earth’s surface faster than it can be substituted by air streaming in from surrounding areas creates a low pressure zone. This decreases the weight of the air over the barometer reservoir; thus the mercury level moves to a lower level. Conversely, in high pressure zones, air is moving towards the earth’s surface faster than it can stream out to surrounding zones. This produces more air over the reservoir; thus the air’s weight surges higher and the mercury level moves higher to create equilibrium.

Atmospheric pressure is never constant at any specific height, though it differs by comparatively small amounts on average. Differences in atmospheric pressure supply data for your local weather forecast. By taking into account past weather and by using instruments that are advanced, meteorologists can gauge atmospheric pressure while utilizing a digital barometer that uses electricity; enabling them to obtain precise pressure recordings and deliver more correct weather forecasts.

An example of barometric pressure is when a rubber suction cup is pressed against a smooth surface, as it will remain stuck. By simply pressing the cup down flat against the wall surface, the air is expelled from the area under the cup and a vacuum is then formed. The pressure of the air which originally acted in that area now no longer thrusts against the inside of the cup. When it is released, it will stay in the compressed position because the air pressure is acting on the outside only and therefore presses the edge of the cup down so firmly that no air can penetrate into the area which remains void of air.

If a long glass tube is filled with mercury and is then stood upright with the opening end pointing downwards into a dish containing mercury, much of the mercury will flow out of the tube until a column of mercury forms. The air pressure acts upon the surface of the mercury in the dish and is therefore able to hold up a high mercury column. It is experiments like this, along with studies of past weather information such as rainfall data, cloud types and winds speed that allow scientists to predict future weather.

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