Quantcast Movement of Pressure Systems and Large Scale Wind Patterns

 

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AVIATION WEATHER
CHAPTER TWO
Figure 2-7 Surface Winds are Deflected Across Isobars Towards Lower Pressure
Gradient:
E
S
W
N
Surface:
NE
SE
SW
NW
Figure 2-8 Surface Winds Relates to Gradient Wind Above It
Buys Ballot's Law, A Rule Of Thumb
A rule of thumb to help remember the direction of the wind in relation to a pressure system is
Buys Ballot's Law. This law states that if the wind is at your back, the area of lower pressure
will be to your left. When standing on the Earth's surface, the low will be slightly forward or
directly left because the winds flow across the isobars.
Movement of Pressure Systems and Large Scale Wind Patterns
Weather in the Temperate Zone (which includes the U.S.) and farther north changes almost
constantly with the passage of highs and lows. These migrating systems move from west to east
with the prevailing westerly winds. They are accompanied by wind shifts, and with some
exceptions, large and rapid changes in temperature and broad areas of precipitation. These
systems furnish the most significant means of heat transfer between high and low latitudes.
The Jet Stream
Wind speeds generally increase with height through the troposphere, reaching a maximum near
the tropopause, and often culminating in the jet stream. The jet stream is a narrow band of strong
winds of 50 knots or more that meanders vertically and horizontally around the hemisphere in
wave-like patterns. The jet streams (polar and subtropical) have a profound influence on weather
patterns.
Atmospheric Mechanics of Winds, Clouds and Moisture, and Atmospheric Stability
2-9


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