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Student Research Pages - What Makes Weather? - Air Pressure

Cover_Weather_WatchWhat Makes Weather? - Air Pressure


Four main elements work together to make weather:

  1. Air pressure
  2. Precipitation
  3. Temperature
  4. Wind

Air Pressure

Air pressure has a lot to do with making weather. Tiny invisible particles called “air molecules” (mall-uh-cuels) always fill the air. Even right now! When air in the troposphere moves, the air molecules move, too.

When the air molecules move, they bump into each other all crazy like!

Air molecules do their own kind of dance in the sky.

They can bump into each other in any direction – from the top, from the bottom, from the side, diagonally – you name it! BOINK!

When they do their own kind of dance in the sky it creates something we call "air pressure." The more air molecules there are bopping into each other in the sky the more air pressure there will be.

Air moves from places where it’s being pushed on hard to places where it’s not being pushed on as hard. In official weather words we say that the air moves from places of “high pressure” to places of "low pressure."

Sometimes molecules have lots of space between them in the air. Other times they don’t. When they have a lot of space between them they aren’t being pushed as hard. That’s when the pressure is low.

When they have little space between them they are being pushed on hard. That’s when the pressure is high.

Measuring Air Pressure:

We use barometers to measure air pressure and to find out if the weather will soon change.


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