What is Atmospheric Pressure?

Although it may not feel like it, the air around us has weight and presses down on everything around it. This pressure of the air pushing down (as it is pulled in by gravity) is called atmospheric pressure.


Atmospheric pressure is a very useful tool for meteorologists, as it is an indicator of weather. Low-atmospheric pressure often indicates a cloudy, windy, and/or rainy weather front. High-atmospheric pressure usually means clear skies and low winds. Changes in atmospheric pressure are also the reason that some people can feel a storm coming in the form of a headache, joint pain, or tingling in their body.

To measure atmospheric pressure, a barometer is used. This is an instrument that contains mercury which rises and falls with variations in pressure.


Atmospheric pressure decreases as altitude increases. This causes the air to be thinner and makes it harder to breathe on a mountain compared to an island at sea level, for example. When people experience a sudden decrease in atmospheric pressure, such as by traveling from Wisconsin to Colorado, they can develop altitude sickness. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid overexertion to avoid this!

To check out the local forecast and plan your next adventure, go to our Weather Page here – https://foxriverkayakingcompany.com/weather/