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What is a Barometer Reading?


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By Charlie Costal

Today we talk weather. As your part-time Current OC weatherman, I take pride in giving you the most accurate forecast possible. But let’s be honest, who even knows what half of this stuff means? For example, what is a barometer reading?

Do you know what a barometer reading means? Let’s break it down. A barometer is used to measure the pressure in the atmosphere. Invented by Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli in 1643, the Mercury barometer measures how many inches a sample of mercury will travel up a glass tube. A reading of between 29.80 and 30.20 inches is Earth’s natural pressure at sea level, meaning normal weather is on the way. If the reading is below 29.80, it indicates a low pressure system. A low pressure system does not have enough force to repel clouds and common rain and thunderstorms. It pulls wind and bad weather inward. On the other hand, a high pressure system, or a reading above 30.20, has enough force to push wind and storms away from it, so you can expect warm, calm weather. So there you have it, now that you know what a barometer reading is.

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