The Science Behind Our "Fair-Weather Friend" - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

The Science Behind Our "Fair-Weather Friend"

Posted: Updated:
Sunny skies and warm temperatures have been somewhat of a rarity over the past few months, but that certainly hasn't been the case over the past week.  The difference has been a very strong area of high pressure in place over the region.

High pressure is our fair-weather friend.  When it’s in control, you can bet that from sun-up to sun-down it's sunshine all around.

The term high pressure is pretty self explanatory. It's an area with higher air pressure than surrounding areas.  

Just like a fluid, air follows the path of least resistance. In this case, that's away from high pressure. This divergent flow creates an area of sinking motion, and it's that sinking motion that is responsible for the picture perfect weather that so many of us crave.

As air sinks, it does two things. First, it warms up, contributing to that rise on our thermometers.  As a result of this warming, the air dries out, substantially limiting the development of any cloud cover. When high pressure in place, it's nothing but warm, sunny days and cool, clear nights.

Our high pressure is on the way unfortunately, and that will lead to increase in our rain chances as we head into this weekend.