Weather Facts: Barometric pressure

You've probably heard the FOX 7 Weather Team reference the barometric pressure during weather forecasts. Stephen of Austin was wondering why we show it and why is it important.

Checking out the barometric pressure could give you a heads up of what kind of weather is heading your way. Air pressure is caused by earth's gravity pressing down on the air.

When we talk about high pressure that means more weight is pushing down on the air so the clouds have a tougher time growing. With rising pressure expect clearing skies and calming winds.

With low pressure less weight is pushing down on the air so it begins to rise leading to cloud formation. With lowering pressure expect more clouds and gusty winds.

When the low and high are farther apart the air won't be funneled into small spot so the winds will be light.

When the pressure changes drastically across a short distance expect a strong wind. The air is being forced into a small area producing a natural wind tunnel. This normally occurs with approaching pacific system.

Spring is the windy season because there is always a battle going on between cold and warm air. So more storm systems and fronts develop more frequently and move across the country very quickly. This is when Texas is stuck in a squeeze play with low and high pressure giving us windy conditions every three or four days.

If you have a weather question feel free to email Zack Shields at or check him out and Twitter and Facebook.