Ask Storm Team 11: Stable air vs. unstable air

Ask Storm Team 11

Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question was submitted by Nathaniel Blaylock. He asked: “Is it [true] when the barometric pressure is high, conditions are stable? And the lower it is, means conditions are becoming more unstable?” 

Nathaniel, you’re right. Air flows away from an area of high pressure making the air from above sink and take it place. It usually warms up, dries out, and brings us nice air, which is called stable air. In other words, the parcel of air becomes cooler than the surrounding air.  

Air flows toward areas of low pressure so air is forced to rise forming clouds and precipitation, which is known as unstable air. In other words, the parcel of air is warmer than the surrounding air.  

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