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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

Air pressure is the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on the earth.

You may have seen the weatherman talking about air pressure on TV during a weather forecast. It is an important thing to know, as it can actually determine the type of weather we get where we live.

Air Pressure is measured by a barometer. You can see a barometer on the left. Barometers may also use mercury in a glass column, like a thermometer, to measure the change in air pressure. When the weather is calm the mercury in the barometer stays fairly low against the measure.

If a high pressure system is on its way, often you can expect cooler temperatures and clear skies. If a low pressure system is coming, then look for warmer weather, storms and rain.

Air pressure also changes with altitude. When you move to a higher place, say a tall mountain in Scotland, air pressure actually decreases because there are fewer air molecules as you move higher up.