People hear about barometric pressure all the time, but unless you work in a field that relies heavily on this measurement or you have a good memory of your high-school science classes, you might not have much of a clue about what it really means.
If you tune in to watch the weather forecast, you probably noticed that apart from the temperatures, and chances of precipitation, the weatherperson also mentions this obscure metrological measurement. So what exactly is this, and how does it affect the average person? This is what we are going to answer in the article below.
The explanation about what barometric pressure is is not as complicated as you might imagine. This measurement is also known as atmospheric pressure, and once you consider this detail, things become a lot easier to understand.
The atmosphere of our planet is made from many different layers. The barometric pressure measures the pressure exerted by the weight of air above any specific place on our earth. Despite how it might feel, air is not, in fact, weightless and the best way you can notice this is with a simple test.
When you’re traveling on an airplane, the cabin is pressurized because there is a lot less air pressing down on a place the higher it is from the ground. This means that the air pressure is much lower. You can notice this by observing your water bottle throughout the plane trip.
When you begin to descent, the water bottle will start to crunch up as if an invisible force squeezes it. That invisible force is, in fact, the atmospheric pressure that causes the air inside the bottle to compress.
So now you might wonder why does your local weatherperson report the barometric pressure on a daily basis to people that might not know what he or she is even talking about? The fact is that the air pressure plays a huge role, and it does not fluctuate only with altitude, but there are also high and low-pressure fronts of air that can sweep through a particular region.
Any change in barometric pressure is a sound indicator that the weather is about to change, and knowing how to interpret those changes can help experts forecast these changes more accurately. The atmospheric pressure does not only influence the weather, but it can also affect people.
Remember when old people used to say that a storm was coming because they felt it in their bones? Well, they might not have been that crazy at all. It turns out that the human body is just as sensitive to atmospheric pressure changes as a quality barometer.
The changes in barometric pressure that accompany big storms and other shifts in weather patterns do affect our body, and older people, in particular, can be much more sensitive to those changes than others.
Blood pressure might be affected by changes in the barometric pressure. Since the blood moves through your body using a pressure system created by your heart, it makes sense that this system could be affected by the air pressure around us. When the barometric pressure drops, the pressure of your blood will too which can lead to a feeling of dizziness and blurred vision.
Sudden changes in air pressure can also cause headaches. Low barometric pressure can cause migraines by creating a pressure difference between the atmosphere and the air-filled sinuses. This problem can be made even worse if your sinuses are congested or blocked for any other reason.
After comparing diaries with the barometric pressure changes noted at nearby weather stations, researchers found that there is a direct correlation between lower atmospheric pressure and the onset and duration of headaches.
When it comes to joint pain, the pain severity can be affected by both barometric pressure and ambient temperature. By using high-quality infrared thermometers, anemometers, and barometers, researchers at Tufts-New Medical Center in Boston found a link between these atmospheric changes and the joint pain severity.
The reason for this could be that the barometric pressure affects the viscosity of the fluid that lines the joint sacs, or that it triggers the pain responses in the nerve endings of the joint. Either way, the thing that is clear is that for some people, the barometric pressure is an integral part of life, and it would do well for people not to understate it.