How To Use A Barometer To Forecast The Weather

Psychologist ague that weather, more so atmospheric pressure affects our mood. Low pressures at some point lead to restlessness in some people while others lack concentration and become irritable. Are there moments in your life that you feel a mood swing? Maybe it’s as a result of the weather changes. Atmospheric pressure affects an impact on the daily life of humans and therefore raises a need to be determined and forecast the weather patterns. 

A barometer is a special tool used to determine the pressure level in the atmosphere. In this article, you will understand the types of the barometer, it’s operations and the way it can be used to predict weather using barometers

Types of barometer 

There exist two types of barometers,

  • Mercury barometer.
  • Aneroid barometer.

A mercury barometer has a mercury vessel on which there is an inverted calibrated thin glass. As pressure increases, the air column in the glass tube rises, and readings are taken. On the other hand, don’t have fluid. This barometer is made of a small and flexible box called an aneroid capsule. The capsule is tightly sealed. Any change in atmospheric pressure in the atmosphere leads to the expansion or contraction of springs and levers inside.

Methods Of Weather Forecasting

You can forecast air pressure using different methods. The method of weather forecasting depends on the availability of skills, tools and the environment.  

1. Using Conflicting Data To Forecast Weather

This is a Do-It-Yourself technique of weather forecasting. I want to assume you have enjoyed touring mountainous places. Take a case that you are travelling with a watch or any device that has a barometric altimeter. Before you just start your tour, you decide to specifically calibrate the altimeter. At some point, after you start your tour, you realize the reading on the barometric altimeter is not similar or doesn’t correspond to that on your map. What picture do you create in your mind about the watch? 

Maybe you might conclude that the watch has failed or broken and even tempted to throw it away. However, this is not the case. For your watch to display the barometric altitude characteristic, then it means it measures that altitude by air pressure. The barometric altimeter performs on the assumption that there is no change in air pressure within the day. The cause of the measurement errors is a result of a change in air pressure.

The measurement errors are useful when forecasting is concerned. If, for example, you know the exact height of the mountain from, say, signposts, summits or towns, you would actually benefit greatly from this data. This altitude data from your watch can help you forecast weather on your own. For example, if the altitude on your watch is higher than the exact altitude, then air pressure will have dropped during the tour. This is possible since the last air pressure calibration, measured by your watch, corresponds to some few meters higher, from the fact that your watch works on the assumption that air pressure is constant, which gives a false calculation that you are still or already at higher altitude. 

Lower altitude, on the other hand, indicates risen air pressure. When the watch shows correct altitude, this shows stable weather conditions as there is no change in air pressure. The following are some of the cases applied in the forecast,

  • Case 1: If the measured value is less than the actual value, air pressure is higher. We can forecast an improvement in the weather.
  • Case 2: If the measured value is equal to the actual value, air pressure is stable. We forecast no change in the weather.
  • Case 3: If the measured value is greater than the actual value, air pressure is lower, and we forecast worsening weather conditions.

Note that this method of forecasting air pressure may not be perfect as the judgment depends on the current situation. However, there is a better scientific method that can be more efficient.

2. Numerical Method Of Weather Prediction

This scientific air pressure forecasting is more accurate than the above method. It involves a combination of experienced meteorologists and computer analysis. There is an up-to-date kind of mathematical models that are used in the calculations. These modelled calculations are much better as compared to stand-alone scientists depending on maps and calculating devices.

3. Use Of Weather Maps

Weather maps are generated by continuous recording of the weather factors. For example, the air pressure may be continuously recorded by a barometer and recorded every day. This data can create a pattern that can be used to predict the weather in the future. Isobar is a good example of the weather maps that helps us forecast air pressure on a given day. 


Weather forecasting can be done at any time, both individually and by institutions. Forecasting is just an approximation as seen above, and therefore, if at any point fails, you shouldn’t give up or get disappointed! 

About the author

Torrance Mueller

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