How does temperature affect air pressure?


Quick Answer

Temperature affects air pressure by causing the air to either become more or less dense, which expands or lowers its pressure. Warm air is less dense than cold air, and as air becomes less dense, its pressure increases.

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Full Answer

Basically, the cooler the air, the more it contracts and becomes more dense. Dense air is air that has a greater weight per volume. In weather, when high pressure takes over, it means the air will be cooler and the skies generally sunny. If low pressure moves into an area, it means there is likely to be rain or storms and temperatures will be warmer.

Air pressure is the force exerted by air. Air molecules have weight and take up space and air can be compressed by removing the space between air molecules. Compressed air is high pressure air. Barometers are used by meteorologists and home weather watchers, to keep an eye on the outdoor air pressure. The pressure is usually measured in inches of mercury or millibars.

Sudden or drastic changes in air pressure can result in the ears "popping" or other unwanted side effects. This happens, because the body is trying to balance air pressure between the outside world and the inside of the ear.

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