Atmospheric Patterns

What are atmospheric patterns?

Certain air masses will warm and rise, creating a low-pressure area at the surface, while other cooler air masses higher up in the atmosphere will subsequently fall, resulting in high pressure at the surface. The air that flows between high and low-pressure areas of the earth, resulting in an atmospheric pattern. This natural movement can be on a local or a global scale and is something that we all experience on a daily basis through the local weather - sometimes it may be clear and dry (high pressure) or cloudy and windy (low pressure) or somewhere in between.

Research Objectives

  • Better understand natural weather events for more effective climate forecasting
  • Gather data for climate models and future climate predictions


Why do we study atmospheric patterns?

Understanding the fundamentals of how natural atmospheric patterns work is the foundation for all other types of atmospheric studies. Knowing the intricate details of how these complex cycles function allow atmospheric scientists to expand their studies of severe weather, climate change, air pollution, and how changes in the atmosphere affect the biosphere.


Recent EOL field projects studying atmospheric patterns:

  • Perdigão 2017: The Perdigão project is studying atmospheric flow in complex terrain to improve models for wind energy physics and forecasting.
  • CSET 2015: The Cloud Systems Evolution in the Trades (CSET) study is designed to describe and explain the evolution of the boundary layer aerosol, cloud, and thermodynamic structures along trajectories within the north-Pacific trade-winds.
  • DEEPWAVE 2014: DEEPWAVE (Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment over New Zealand) project is studying the dynamics of gravity waves (GWs) from the surface of the Earth to the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT).

Do you still have questions about atmospheric patterns?

If you still have a few more questions about atmospheric patterns, feel free to ask a scientist! You can find a scientist who specializes in your particular question. Click on his or her name to send the scientist an email, or click on some of the other provided links to learn more about his or her specialty!