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Setra Blog

Nov 10, 2016 6:46:00 AM

What is Barometric Pressure?

Have you ever wondered why the top results when searching for barometric pressure, are about atmospheric pressure? Barometric pressure refers to the measure of atmospheric pressure, which is the pressure of the atmosphere at the earth’s surface. Both types of pressure can be thought of as the weight of air pressing down on the earth.

The differences General_Industrial_-_Barometic_-_Airport_Barometric_Device.jpgbetween barometric and atmospheric pressure are subtle but important. While both measurements reference absolute pressure, their typical units and pressure ranges are different. Barometric pressure is typically measured in "HG or millibar, with pressure ranges typically encompassing the pressure changes generated by changing weather patterns. Barometric pressure is predominantly used for weather measurement and forecasting applications. Atmospheric pressure is typically measured in PSIA, BAR absolute, or simply as atmospheres. Atmospheric pressures can span larger pressure ranges depending on their use in the application.

Fun Fact: Changes in barometric pressure can account for triggering joint pain or headaches in some people (The Weather Channel)


Units of Measure: Barometric pressure is commonly measured in Hg (inches of mercury) or millibars. The National Weather Service typically uses Hg to measure surface air pressure. Scientists generally prefer to hector pascals (hPa) to measure air pressure. In other circumstances ambient pressure may be measured in pounds per square inch (PSIA).


Applications: Airports, AWOS Systems, Humidity Measurements, Data Buoys, Altitude Chambers


CLICK HERE to learn about the seven different types of pressure measurement.


Topics: General Industrial, HVAC/R

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