I would like some information about isotherms and isobars. I am doing a
long term project on them. I am taking temperatures of my back yard for
thirty days. Thanks.
Weather forecastors use terms like isotherm and isobar quite often. To
understand what they mean you can break the word down into two parts. The
prefix "iso" means equal or constant. The root "therm" means temperature.
When you put them together you get an isotherm, which is a line of
constant temperature. The same works with isobar--the root "bar" means
weight or pressure. An isobar is a line of constant pressure. There are
many other terms like these which are known collectively as "isopleths".
Isotherms and isobars, plus other isopleths, are very helpful for weather
forecasting. If you look at a map that just shows temperature for
different cities, you won't be able to see the full pattern of the
weather system. By looking at isotherms, it is easier to see there the
temperature changes fast or where it doesn't change that much.
Isobars help you see what sort of weather system is in the area. In
general, a low pressure system is accompanied by clouds and wet weather
and a high pressure system is accompanied by sunny skies and dry
weather. Also, you can get and idea of the wind patterns by looking at
isobars. The wind generally blows counter-clockwise around a low and
clockwise around a high.
Submitted by Dan (age 14, New York, USA)
(May 22, 1998)
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