Talk:High-pressure area

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Good article High-pressure area has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
February 21, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
WikiProject Meteorology (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:High-pressure area/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Hi Thegreatdr

I have read this article over the last few days and have decided that theirs nothing to do thus i am upgrading this article to GA. Well done Jason Rees (talk) 03:07, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Right/Left hand incorrect[edit]

I could be completely confused here, but isn't the description of the right hand for highs and left hand for lows completely backwards. Using more simple terms, the air around a high pressure zone in the northern hemisphere moves in a clockwise direction. Conversely, in the Northern Hemisphere, around a low pressure zone, air moves in an anticlockwise direction. (see here for an example). A right hand, with the thumb up, is anticlockwise, hence the low is following the right hand rule in the Northern Hemisphere. The opposite of what the article says. If I don't see any comments here in a week or so, I will change the article.

Bilz0r (talk) 15:26, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Wind Circulation in the northern and southern hemispheres New to WP sorry if I have posted wrong!

I agree about wind circulation being the wrong way round throughout this section. The error is also incorrectly backup up with a misleadingly cited sentence: "The term Cyclone was coined by an official of the British East India Company to describe an especially destructive storm in Coringa, India during the Indian Ocean cyclone season at the end of 1789.[3]" The citation links to and only suggests that a chap named Henry Piddington coined the word 'Cyclone'. WP article on him Henry Piddington (this version) suggests the word was coined following a storm in Mauritius rather than India. This is important because Mauritius is in the Southern hemisphere and a low pressure storm here would have been rotating clockwise whereas if it was in India it would have been rotating anti-clockwise.

The Piddington article does not cite a reference for this, however I found one reference in a google book here which backs up the Mauritius version, not sure how to reference this?

Also the rotation of the Earth is wrong: "This is the right-orientation, also the direction of rotation of the earth, moving east to west, when seen from above the north pole." The earth rotates West to East, wherever you observe it from. Cheers Chris (talk) 15:34, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, orientation is misleading

The text is confusing, disturbing and, for me, incorrect. As far as a now, Earth rotation, as seen from Polaris (then looking at the Northern Hemisphere), follows the right hand rule so it is counterclockwise. Circulation around Highs leave the center on the right, so air flows clockwise, turning in the opposite direction to Earth's rotation.

Looking at the Earth from Southern Cross (then looking at the Southern Hemisphere) the scenario is opposite; the Earth is seen as rotating clockwise, but circulation around Highs now leave the center on the left (counterclockwise). So around a High still turns in the opposite direction to Earth's rotation.

Etaoin Shdrlu (talk) 09:56, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Merge request[edit]

Couldn't this be combined into anticyclone? –radiojon 18:31, 2004 Jul 14 (UTC)

  • Most emphatically, NO. The other way around, perhaps, but weather announcers do not refer to anticyclones, they refer to highs. This article should be titled so as to be as accessible to as many people as possible. The lingua franca must rule. Denni 00:53, 2004 Jul 18 (UTC)

Horse Latitudes, according to legend, are called thusly because the winds associated with that region of the world are weak (due to the high pressure). So, ships would get stranded and have to throw the horses (who I think must have died and were rotting) bound for america overboard. So, the ocean was littered with horses.

Although you need to take that story with a lot of salt, it does help you to remember the hadley cell circulations a bit better.

It certainly smacks of an urban legend....

Roodog2k 03:23, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • No urban legend. Ships bound for the Americas often carried livestock, and livestock require fresh water. If one finds oneself becalmed, and it comes down to a choice between the cattle and the men, guess who gets the water and guess who gets the boot. Denni 02:34, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
Yeah, thats what I was taught in a number of my meteorology classes over the years, but the story bothers me still. Call me a skeptic, but I would love to look into the issue more and get some more independent verification (for my own sake). Roodog2k 04:49, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Future Plans[edit]

I would like at add several sections clarifying some differences b/n different types of high pressure, its relation to climatological circulations (i.e. Hadley Cell), and other dynamics that force high pressure over the next few weeks.

Roodog2k 15:23, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What is the role of a high pressure area?[edit]

What is the role of a high pressure area?

Wikipedia is not a homework help line. -- Beland 18:35, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I live in San Diego. I apologize if this is the wrong place. I can't find anywhere how many inches, let alone cm. are considered high to low pressure. Not here not on the Santa Ana page. I would like to know where Santa Anas are coming or leaving as dehydration and headaches are lame and no one watches tv to find out any more.

Bruce — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Illustration request[edit]

An image showing the symbols typically used in meteorology to represent high-pressure systems, and how air circulates due to coriolis forces, would be illuminating. -- Beland 18:35, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Translation into Chinese Wikipedia[edit]

The 00:57, 12 February 2009 Bobo192 version of this article is translated into Chinese Wikipedia.--Wing (talk) 20:20, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Nice, although the current version is significantly better. Thegreatdr (talk) 01:49, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Big upgrade[edit]

The page has been significantly organized, expanded, and sourced. Let me know if you all see anything missing. If not, it will soon be submitted for GA. Thegreatdr (talk) 01:48, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Large, stable high-pressure areas and impacts on climate[edit]

I recall reading somewhere that the reason California gets all its rain in the winter but Acupulco gets it all in the summer, and in between is the Sonoran Desert, is that there is a large, stable high-pressure area that moves north in summer and south in winter. This seems really interesting and relevant to add to this page. In general, I think this phenomenon exists wherever there is a Mediterranean climate. Cazort (talk) 17:04, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

You might be talking about the migration of the subtropical ridge, or in the case of the North American Monsoon, the thermal low which drives that engine. Thegreatdr (talk) 20:29, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


I was just searching for a good meteorological definition of "ridge" and can't find one. This article uses the term, but does not define it. For all of us who don't know why the term is used, could the community please clarify? Thanks! Srain (talk) 18:55, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Caption for the lead image[edit]

High Pressure.jpg

There is apparently a slow edit war going on over the caption of this image. One user wants it to say, "An unusual high-pressure area off the coast of Australia in early June 2012. The shape of most of high-pressure areas is not that clear." Another wants it to say, "An unusual High Pressure area or Anticyclone seen from space in the Southern Hemisphere, south of Australia. The dark spot, clearly marks the area of clear skies, and also the center of the High pressure. Most High pressure systems usually aren't as well defined as this." I personally don't care one way or another (although saying that most systems aren't usually as well defined as this one may need a reference to avoid WP:OR), but a several month-long edit war is not the way to solve the problem. Inks.LWC (talk) 10:44, 9 December 2012 (UTC)


Look again to see why it's understandable why the two sides keep reverting: There are good points to both captions, and both embody contrasting cognitive styles. Such styles have a large genetic propensity, and both are widely distributed - such large sub-populations of '"intuitive" predispositions exist that contesting partisan are likely in any group.

So, edit wars are almost inevitable. That is, unless governing policies are enforced both to establish common ground, and to support separate spaces for the different sub-populations to co-exist. Then, both can flourish without such weakening from incessant conflict. The other approach - of imposing a least-common-denominator, or "pragmatic sanction" resolves nothing while suppressing the spirit of both.

Without posting and imposing yet another take, let me put this as a draft for improvement:

"An unusually clear high-pressure area off the coast of Australia in early June 2012. The dark spot in the center is where the surface is seen because the cold has already precipitated out water vapor. Cold dry areas where the sky is clear is a characteristic often seen in Highs, but seldom as large and with such clear edges as here."

The first sentence is a slight edit and shortening of one version. As the lede or headline of the caption, it's intended to show respect for the reader by quickly identifying what kind of object is portrayed, and linking to the article by repeating the article's title. It also serves another function of a headline by immediately planting a hook for the reader's attention with its first main word, "unusually".

The second attempts to make the caption into stand-alone self-explanatory, without having the reader wait to read the rest of the article before making sense of the graphic. Hopefully, this easily understood coupling of a dramatic natural phenomenon plus a simple explanation will further serve as an advertisement to draw a "web surfer" to stay and read more.

The third sentence has two parts to serve two intents. The first part links the phenomenon named in the article's title with a characteristic with a huge impact on most people living outside the tropics -- a cool, dry clear day. Hopefully, this characteristic of the article's title object -- that strongly impacts billions of people -- will further motivate visitors to stay and read on.

Finally, the second part of the third sentence provides a justification for the caption's opening hook, "unusually" by stating what is unusual about the graphic. Of course, in a short caption, there's not enough space to explain why large, clear edged openings are rare.

Indeed, there might be justification to remove both the opening hook and this concluding phrase. An article bears responsibility to the reader to not apply hooks that don't result in satisfactions. That's as unethical as bait & switch come-ons, or false advertising, however implicit it might lurk.

Far better, let me suggest, would be a section that harkens back to the graphic of a clear day, and explain why it's rare that such days are not so cleanly present. Basically, such a section is needed because the "unclean" phenomenon is both common and has strong impacts. The argument for censoring the caption is weaker, because the ethics of presenting "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" must remain the main aim.

Update, 2013-0125.

I found a simple fix so that the article contains an answer to the implicit question: Why is the clean hole in the lede picture so unusual. Hope it satisfies others. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GreggEdwards (talkcontribs) 18:27, 25 January 2013 (UTC)


In this long exposition of arguments, I'm attempting to follow the WP guide on how to resolve disagreements: Not by boldly destroying the work of others, but by getting on the table all the significant arguments, and then choosing a design for the article that can appeal and accommodate many interests while balancing out the oft competing claims of WP guides.

Time consuming to explicate arguments, yes. But, we might hope, with fewer loses and greater gains than edit wars. Better a process that gains respect and a reputation for fairness, than a struggle where folks impose their gut feelings, or by noting a plurality of opinions expressed (by that small minority with the time and personality activism to write in) confidently declare an unreasoned "consensus".

Well, whadya think?

Specifically, suggestions with arguments for a rewrite of the lede caption?

If no responses after how long, may I edit the caption?

GreggEdwards (talk) 18:09, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Looking back, I don't know why I even put this up for discussion, as the whole caption violates original research. It's debatable as to whether the image can even be included, since it's borderline original research to match the meteorological chart with the satellite imagery, but an argument could be made that it's acceptable. So I've changed this to simply label it an area of high pressure. That should've been what I did before - I quite honestly don't know why I didn't. Inks.LWC (talk) 19:19, 25 January 2013 (UTC)


Since I'm still fairly inexperienced with Wiki Ways, please others comment to clear up what appear to be some misunderstandings.

It was my impression that the dictum "be bold" in making substantial changes does not apply when 'edit wars' begin to appear. Then, WP guidances suggest that the issues be discussed in Talk, and that individuals wishing for changes first funnel their intelligence via rational discussion.

I've even read in Guides that consensus not be declared and changes implemented on the basis of a 'majoritarian' or preponderance of opinions expressed by activists. Instead, the meaning of 'rational discussion' requires that others' reasons be respected and answered by reasons. My interpretation of this guide is that bold action -- without addressing others' reasoned arguments but only on the basis of the editor's un-reviewed argument -- might be considered peremptory. And the accompanying argument considered only as a rationalization until integrated with the prior state of debate.

1] Therefore, for the moment, I will not implement my proposal (overriding LWC's bold action) until others have a chance to address the issues (including how this kind of disagreement may be better resolved), or until LWC engages.

[BTW: The explanation given in the captioned photo's authority file seems quite straight-forward - the hole and the High are approximately co-located - and thus the charge of "original research" needs much more justification than just the label.

Here's why I'm unable to follow and be convinced by LWC's two-word reasoning: That cloud formations and other obscuring phenomena do not strictly follow isobars is common. In this case, the two observable -- big hole of 1000 km, and a big High as marked by isobar contours -- are so large and overlapping that co-location is common practical experience, and does not require extensive research. Weather phenomena are so complicated that the single factor explaining very large scale regularities almost never suffice in preempting smaller scale deviations.]

2] Similarly, I defer reverting from LWC's delete my minor addition to the article's paragraph. Then, I'd hope to add needed clarifications on the issues, and references to the phenomena of Highs sometimes bringing clear days, but more often not.

It seems to me that the erasing of that addition (because the lede photo's caption no longer posed an implicit but unanswered question) also did not respect my reasoning, see above, here in Talk:

"Far better, let me suggest, would be a section that harkens back to the graphic of a clear day, and explain why it's rare that such days are not so cleanly present. Basically, such a section is needed because the "unclean" phenomenon is both common and has strong impacts. The argument for censoring the caption is weaker, because the ethics of presenting "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" must remain the main aim."

In other words, the addition I made was motivated by the aim of clarifying the behavior of the Title's phenomena. While it's true that my attention to the 'need' for clarification was triggered by Talk on the caption, that was not the cause of my edit. Thus, "resolving" emerging edit-wars on the caption (by radical truncation, no less) is not warranted by issues within the caption. My reasoning for the edit was different, and while perhaps mistaken, still remains.

GreggEdwards (talk) 18:11, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

But the problem with your analysis is that you think it is common knowledge that people know what isobars are. You could ask most readers, and I'd bet less than half know what an isobar is. But that just goes to even calling that photo a high pressure area. That's borderline original research, that's possibly OK. But we have no evidence that such phenomenon are "unusual". So far, I haven't seen an article that says that such phenomenon are unusual, and we can't say that they are without a source. Also, articles generally are not written in essay form as your edit was. We typically do not ask a question and then answer it in the text. Wikipedia makes statements - it's written like an encyclopedia, not a investigatory or argumentative paper. I hope this answers your question. If not, try rephrasing it (perhaps in fewer words... it was a bit hard to follow the long post). If you want more information on original research, you can read WP:OR. Inks.LWC (talk) 23:17, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Unfamiliar Term & other reasons for Bold deletion[edit]

Dear LWC,

A] "the problem with your analysis is ... isobar"

Good point: isobar, though used frequently in the weather segment of TV news, is a technical term. Since WP is worthless if not intelligible, technical terms are better explained upon first use. Isobar was used in the body of the article, and was linked to the WP disambiguation page on that term.

(Aside 1: I used "isobar" not in the proposed language for the article, but only in my more detailed layout of reasoning in Talk. I'm unable to follow the logic for deletion if use of a technical term in Talk arguments is grounds for nullifying the whole proposal. As in "the problem with your analysis is ... isobar".)

(Aside 2: To make life easier or the reader, I'll go back and provide a "one click" solution by directly linking to WP's explanation of the term. Some experts think that "one-click" is so important that its implementation is patentable. Generally, the likelihood a reader will continue to use a web page drops exponentially with the number of clicks or reactions required.)

Trying to keep WP a domain of principles rather than personalities, I took a quick look for other "problems with ... analysis" that if others followed your principle might suffer deletion.

Shortly before the first use of "isobar" was the term "isotach", another technical term that perhaps would be unfamiliar to many readers. So, I just completed an edit, linking that term to the WP article. Unlike some precedent, rather than wiping out information, I provided a quick fix. Again, I hope, as Churchill's guide that goes like "Talk Talk not War War", that WP supports an ethos of rational discussion before eradication.

B] "calling that photo a high pressure area. That's borderline original research ... that's possibly OK"

Thanks, WLC, for letting that pass, as apparently many others have. I'm glad to avoid getting in an argument on what could mostly be a matter of style - rooted in heritable and habituated temperament. Certainly such disputes too often becomes a scene of quasi-legal mincing of policy statements and precedents strewn around WP in thousands of pages.

I'm a veteran of the Science Wars, starting when I helped manage NSF programs subvening the new math, physics, biology ... I was continually followed and got continual death threats. No wonder then that I closely follow research on the antinominal poles - & gradients between - on whether science is a body of Fact or how big a step any problem solving or application of theory be allowed before the Facts must be ascertained.

WP Fundamentalists -- who're sure they know and must knock-out Original Research when they see it -- too often seem to use similar rhetoric and Bold self-help as do religious fundamentalists around the world. Of course, these kinds of temperaments seem built into the human genome and likely serve some evolutionary purpose.

In WP, such vigilance is certainly needed. When reasonable. Thanks, LWC, for having been reasonable on this point.

C] "... no evidence that such phenomenon are unusual ..."

Please recall that I suggested an amendment to my first proposal, above, one that sidesteps language like "unusually .. large and with such clear edges" by saying "there might be justification to remove both the opening hook and this concluding phrase". I instead suggested "such a section is needed because the "unclean" phenomenon is both common and has strong impacts."

Yet, I'd like to address a pattern I've experienced with at least a third of the articles I've engaged, and a pattern well known to discourage most participation -- typically losing 80% of potential recruits say some research reviews[1].

Directed not at you but for the college of WP activists: Any executive action taken when it's likely there may be reasonable objections, especially if repeated several times and over responses which attempt to reason, can stimulate a sense of being bullied - intimidated by a stronger person [2].

Every community needs warrior temperaments to survive - for their willingness to sacrifice their time to defend principles, and for their often boundless energy and tenacity. Still, long-term flourishing requires that such temperaments be encouraged to channel their gifts.

I see similar reactions all over WP to hurried actionists who make strong changes in others' work, justified with short shrift and curt scripts like "original research" even on commonplaces.

The science-activist cliché'd response goes "[it:E pur si muove!] (i.e. And yet it moves) - here, a commonplace experience: High-pressure days are often clear, and often unclear. As I thrice argued above, seeking to avoid edit and delete wars by following WP guides to lay out potentially controversial steps before just doing them: The modified caption and a paragraph could help readers understand why common experience with Highs have such strong variability. Now, for the third time, I suggest that a useful article should address this experience. Not, as misunderstood, a suggestion for labeling the caption as unusual.

Actually, LWC, in this apparently we both hope -- that some experts will supply the explanation (with further readings and research) to ground and pursue a better and more confident understanding.

Sum: I'm still confident that avoiding edit wars or time-wasting disputes does require concern for explicating reasons, and for open-minded understanding others' reasons before reacting. Usually, a stitch in time saves nine.

GreggEdwards (talk) 21:11, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Well, now that Earth100 put up a source, we're able to avoid most of the original research (at least on the fact that the image IS of a high-pressure are; the claim that it is unusual would still be original research). Inks.LWC (talk) 22:23, 15 February 2013 (UTC)