What happens to high and low pressure systems?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
What happens to high and low pressure systems? Do they keep on moving around the world, eventually coming back to hit us again?

Dear Roger,
High and low pressure systems can persist for several days, occasionally longer, as they move along, but they all eventually dissipate. They do not travel around the world and do not “return” to move across us again. Highs and lows are often associated with features in the upper atmosphere (say above ten thousand feet) that move much faster than the surface pressure systems linked with them. Surface systems dissipate when their upper support leaves them behind, sometimes developing anew farther downstream where atmospheric conditions again become favorable.


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