‘Low pressure atmospheric systems have more of a short term impact than high pressure systems.’ Discuss.

955 Words Apr 1st, 2014 4 Pages
‘Low pressure atmospheric systems have more of a short term impact than high pressure systems.’ Discuss.

Low pressure atmospheric systems are also known as depressions or cyclones and they form in mid- and high-latitudes. They are formed by the mixing of cold and warm air, the warm air is lighter, so it rises above the denser, cold air and forms a centre of low pressure. High pressure atmospheric systems are also known as anticyclones and have very different characteristics to depressions. Anticyclones are large masses of subsiding air, which produces high pressure at the surface. There are a variety of difference between anticyclones and depressions, including the weather conditions, the length of time they last and the impact they
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The impacts of anticyclones and depressions vary, as does the period they remain and the effect they have. The North American blizzard of 2003 lasted for five days throughout February and occurred on the East Coast of the USA and Canada. It was a record-breaking blizzard, which caused 27 deaths and over $14 million worth of damage. The cities in America were bought to a standstill, as there was a range of 38-76cm of snow covering the ground. The cause for such an unusually extreme blizzard was the fact that the conditions were favourable, with moisture from the Atlantic Ocean enhancing precipitation and a high pressure system over Canada, allowing cold air to be brought down coastal areas. This meant that the precipitation was mainly snow, hence the record-breaking statistics. The effects this storm had were mainly short-term, but the roof of the historic Railroad Museum collapsed and 27 people lost their lives. Additionally, transport infrastructure was brought to a halt, and three major airports were also closed.
So, the impacts of depressions are mainly short-term, although the destruction can be horrendous, whereas, anticyclones usually cause long-term impacts on a country such as the Drought in Britain and Europe in 2003. This drought effected many locations, but the main focus was on the UK, France and Portugal. Not all impacts are negative, as the heat wave did boost the tourist industry in most countries and sales for summer items such as…