Surface Low

  • An area on the earth's surface where atmospheric pressure is at a relative minimum. Winds blow counter-clockwise around lows in the Northern Hemisphere but, due to friction with the earth's surface, tend to cross constant pressure lines toward the low center. Upon converging into the low's center, air currents are forced to rise. As air rises it cools due to expansion. Cooling reduces its capacity to hold moisture; so cloudiness and precipitation are common in lows. If a low center intensifies sufficiently it will take on the characteristics of a storm center with precipitation and strong winds.
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