If we look on a weather map, we may see two letters floating around in different areas. Those letters are ‘H’ and ‘L’, which represent high and low pressure systems, respectively. Each system has a few things that are associated with their functionality, but are direct opposites of each other, similar to hot and cold or up and down.
High pressure systems are associated with lighter wind speeds, sunny skies, and more dry conditions. With a high, the cooler air sinks from above and warms up as it gets closer to the surface of the planet. This will give the clear skies and fair weather. Winds will also go in a clockwise motion (known as anticyclonic). With higher pressure systems, there is more space for molecules to move around, so there’s typical less stored energy and this is when we get our sunshine.
Low pressure systems don’t always mean storms and destruction, but in some cases, they can. Hurricanes and typhoons are large-scaled low pressure systems. However, some low pressure systems will just bring rain showers and cloudy conditions. Quite the opposite of high pressure systems, the warm air rises from the surface of the Earth, and cools as it rises. The direction of this air also circulated in a counterclockwise motion (known as cyclonic). The lower the pressure, the tighter the area, or gradient, and the more severe the systems of showers can be. Unlike highs, lows can also carry a front of some sort (typically leading with a warm or stationary front, and trailing with a cold front).