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Windy weather and… garden hoses? How pressure systems brought today’s gusty winds

Strong winds all across the U.S. today

Gusty winds were felt all across mid-Missouri this afternoon. A strong area of low pressure across the northern United States was the main culprit. It wasn't only our backyards that saw these winds.

Behind the front, winds pushed in excess of 100 mph across the higher elevations of the rockies this morning.

These strong winds were a product of two air masses-- one cold and dry, the other warm and moist-- colliding together. The force that's exerted as these two push together is what's called the Pressure Gradient Force.

Pressure... Gradient Force? Let's simplify that...

The way it works is similar to pressing your thumb on the nozzle of a garden hose. When you press down, the water will stream out much faster.

In the same way, air that gets stuck between these two combating air masses will tend to accelerate. This process happened over top mid-Missouri today, which led to our gusty weather.


Insider Blog

Luke Victor

Luke Victor gives forecasts on ABC 17 News broadcasts and reports on weather stories on air and online, giving viewers and readers a deeper look at what causes different types of weather.


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