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Gould Data Knowledge Base

What are barometers?

Barometers are instruments used to predict short term changes in weather patterns by measuring air pressure. There are two types of barometers: mercury and aneroid.

How do barometers work?

Mercury barometers: Atmospheric pressure balances the column of mercury inside the barometer, the height of which is measured to give air pressure.

Aneroid barometers: An evacuated capsule deflects with changes in atmospheric pressure. Amount of deflection is coupled to and indicating needle.

What is a barograph? 

  • A barograph is a barometer that records changes in barometric pressure over time. This device usually uses aneroid barometers.

For a more in-depth description of how barometers work, try these sources.

Where can I find data?

One of the primary sources of weather data is the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) which includes air pressure data.

For international data on air pressure, try the Monthly Climatic Data  for the World publication by NCDC.

See also...

The Gould Library Climate and Weather Data guide lists many more sources of weather data.


This page developed by Maddy Menard '17 in spring 2016.