And I do not even have the nasty cold that is going around.
And if you do, wow, your head must really be hurting worse today.
That would be because of the record high pressure recorded in Portland (and elsewhere in the northwest) essentially pushing on you, thanks to the dry and cold air we have here on December 30, 2014.
What Is Air Pressure, Anyway?
The simplest explanation is this: Air Pressure is the force exerted on us by the weight of air. The weight of air is measured as a column that stretches from the surface to the very edge of earth’s atmosphere, like this:
The graphic depicts ‘average air pressure.’ And air pressure does not just push down on us–it pushes in all around us, like this:
If this is true…why doesn’t air pressure smash our bodies? Or at least give us a free tummy tuck (ha-ha) for the new year? That is because we have air inside us, as well, pushing out, kind of like this:
You know when your ears pop after a flight or while going up and down northwest hills or mountains? That’s the pressure trying to equalize out between the inside and outside of your body.
Anyway, that’s how it works. Please let me know if this helped you more clearly understand what air pressure actually is because I know it can be a bit of a mystery!
And today, the High pressure looks like this on the satellite map:
Cold, dense air is very heavy–it is higher pressure–and it is so intense right now over much of Oregon and Washington that records fell the morning of December 30, 2014.
Here’s the report from the National Weather Service in Portland, Oregon — and yes, the Weather Service format is all caps and hopefully someday that will change! (Seattle’s Record High pressure report is also below…)
RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OREGON
1205 PM PST TUE DEC 30 2014
…RECORD HIGH BAROMETRIC PRESSURE READINGS…
UNUSUALLY HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE REGION IS CREATING HAVOC WITH
RESIDENTS SINUS AND HEADACHES. PRESSURE WILL PEAK THIS MORNING
THEN GRADUALLY FALL.
AT PORTLAND OREGON… **** NEW ALL-DECEMBER PRESSURE RECORD ****
BAROMETRIC PRESSURE REACHED 30.83 INCHES OF MERCURY THIS MORNING.
THIS BREAKS THE OLD DECEMBER HIGH PRESSURE RECORD OF 30.75
INCHES SET ON 1 DEC 2011.
THIS IS THE 2ND HIGHEST ALL TIME PRESSURE READING AT
THE PORTLAND AIRPORT (SINCE 1941).
THE ALL-TIME RECORD IS 30.90 INCHES WAS SET ON 1 FEB 1982.
AT ASTORIA OREGON… **** NEW ALL-TIME PRESSURE RECORD ****
BAROMETRIC PRESSURE REACHED 30.80 INCHES OF MERCURY THIS MORNING.
THIS IS THE HIGHEST RECORDED PRESSURE AT ASTORIA
(PRESSURE RECORDS START 1953).
THIS BREAKS THE ALL TIME HIGH PRESSURE RECORD OF
30.74 INCHES SET ON 14 DEC 1996.
AT EUGENE OREGON… *** THIRD HIGHEST IN DECEMBER ****
BAROMETRIC PRESSURE REACHED 30.69 INCHES OF MERCURY THIS MORNING.
THIS IS THE THIRD HIGHEST RECORDED PRESSURE FOR MONTH OF
DECEMBER (RECORDS START 1945).
THE HIGH PRESSURE RECORD FOR DECEMBER AT EUGENE IS
30.72 INCHES SET ON 21 DEC 1998 AND 14 DEC 1996.
And here is the record high pressure report from Seattle, Washington:
RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
900 AM PST TUE DEC 30 2014
…RECORD HIGH PRESSURE SET IN SEATTLE…
THE PRESSURE THIS MORNING AT 9 AM AT SEATTLE-TACOMA AIRPORT WAS
1044.9 MB ( 30.82 INCHES ). THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD HIGH PRESSURE
READING OF 1043.4 MILLIBARS SET ON DECEMBER 1ST…2011.