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Geostrophic Wind

Air under the influence of both the pressure gradient force and Coriolis force tends to move parallel to isobars in conditions where friction is low (1000 meters above the surface of the Earth) and isobars are straight. Winds of this type are usually called geostrophic winds. Geostrophic winds come about because pressure gradient force and Coriolis force come into balance after the air begins to move


A geostrophic wind flows parallel to the isobars. In this model of wind flow in the Northern Hemisphere, wind begins as a flow of air perpendicular to the isobars (measured in millibars) under the primary influence of the pressure gradient force (PGF). As the movement begins, the Coriolis force (CF) begins to influence the moving air causing it to deflect to the right of its path. This deflection continues until the pressure gradient force and Coriolis force are opposite and in balance with each other.


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