Barometric Pressure vs. Station Pressure: What's the Difference?

Barometric Pressure vs. Station Pressure: What's the Difference?

When it comes to measuring barometric pressure, there is a bit of science going on behind the scenes. Let's take a look at the difference between barometric vs. station pressure and the variables that go into calculating the two readings.

Barometric Pressure vs. Station Pressure

Station pressure is measured at a station without any adjustment. A station is noted as any location such as a house, airport, or the top of a mountain. Station pressure changes at various altitudes since it's not adjusted.

With barometric pressure, it's the station pressure adjusted to the mean sea level. If the pressure is measured at sea level, station pressure and barometric pressure are equal.

Keep in mind that barometric pressure changes with density altitude.

If you are not at sea level, you'll have to calculate what the pressure would be if you were recording the number at sea level. Pressure decreases by 0.01inHg for every 10-foot increase in altitude.

The Purpose of Barometric Pressure vs. Station Pressure

These readings serve two different purposes:

  • Barometric pressure, with the reference of current altitude, is used for predicting the weather. Changes in air pressure help meteorologists predict weather patterns. For example, a high-pressure system often predicts warm and sunny weather.
  • Station pressure is often used for ballistics and auto racing. This pressure can impact the speed and performance of bullets as well as cars.

Now that you understand the difference between barometric and station pressure, below we'll explain how you measure for barometric pressure.

Measuring Barometric Pressure

Barometric pressure is adjusted in terms of station pressure. If you're using a device such as a Kestrel weather meter to measure barometric pressure, you'd enter your reference altitude which can be your current altitude. The Kestrel meter will then calculate the barometric pressure at sea level.

When you use a weather meter such as a Kestrel meter, you can get automatic readings that require no effort on your end. It's the easy way to help track weather patterns and keep yourself in the loop with down-to-the-minute accuracy. Explore our line of Kestrel weather meters to measure barometric pressure and more.

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