THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ANTICYCLONE (i.e. opposite to a cyclone), an atmospheric system in which there is a descending movement of the air and a relative increase in barometric pressure over the part of the earth’s surface affected by it. At the surface the air tends to flow outwards in all directions from the central area of high pressure, and is deflected on account of the earth’s rotation (see FErrel’s Law) so as to give a spiral movement in the direction of the hands of a watch face upwards in the northern hemisphere, against that direction in the southern hemisphere. Since the air in an anticyclone is descending, it becomes warmed and dried, and therefore transmits radiation freely whether from the sun to the earth or from the earth into space. Hence in winter anticyclonic weather is characterized by clear air with periods of frost, causing fogs in towns and low-lying damp areas, and in summer by still cloudless days with gentle variable airs and fine weather.
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