Atmospheric Science


November 28, 2011, 7:32 pm

An anticyclone is an atmospheric pressure distribution in which there is a high central pressure relative to the surroundings. This term was selected to imply the possession of characteristics opposite to those found in a cyclone or depression. As such, the circulation about the center of an anticyclone is clockwise (counter-clockwise) in the Northern (Southern) hemisphere, and the weather is generally quiet and settled. Common effects associated with an anticyclone are clearing skies and accumulation of cooler and drier air.

Anticyclonic is an adjectival form of the term referring to the direction of rotation of wind around a center of high pressure. This is, of course, clockwise in the Northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.

Initial creation

Creation of an anticyclone typcially occurs aloft occurs in a warm core cyclone, such as a tropical cyclone. This condition transpires as latent heat generated by cloud formation is released aloft. This circumstance raises the atmospheric temperature and also enlarges the ensuing atmospheric layer thickness of the layer, which in turn increases high pressure aloft and serves to evacuate outflow.

This article is written at a definitional level only. Authors wishing to expand this entry are inivited to expand the present treatment, which additions will be peer reviewed prior to publication of any expansion.


  • E.A.Rasmussen and J.Turner. 2003. Polar Lows: Mesoscale Weather Systems in the Polar Regions, Cambridge University Press

See also





Baum, S. (2011). Anticyclone. Retrieved from


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