|WHAT IS ATMOSPHERIC FORCING?
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
The term atmospheric forcing has the same meaning as forced lifting. It is a dynamic process that forces the air to rise. Examples include
frontal boundaries and upper level divergence mechanisms. These mechanisms force the air to rise as opposed to air rising due to positive
buoyancy. In a positive buoyancy situation, air will rise on its own as long as it is less dense than air surrounding it. Atmospheric
forcing on the other hand occurs as long as the lifting mechanism such as a frontal boundary is in action. An analogy for atmospheric
forcing is picking a weight off of the floor. The weight will remain on the floor until a person forces it to rise. An analogy for
positive buoyancy is a helium balloon rising after it is let go. The balloon will rise without a person forcing it to rise.