Well, if the assumption is made that the atmosphere is divergence-free, the curl of the Euler equations reduces into the barotropic vorticity equation. This latter equation can be solved over a single layer of the atmosphere. Since the atmosphere at a height of approximately 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) is mostly divergence-free, the barotropic model best approximates the state of the atmosphere at a geopotential height corresponding to that altitude, which corresponds to the atmosphere's 500 mb (15 inHg) pressure surface.