Frontal Weather Systems

Welcome to the Frontal Weather Systems Guide. In this Guide I will explain the three different types of frontal systems, what they are and what type of weather they will bring. I will also teach you how you can see these weather fronts on the UKMO pressure charts and FAX charts.

A weather front is simply the boundary between warmer and colder air. The three weather fronts that exist are called Warm Fronts, Cold Fronts and Occluded fronts. I’ll be talking about them below, and what each of them mean.

Warm Fronts

A warm front marks the boundaries between warmer and cooler air. The cooler air will be ahead of the warm front with warmer air behind it. When a Warm Front moves in it brings milder air to the area it passes over. When a Warm Front passes through, it’ll often bring a spell of extended rain, and generally bring cloudier weather before the cloud eventually clears to brighter skies. Warm Fronts generally bring light-moderate rainfall. Warm Fronts can are easy to spot on weather charts. They’re generally a line with semi-circles on the front edge of the front. The pictures below demonstrate a warm front at work. In the first picture we see what a warm front looks like, and how it replaces cooler air. In the second picture we see a warm front crossing the United Kingdom. Notice how the temperatures behind it are warmer than the temperatures in front of it. Warm Fronts are associated with Low Pressure Systems.

Cold Fronts

Cold Fronts, as you might have already guessed are the complete opposite to Warm Fronts. Cold Fronts mark the boundary between warm and cold air, the warmer air is ahead of a Cold Front, and the cooler air behind. As a Cold Front pushes through, it’ll usually bring a spell of heavy rain but often clears leaving clear, sunny spells or showers. During the summer Cold Fronts can cause severe thunder activity as it pushes into some very warm air. During the winter cold fronts can mark the start of a cold, snowy spell. Cold Fronts typically bring a short period of heavy rain. Cold Fronts can be seen on the charges indicated by a blue line with triangles on its front side. The First image below shows a cold front replacing milder air. The Second image shows an area of low pressure with a warm front being quickly followed by a Cold Front. The image also shows where the Precipitation will be on both fronts. Cold Fronts are associated with Low Pressure systems.

Occluded Fronts

Now for the final weather front out of the three. An Occluded front forms when a Warm Front and a Cold Front catch up with each other and merge. An Occluded front can be either a Warm Occluded Front, which in tern would act very similar to a Warm Front, or a Cold Occluded front, which in tern would act very similar to a Cold Front. The picture below demonstrates what an Occluded Front looks like, and how it is formed. Occluded Fronts are associated with areas of low pressure. A Cold Occluded Front forms when a Cold Front catches up with a Warm Front. A Warm occluded front forms when a Warm Front catches up with a Cold Front.

So thats it for the Frontal Weather Systems Guide. As ever if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment. I hope you have enjoyed the guide and have managed to gain some knowledge out of it. I will of course be mentioning weather fronts again in a later guide.


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