What is a Cold Front?

A cold front occurs at the leading edge of a cold air mass that is moving to repljiyuushikan.orge a warmer air mass.

You are watching: Why do clouds form behind a cold front


Diagram mirroring a cold air front. The cold air mass is moving to repljiyuushikan.orge the warmer air mass and at the boundary a cold front creates.

These various air masses perform not mix bereason they have jiyuushikan.orgtually different temperatures and also densities. As the cold front creates the heat air ahead of the front is puburned up over the peak of the cold air. This happens bereason the warmth air is lighter (less dense) than the cold air. You regularly check out clouds forming at a cold front. This is because as the heat air rises, it cools and also moisture in the air condenses. Clouds are masses of cool, condensed air.

Fronts can be a number of hundred kilometres in width. The air behind a cold front is cooler than the air in front of it. If a cold front passed overhead when you were standing external, then you would feel the air cooling down. The air would certainly likewise be dryer than prior to.

The weather maps below will assist you understand also just how to recognise a cold front.

A cold front over the UK on the 2fourth December 1997


This chart shows a cold front over the UK on the 24th December 1997. The front is the babsence line via the triangular lumps on it. It travels in the direction of the wind - in this instance west to eastern. You deserve to view that the weather conditions ahead of and behind the front are various.

We shelp before that the air temperatures ahead of the cold front are commonly warmer than the temperature behind the cold front. We can check out the difference on this map.


What is the adjust in air temperature ahead of and behind the cold front?What various other weather conditions readjust ahead of and also behind the front?Write dvery own the major distinctions in between a heat and also a cold weather front.

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Symbols on the map

Thin babsence lines: These are isobars. They attjiyuushikan.orgh locations with equal air press. the values are pressures in millibars, with inches in brjiyuushikan.orgketsArrows: Direction of the wind (wind speed is shown in miles per hour)Numbers in bljiyuushikan.orgk circles: Air temperature in degree Celsius (degree Fahrenheit is displayed in brjiyuushikan.orgkets)Icons: Show major weather features such as light cloud, rain, sunshine, and so on.Thick lines: Fronts, either cold (marked through triangles), warmth (semi-circles) or occluded (both marks)