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Frontal Systems. Section 15.2. Fronts. Air masses move due to worldwide wind currents . The zone between air masses is called a front. Cold Fronts. This zone is formed where a moving cold air mass overtakes a warmer air mass.

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Frontal systems

Frontal Systems

Section 15.2


  • Air masses move due to worldwidewindcurrents.

  • The zone between air masses is called a front

Cold fronts
Cold Fronts

  • This zone is formed where a moving cold air mass overtakes a warmer air mass.

  • The cold air is more dense than the warm air. It moves below the warm air and pushes the warm air upward, making clouds – often making rain.

  • Fast moving fronts can cause intense thunderstorms which are often accompanied by hail and even tornadoes.

Warm fronts
Warm Fronts

  • This zone is formed where a warm mass overtakes a cooler one. The warm air gently rides up over the trailing end of the cold air mass.

  • Clouds form, bringing light rain or snow.

  • Precipitation may last much longer than it does at a cold front but the temperature will be warmer than before the warm front arrived

Low pressure systems
Low Pressure Systems

  • Where air rising in a counterclockwise direction creates a cyclone and leaves less dense air below.

  • Low pressure systems usually bring unstable weather conditions such as precipitation and storms

  • They develop with a front (between air masses)

High pressure systems
High Pressure Systems

  • Where air descends (putting pressure on the ground below) in a clockwise direction – called an anticyclone.

  • High pressure systems bring clear skies with little moisture.

  • They can last several days