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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