Quantcast Frontal Systems - 14220_311

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Pressure Areas, Continued - 14220_310
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Frontal  Systems,  Continued - 14220_312
Frontal Systems Warm  Fronts Active  warm  fronts  are  generally  located  in  pressure  troughs  on  surface charts.  See  figure  10-8.  The  troughs  are  not  as  pronounced  as  those observed  with  cold  fronts;  therefore,  other  meteorological  elements  are used  as  follows  in  locating  warm  fronts  accurately: 1.   Pressure  tendencies.  Pressure  usually  falls  for  an  appreciable  length of  time  before  the  front  passes.  Normally  it  is  steady  after  passage. The  tendencies  in  advance  of  the  front  are  therefore  a  steady  or  unsteady fall.  A  warm  frontal  passage  is  usually  indicated  by  a  tendency. 2.  Wind.  The  wind  in  advance  of  a  warm  front  in  the  Northern Hemisphere  is  usually  from  the  southeast,  shifting  to  southwest  after passage.  The  wind  speed  normally  increases  as  the  front  approaches. The  wind  shift  accompanying  a  warm  front  is  seldom  as  abrupt  as  with a cold front. 3.  Cloud  forms.  Warm  fronts  are  nearly  always  well  defined  by tropical  stratified  clouds.  They  are  generally  cirrus,  cirrostratus, altostratus,  nimbostratus,  and  stratus  with  the  cirrus  appearing  as  much as  1,000  miles  before  the  actual  surface  passage.  The  cloud  types  that form  after  passage  of  the  warm  front  are  typical  of  the  warm  air  mass. 4.   Precipitation.  The  precipitation  area  of  warm  fronts  extends  about 300  miles  in  advance  of  the  surface  front.  Precipitation  occurs  mainly  in the  form  of  continuous  or  intermittent  rain,  snow,  or  drizzle.  However, when  the  warm  air  is  connectively  unstable,  showers  and  thunderstorms may  occur  in  addition  to  the  steady  precipitation. 5.   Temperature   and   dew-point   chances.   Abrupt   temperature   changes, like  those  characteristic  of  cold  fronts,  do  not  accompany  the  warm frontal  passage.  Instead,  the  temperature  change  is  gradual.  It  starts increasing  slowly  with  the  approach  of  the  front  and  increases  slightly more  rapidly  with  the  passage.  The  dew  point  is  normally  observed  to rise  as  the  front  approaches,  and  a  further  increase  follows  the  frontal passage  when  the  air  in  the  warm  sector  is  of  maritime  origin. 6.  Visibility  and  ceiling.  The  visibility  and  ceiling  are  normally  good until  the  precipitation  begins.  Then  they  decrease  rapidly.  Dense  fog frequently  occurs  in  advance  of  a  warm  front.  These  conditions  improve after  the  front  passes. 10-15

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