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Breaking it Down with Brittney - Cold Front

Cold Front Explainer
Posted at 11:20 AM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 12:23:08-04

COLD FRONT: What exactly is it and how does it shove and replace a warm airmass? Meteorologist Brittney Merlot teaches us the science of this leading edge temperature drop off, which can move twice as fast and produce sharper changes than it's counter part, the warm front.

You must know that cold fronts are associated with a low pressure system. They are marked on a map with a blue line and triangle shaped pips, pointing out in the direction of its movement.

June 17th, 2021 a cold front is approaching a hot day of 90° and very humid one too, with a dew point of 67°.

Cold air is denser than warm air, so when a cold front moves through, the air with greater density wedges under the less dense warmer air, lifting it. This lift can cause the formation of a line of showers and strong thunderstorms, but only if enough moisture is present which includes heat and humidity.

A cold front slams into warm air, allowing towering cumulonimbus to form and pour rain and storms down.

These storms can sometimes be visible in a shelf cloud, associated with a squall line, along the cold front.

Shelf cloud depicts mixing of cold and warm air, as the cold air advection rushes into the warm air.

In the video above, Merlot describes what is happening in this particular cloud and why it is so unique!