Discuss in detail by comparison and contrast the four types of weather fronts.

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ncchemist eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A weather front is the boundary between two air masses that differ in temperature and moisture levels.  There are four main types of weather fronts.  They are listed and discussed below:

Cold front:  A cold front is the leading edge of a cold air mass associated with a low pressure system.  The cold, dense air wedges underneath warmer air masses and produces strong winds in the lower atmosphere.  Because cold air is dense and falls rapidly, cold fronts tend to move faster than other fronts.

Warm front:  A warm front is the leading edge of a warm air mass.  Because warm air is less dense, it tends to move more slowly than other fronts.  Fog is often found along the frontal boundary.

Occluded front:  An occluded front is when a cold front overtakes a warm front.  The weather can vary with an occluded front depending on the difference in temperatures between the two air masses.

Stationary front:  A stationary front is an immobile boundary between two air masses.  Heavy precipitation can often be found at a stationary front since the clouds sit in place without moving for a long period of time (often days).