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Frontal Placement

The exact position of a front within a frontal cloud band varies, depending on the front’s speed and the stability of the air masses. In sparse data areas, you may have to take frontal positions as

Figure 10-311.—An idealized schematic showing occluded frontogenesis.

interpreted from imagery. In such cases, position the fronts as follows:

Active slow-moving cold fronts. Position an active slow-moving cold front along the leading edge of the frontal cloud band, splitting the line of maximum convective activity. An active slow- moving cold front is seen north of a dissipating inactive cold front in figure 10-3-3.

Fast-moving cold fronts. Since a fast-moving cold front has associated weather at and ahead of the front itself, it is positioned along the center line of maximum convective activity at the

Figure 10-3-2.—IR frontal depiction. (A) Stable frontal wave; (B) unstable frontal wave.

Figure 10-3-3.—Satellite photograph showing inactive and active cold fronts.

trailing edge of the frontal cloud band. See figure 10-3-4.

Warm fronts. Because of the extensive cloudiness associated with warm fronts, it is almost impossible to get a good position using imagery alone. With occluding systems, the warm front is positioned under the bulge of clouds located at the peak of the warm sector (the apex). Figure 10-3-5 shows such a warm front extending southeast of the apex of an occlusion.

Occluded fronts. These fronts are positioned along the trailing edge of their associated cloud band.

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